Apr 2015: Spoken Wordfest

On Sunday, April 12th GovsPLUS scholars joined Govs students and students from other local independent high schools for the 2nd Annual NEIS Spoken Wordfest. It is always fun when our students get a chance to reconnect with one another, but it also a great opportunity for Ms. Cruz and Ms. Honorato to get to know more about each scholar and their upbringing.

Urban Word NYC artist Chris was an energetic facilitator, leading GovsPLUS scholars in a spoken word workshop that explored their identities. Chris shared a bit of his own work first so we could get to know him and then scholars read some model poems. After that, they each crafted their own poem about where they are from.


Some students were excited to share their work with the group, while others were a bit hesitant. In the end, every student shared at least a line of their poetry. It was amazing to see how open and honest everyone was. We learned about students’ families and what typical Sunday mornings look like in their homes. Many students incorporated detailed imagery using all five of their senses. We had a great debate on how incorporating other languages could be a powerful literary tool.

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GovsPLUS scholars are talented, budding writers! After the intimate workshop, we headed to dinner in the dining hall. We ended the night with the Spoken Wordfest open-mic. High school students who had worked on their poetry all day performed their work on stage and the Urban Word NYC artists entertained the crowd.

Here is Ish tearing up the stage.

Here is Ish tearing up the stage.

Unfortunately we ran out of time so none of our GovsPLUS scholars managed to get a turn on stage. Many breathed a sigh of relief when we let them know it was time to head to the bus. I guess we will have to save our spoken word performances for the summer program!

Speaking of the summer, the GovsPLUS staff are hard at work planning for this year’s program which will run from June 29 – July 31. We are happy to report that we have received over 50 (!) applications from 7th and 8th graders throughout Lawrence who would like to join GovsPLUS this summer. Ms. Honorato and Ms. Cruz are reading through these applications and conducting interviews and hope to admit students in the next couple of weeks.We are excited to have some new, ambitious students join our group!

GovsPLUS is looking forward to out next event on Saturday, May 9th at The Governor’s Academy. Scholars can reconnect with GovsPLUS alumni in the 9th grade who will talk about their transition to high school, followed by dinner and a movie.

DinnerMoviePhotoSince it is our last event of the school-year, we hope everyone will be able to make it! GovsPLUS scholars should also be on the lookout for an invitation in the mail for a “Meet and Greet” in Lawrence towards the end of May where their families can meet the staff over dinner and get tons of information (and required paperwork!) for this summer’s program.

¡Hasta la próxima mes! (Until next month!)


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