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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Lake Elementary School Students prepare for their big debut!

Lake Elementary Students share their souls through Poetry

Contact: Ms. Althea Johnson, Principal
Ms. Lorenda Cheeks, Asst. Principal/21st Century Coordinator
Lake Elementary School

Every Wednesday in April, beginning Wednesday, April 4, 2007, students involved in the 21 Century project at Lake Elementary have been using their heads, hearts and hands to express themselves during National Month Poetry Month, with remarkable results.

"There has been a genuine excitement with the group each week," says C. A. Webb, the 31 year facillitator of the weekly project. "At first they were unsure how they could write poems on their own, but in the three weeks since we began they have really gotten into it." Thanks to the support of the Northeast Ledger and the magazine Mississippi Kids, one of the students who is participating in the project (Kyle Brown) joined the sessions. This is impressive since Kyle is home-schooled.

So far the students, who are divided into two groups (first and second graders meeting 3:30-4:20p.m. and the third through fifth graders meeting 4:30-5:30p.m.) have written poetry about their lives, their school experiences and even their feelings about death.

During the session on Wednesday, April18th, Webb had the older students write their thoughts on death and how they saw it. "After what happened at Virginia Tech earlier in the week, I wanted them to talk about their own feelings about death," says Webb. What came out of the writing session was some of the best poetry of the entire project.

At the end of the project, the students' poetry will be compiled into a volume called "Our Voice".

On Wednesday, April 25th the students will finish up their last poetry and will begin to practice for their upcoming poetry reading that will take place on Wednesday, May 9th at 3:30p.m. The session that will be held on Wednesday, May 2nd will be used to rehearse their poetry.

Each session is free to the public and the media is welcome to attend. To discuss further, contact Ms. Lorenda Cheeks at 601.960.5308.

Mississippi artist/author/poet C. A. Webb has been busy sharing the importance of the written and spoken word for over 10 years. Webb, 31, began the Conversations Book Club as a motivation to get young adults to read authors that wrote work they could relate to as well as to encourage readers to get to know the authors they read. As part of his campaign he has been using the same message in his speeches to schools as well as to regular groups that he is in contact with. Webb is the President of the Rankin County Arts Alliance and serves on the board of directors for the Genesis and Light Community Program as well as on the advisory board for several non-profit groups. For more information, visit

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