Since 2009, with the help of our Poet in the Schools Barbara Strasko and Franklin & Marshall student interns, Poetry Paths has offered poetry writing workshops, related enrichment activities, and opportunities to perform and publish their work to 1000 students in Lancaster’s public schools.
To inspire the act of writing, Poetry Paths has sponsored experiences to give students a new and deeper appreciation of their neighborhoods. Over the years, students have learned about physics and light at the Lancaster Science Factory and explored the ecology of the Conestoga River. Groups of students have spent a day riding the Amtrak train from Lancaster to Philly, reading journey poems along the way, while other groups have visited Kevin Lehman’s pottery studio to hear from a ceramicist whose work is inspired by poetry. Students have taken educational field trips to the Lancaster Arts Hotel, the North Museum, and the Lancaster Museum of Art. They’ve heard from historians about local heroes such as Thaddeus Stevens. Lydia Hamilton Smith, and John Reynolds. They’ve learned about the Underground Railroad, migration, and empowerment through Jacob Lawrence’s paintings and the journey of Harriet Tubman. All of these experiences have led to poetic expression.
Here are the schools we have worked with:
2009-10: Fulton, Buchanan, Washington and Ross Elementary; Lincoln Middle
2010-11: Burrowes, Lafayette, King and Wharton Elementary; Reynolds Middle
2011-12: Fulton, Price, Martin, Ross, and Wickersham Elementary
2012-13: Buchanan, Burrowes, Carter and MacRae, King, and Wharton Elementary
Since the inception of Poetry Paths, with the help of our community partners, we have offered poetry writing workshops and opportunities to perform and publish their work to over 100 city residents affiliated with the Lancaster Public Library, Water Street Rescue Mission, and Bright Side Opportunities Center.
Over the years, Poetry Paths will continue to develop innovative programming around the Paths to bring new voices to the City and increase our residents’ ongoing access to the visual and literary arts.