Middle School Poets Step Up to the Mic

Middle School Poets Step Up to the Mic

The word on the street was that if you went to Wantagh Middle School on April 4, you would catch some amazing poems. That was in fact the case as the English department hosted its eighth celebration for National Poetry Month.

More than 30 students and teachers participated in Word on the Street, reading either individually or with a partner. They read original poems, song lyrics and selections from famous poets like Maya Angelou, Robert Frost and Shel Silverstein. 

Eighth grade English teacher Christine Hult, who coordinated the event, said that this year had the largest number of participants since the annual literacy celebration started. She was also pleased that so many students chose to read original work. In eighth grade, students complete collections of free verse poems as part of a narrative poetry unit, and many decided to share one of those pieces. 

Ms. Hult commended all of the participants for their willingness to read in front of a crowd, which is a big step for middle school students. 

“When I see students step outside of their comfort zone,” she said, “it’s the greatest joy of teaching.”

The event featured a few student-teacher duos, as well as poetry readings from Principal Anthony Ciuffo, Assistant Principal Rachel Quattrocchi and Director of Humanities Julie Rosslee. 

The participants transformed the cafeteria into a poetry café with string lights and table cloths. Art students, under the direction of Joanna Osman, created the city-themed backdrop. This year’s emcees were Sarah Garbowski and Andie Navetta.