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“Poetry fosters community and critical thinking. The relationships students have in classrooms organized around poetry are meaningful and can be a source of strength and renewed effort throughout their education.” (Robinson, 2013; Simmons, 2014)

As educators, you know how important it is to instill in your students a love for learning, a love for knowledge. As writers in your classroom, we will do our very best to help your students discover and cultivate a love for writing and for sharing their writing with others, to realize the value and power of their words, that their lives can be the source of their own literature.

Your students, as you know, have much to say in a voice that people want and need to hear. For us, learning to become a better writer is a lesson in how to become a better listener, to pay closer attention to the world around you, and to choose carefully the words we speak and write.

It is our hope to build a community of writers within the classroom, so we also like to encourage our host teachers to write alongside the students. We hope that you too, like your students, might discover inside of you the words and poems and the stories that only you can write.

Working with independent evaluators, iO monitors and observes writers in the classroom, surveying teachers mid-year, collecting teaching journals from writers and assessing the quality of writing in the school’s publication.Since 2005, evaluations have consistently demonstrated the effectiveness of iO’s programs. Students voices are a central part of the review process. Right click here and “save as…” to download one of our most recent handouts for principals. Also, high school educators: Tell your students about Citywide Poets!

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