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The Daly Elementary fourth-grade classes and some of their family members joined Daly faculty, staff and guest poet Dominic Farrenkopf in the Daly Den for the First Annual Poetry Jam Monday.

Fourth-grade teacher Angie Krasovich said the poetry jam was a collaboration by all team teachers for their English Language Arts unit on poetry.

“We decided it would be a fun way to celebrate the ELA objectives of speaking, listening, reading and writing while incorporating the basic fundamentals of poetry such as meter and rhyme,” Krasovich said.

Five poetry finalists from each fourth-grade class recited either an original poem or the published work of another poet. Most of the students had a costume or prop to go with their selection and many had props that required assistance from their classmates.

Reciting finalists included: Arianna Berry, Brayden Gibbs, Jade Jimenez, Peyton Stackhouse and Selina Neal from Kris Dandy’s class; Hunter Downing, Tallulah Pinjuv and Ciara Cook from Kathy Dickemore’s class; Jade Jackson, Kadence Cielslinski, Gwen Stratemeyer, Josh Kershaw and Phillip Whitman from Krasovich’s class; Boedy Tadvick, Taylor Yaskus, Avery Dowdy, Caitlyn Valenzano and Andrew Weston from Boone Nelson’s class; Anna Lewis, Olivia Zieglowsky, Katia Fain, Janie Porter and Meryn Leonardi from Sunni Stuber’s class

Students had made “tunnel books” for decorations. The 3D books are layers of paper frames with lines of haikus and illustrations. One student wrote a haiku titled “Beautiful Elk” that said, “Large and beautiful; They run through the mountainsides; They protect their young.”

Boedy Tadvick recited “Homework, I Love You” by Ken Nesbitt.

Tadvick’s dad, Jamie, said he enjoyed the event.

“The poetry jam is a great way to introduce kids to poetry,” Jaime Tadvick said. “The students put a lot of time into their poems and each of them did a great job. Hats off to the teachers for putting the jam together. It was a great afternoon listening to these talented students.”

Katia Fain recited “Skating” by E. E. Cummings and displayed her talent of speaking while using basic poetry fundamentals.

Her mother, Tasha Fain, attended the jam.

“It was great to see the hard work and creativity the students put into their presentations, and so important that the teachers are doing great work bringing the arts into the classroom,” Tasha Fain said.

Krasovich said that poetry inspires writing and encourages creative thinking.

“It often focuses on oral expression, expressing feelings and empathy with sophisticated language and vocabulary,” she said. “This is especially important in this day where social media discourages proper grammar. Reciting poetry in front of an audience also allows students the opportunity to conquer their fear of performing.”

Tallulah Pinjuv showed the crowd that she had no fear of performing by reciting “The Strange Restaurant” by Shel Silverstein. Pinjuv chose a team approach and had her classmates wear costumes of a fish, a cow and a chicken. The audience reaction was a boisterous round of applause.

Krasovich said reciting poetry from memory is important for brain development.

“Memorization is a crucial element in exercising the brain in order to help remember things, in turn giving it strength to retain more information,” she said. “This is a highly effective way for students to make their brains more receptive to learning,”

Kadence Cielinski impressed the crowd by memorizing and reciting “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore. The performance was complete with props of jingle bells, a Santa figurine and a cereal box that rattled.

When the student portion was complete, guest speaker Dominic “Flominic” Farrenkopf shared some of his original poetry with the students. He encouraged them to continue to explore poetry by reading and writing it.

“I get my poetry ideas from experiencing life,” Farrenkopf said. “When you get an idea for a poem, write the idea down right away or else you will forget it.”

Farrenkopf shared three silly poems that the children could relate to and then recited a cowboy poetry piece called “The Farmer’s Daughter.” When Farrenkopf introduced it as a “love poem,” the children all moaned and groaned. Farrenkopf delivered the poem and evoked a lot of laughter from the crowd with his surprise-twist punchline.

Cryss Andersen, mother of Tallulah Pinjuv, attended the jam and said it was one of the best.

“Students were rapt with attention to their peers as they recited their favorite poems from originals to the ever-popular Silverstein,” she said. “The crowd was delighted by the props that many reciters made and incorporated into their jam. Having a local hero, Mayor “Flominic the poet” Farrenkopf, in attendance to participate really resonated with the students; seeing poetry in action really sparked some imagination. The hard work by the students and educators was apparent and appreciated.”

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