UPDATE: Wow! We've reached my initial funding goal! w00t! Now, all additional money I raise (funding stays open until May 9th) goes towards MORE school visits at no cost to schools. Yup, more poetry for more kids. So please read on... and thanks!
I love poetry. And I love sharing my excitement about poetry with kids (and their adults). Not only that, but I think poetry - like music, art and the arts in general - is critical for kids to experience. Yet with budget cuts and shifting priorities, it's happening less and less. It's time to find creative and replicable solutions to the problem.
If Poetry: Spread the Word is funded, over the course of the next year (roughly May, 2011 through April, 2012), I will do 40 school visits (via Skype or, if it works out, in person) at no cost to the schools, and I'll put 100 more of my original poems up on my blog and out into the world for free. I'll also create a collection, described in more detail below, that will celebrate and document the visits and the poetry.
By supporting this project, each of you can become a patron of the arts. You'll help get poetry into classrooms, take the fundraising and organizational burden off teachers and parents, and enable me to have time to write and publish free poetry on my blog.
At the same time, I hope I can make "doing good" be even more rewarding for you by offering something of value in exchange for your support. I love win-win-win situations, and I hope that's what has been created here.
There are more details about the visits, the poetry, and the Poetry: Spread the Word collection (the project's signature add-on) below. And if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
Thank you so much for reading and for your support - emotional, moral, and/or financial!
THE CLASS VISITS
Whether by Skype or in person, my goal is to excite everyone about the wonders and joys of poetry... of language... of creating... and leave them ready to explore further on their own.
You can see more about various presentations I do on my blog, but the short version is that we will talk poetry and writing in general, often talk about Fibs in specific, usually hit on sports (a frequent writing topic of mine), math, and wordplay, and, time permitting, work together to create poetry.
The visits will either be to specific schools, as chosen by sponsoring donors (the $100 level and above), or will be given away by request, by design, and by my own research. Schools and teachers have different needs and freedom, so the visits can anything from full class periods to 15 minute one-topic blasts to whatever makes sense.
THE FREE POETRY!
During the course of the year, I'll post 100 poems on my blog, GottaBook. None of these poems will have been published or blogged before... and all will be free to everyone who stops by my blog, subscribes to it, or belongs to my poetry email list.
My hope, as always, is that folks enjoy and share the poetry... are inspired to read more poems... and are driven to write their own poetry, too.
THE POETRY: SPREAD THE WORD COLLECTION
I'll compile the 100 poems I post on my blog during the year, the reactions/stories I have from visits, responses from backers about why they helped this project and any impact it may have had on them, and any notes or poems from teachers/students who write in response to my visits (and where permission can be granted, of course) and put this all into a big old PDF or ePub file so everyone involved can see the end result of this project.
The collection won't be sold, since this is not a self-publishing project. Instead, it will be given to all backers who pledge $10 or more as well as to teachers who've been part of the year (who can then share with students) if they'd like it. The collection can also be used, I hope, to show everyone proof of the impact a project like this can have.
Again, thanks for reading, and I hope you'll help me Spread the Word!
(Oh... if I raise more than my initial goal, I'll add one class visits for every extra $100 raised. I suppose it's possible that this will be so successful that I won't be able to do all the visits in one year (hey, a guy can dream), but then I will simply keep doing them until they're done and documenting as I go!)
- (41 days)