Most inspiring for us are the notes from teachers, parents and young poets. A teacher describes one first-prize winner as “a very talented writer and a humble, sensitive young girl. The entire class cheered her today and made her feel very special.” During a school-wide assembly in honor of a different winning poet, a student was overheard saying, “I didn’t know poetry could be so lucrative.” Another teacher writes about a “proud young writer” and her response to “the incredible critique of her poem from Marie Kane,” saying, “It has encouraged her to continue with her gift of words.” A parent writes to say that her daughter, who felt she never quite “measured up,” was suddenly bubbling with new confidence after simply being acknowledged for her third place poem.
As a teacher I was inspired by the very specific and detailed critique given by the judge. Marie Kane reminded me that THIS very specific feedback is the way to help kids become confident writers who will take risks. Hats off to Marie Kane for such a splendid commentary!
Lauren Johnson, Fruitville Elementary
I am completely overwhelmed by the care and insight Ms. Kane provided in response to each poem. It’s absolutely EXTRAORDINARY. Our students have won other competitions and occasionally they’ll receive brief comments from the judges, but Ms. Kane went above and beyond the call of duty in such a meaningful and instructive way. I learned a great deal just by reading her comments and am inspired to do a better job of providing feedback to my students. In fact, I imagine I will use her comments when teaching students about poetry next school year.
Peter Kahn, Oak Park/River Forest High School
Thank you for encouraging our next generation to be creative and express their vision, emotions and experience. I know these are the things that build peace and understanding in our world.
Bethann Morgan, Clerk, Buckingham Friends Meeting
These are just a few examples of why we feel so proud of this outreach in memory of Sarah. We are grateful to the many dedicated teachers who recognize the value of writing poems, not only in furthering language arts skills, but also in enriching the lives of young writers. Your support inspires confidence in the value of our mission to acknowledge, encourage and reward the efforts of student poets.