2009-08-21 / Community

Environmentors Pen Nature Poems

Environmentors enjoying the sun and becoming familiar with the soil. Environmentors enjoying the sun and becoming familiar with the soil. Last week, members of Rockaway Waterfront Alliance's Environmentor Justice Program explored poetry as it relates to the natural environment, conservation, and a shared responsibility. The students all wrote pieces that reflected not only their general emotions about their surroundings, but also ways that they vowed to help make the Earth a better place.

A student from the after-school program, Vivian Ogu, composed a piece that moved many of the other students as well as the educators.

Educator Iemanja Brown led the students and was excited by not only their level of engagement, but the depth to many of the poems.

"Many of the students took to the subject really well - some needed a little more time than others, but they all seemed to catch on to the entire idea of how writing poetry can be a powerful way to convey ideas and concepts in regards to the environment," said Brown.

The students will work towards presenting their poetry on large, selfmade, recycled paper in the coming weeks. Select poems will also be used to complete the Signage Art Installation which will travel on the boardwalk between Beach 9 Street and Beach 35 Street. Following the poetry session students had the opportunity to help with the maintenance of their garden, which has begun to sprout mesclun lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, and an assortment of herbs. "I believe that it is important for the students to not only be able to emotionally express their ideas surrounding the environment, but also be able to physically interact," said Devona Sharpe, Program/Event Coordinator with RWA. "It is really different from what they experience within their normal school day, but it moves the students one step closer to building a lasting relationship with the environment to truly become stewards."

"Do You Recall" by Vivian Ogu Students planting new seeds of cucumber and watermelon. Students planting new seeds of cucumber and watermelon.
Do you recall the yard you had as a
child?
The time you played and planted
fruits?
The times you pulled up flowers just
to smell the freshness?
Or times you just came out back and
looked up at the
Stars
Just to see their beauty?
Do you recall
Times you have seen the mountainside
covered in snow
Or trees being warmed by the sun
and bringing new

Births of leaves?
Do you recall
Times you threw on a snowsuit to
play with friends
Or times it was so hot that you
jumped into water to
Feel it against your skin?
Do you recall
Times you lay on grass and felt the
wind through your
Hair?
Times you had barbeques and
watched as the smoke rose?
Do you recall?

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