Expression Is the Name of the Game

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Ninth grade English students at Northwest Junior High School had a new outlet of expression Friday. They competed in the school's First Annual Poetry Jam.

"We're just finding different ways to express ourselves and share our original pieces," said English teacher, Vickie Hatcher.

The Poetry Jam was an expansion on an early poetry project where students were required to write 10 poems. The "Poetry Cafe" allowed students to share their art on stage.

"That's the hardest thing to do, is performing in front of your peers, so that was a great experience, getting in front of my peers and performing a work of art," said O'Licia Spears.

"For many of these students, poetry is not just about homework. It's about expression and understanding life.

"I like to make it real. I want to feel like I'm in to the poetry, like the child being talked about is me," said Ashley Betts.

"You can say anything you want to in your head or on paper, as long as you don't say it out loud if it's bad," said Jessica Fielder.

English instructors at Northwest are using this experience as a tool to encourage more written expression from their students.