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Interest in Writing Has Doubled

" As a retired teacher who placed much emphasis on written communication with my classes in junior and senior English, I thought you might be interested in the good incentive your contests are adding to the classes of today. My teacher friend says the interest has doubled and trebled in written expression in her classes – and with other students and teachers making inquiries. I hope this letter of commendation is not too long. I merely felt you might enjoy the story of how one school is reacting to your "creative communication" stimulus. My heartiest congratulation! "

---- Barbara Sampson

Hearts and Souls into Poetry

" For two weeks, students interviewed at least one senior citizen. Many of them decided to get oral histories from grandparents, aunts, or uncles. Our final event was a poetry presentation to which the parents and senior citizens were invited. My classroom was crowded! It was such a meaningful, emotional, and memorable experience as each student read his/her poem and presented a copy to the interviewee. There were many tears as well as applause because the students put their hearts and souls into their poetry. This project was made possible because of your grant. Many people are grateful for your interest in developing the love of poetry in young people, and continue to express their appreciation for the anthologies you publish and the programs you support. I have participated in your contests for four years now, and will continue to do so as long as I am teaching. Thank you for encouraging and inspiring young people to express themselves in the beautiful language of poetry. "

---- Jackie H. Stanley

Students Feel Important and Build Self-esteem

" Again, I wanted to let you know what a thrill it is for my students to receive notification that their poem will be published! It is not their teacher, parent, relative, or friend that appreciated their poem and picked it for publication. It is a complete stranger who resides in Utah. Thank you for making my students feel important and building their self esteem. I wanted to share the story of one of my last year's students. At the end of the year, I ask each student to reflect on how he/she has grown as a poet this year. One student wrote that he had received a "trophy". After reading his reflection, I talked to him and asked him to tell me about the trophy. He proudly announced that he had his poem published but because of money problems at home, his parents could not afford a copy of Celebration of Young Poets. One day when this student arrived home after school, his father presented him with a copy of the book containing his published poem. This student was so proud that he considers this his "trophy." Thank you again for this fantastic opportunity. "

---- Constance Arlander

Students Have Tasted Success

" I just wanted to thank you for having this contest. One of the students you selected is from a very poor family with many siblings. He has overcome many obstacles. Being selected and having his poem printed has made him realize his own self-worth. He knows he can do it now. My students receive very little recognition usually. They're academically behind their peers. Your contest has added so much to their self-esteem. Life will not be easy for them, but now they have tasted success. "

---- Karen Slattebo

Student Inspired to Write and Publish Poetry

" I am so pleased with your company. A student, just today, reminded me to thank you for all that you do. She is a senior and has been inspired to write and publish poetry in my class. Your opportunity afforded her this success. She stopped by to thank me, which is a pleasure for any teacher. Thank you, also, for the Language Arts Grant. I set a date to have a night where students recite their poetry and now with the grant money we can afford to offer refreshments to the parents. I have also contacted a local group about presenting poetry in an assembly. Needless to say, the grant that you offered is being put to wonderful use to promote poetry in our school. The books you have sent me and to the students who ordered them are very professionally done. This provides great pride for our students to see their work published with you. "

---- Susan Moreno

Touched My Heart

" I, along with my four students, were thrilled to receive the wonderful news that their poems had been chosen for the anthology. Upon returning their poems to me, I realized that the poems touched my heart. So, I felt compelled to share this information with you. At the time one student wrote her poem, everyone in her family was doing fine. Unfortunately a few weeks before Christmas her mother died rather suddenly. This news was shocking, but she and her family are surviving. They are a fine family. Apparently, their mother taught them well. "

---- Christiann Bjork

Creative Writing Is a Struggle

" We are all thrilled by the amount of poems selected from our school. P.S. 181 is a large overcrowded school in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Many of our children are new to the United States. Creative Writing of any kind is always a struggle. I am the Writing Specialist at 181, and when I showed the principal, she was overjoyed. An announcement was read over the loud speaker and a special bulletin board is being made up to honor those students. You can be sure we will be entering your poetry contest every year. "

---- Lorraine Richardson

Excited About Being Chosen

" The children were so excited about the fact that their poetry was chosen for publishing. We have quite a few children interested in entering in the Spring, who did not participate in the Fall/Winter contest. Our principal was interviewed about the contest and our students' participation by a local radio station this week. The District Public Relations Officer took information from the award letters and sent out a Press Release outlining the process, which led to our children's work being published. Thank you very much for providing this opportunity. "

---- Denise Gifford

Letters Created Interest

" I cannot tell you how thrilled my students were to receive their letters of notification of being selected for publication. Having the letters delivered to the students at school created a lot of interest in entering your spring contest. Additionally, I want to thank you for offering the prizes. Considering how the students seem to be indifferent to scholastic achievements, this was heartwarming for me. What a wonderful opportunity you provide both for teachers and students! The students and I look forward to entering your spring contest. "

---- Janet Smith

Making This Dream a Reality

" To say that we are thrilled to have so many budding poets selected from this third grade class is wonderful and the excitement of the children and their families is absolutely "over the top"! Further, our thanks to you for offering this contest as we all know how important it is for students to be provided a forum for and validation of their fine efforts. Thank you for making this dream a reality for these boys and girls. "

---- Melody Camp