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Student 'Literary Ambassadors' Head Poetry Month Activities

We recently wrote about some educators' efforts to keep poetry alive in school amid the myriad instructional demands of the Common Core State Standards. These teachers might get some help this month as various organizations gear up to celebrate National Poetry Month, an initiative that was first introduced by the Academy of American Poets in 1996.

According to Scholastic, five "literary ambassadors" from the National Student Poets Program, an initiative of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, will be visiting communities around the country during April in an effort to heighten young people's interest in poetry. The ambassadors were selected from a pool of candidates who had received a national Scholastic Art and Writing Award and showed exceptional promise and dedication to poetry.

Scholastic is also featuring poetry activities on its website for teachers to share with their classes, including math poetry puzzles, writing riddles, poetry-writing workshops, a webcast of a poetry reading, an article on creating poetry slideshows for young students in PowerPoint, and a unit on haiku.

Meanwhile, mark the calendar for April 18, otherwise known as Poem in Your Pocket Day. The initiative, coordinated by the Academy of American Poets, encourages people to select their favorite poem to carry around and to share with family, friends, and community members. The website includes resources and information on how schools and communities can celebrate the day, such as by sharing poem selections on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem and by browsing the AAP's online poetry library to select and print out poems.

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