I am sure you have seen the posters, which have been hung up everywhere, announcing the new AG, Poetry Café! Every Tuesday after school, from 14:30-15:50. Mrs Titilayo Adedokun-Helm & Mrs Heike Brunner are offering this awesome workshop, in room 5.14 or 5.16. This extra mural creates a unique space in which students from grades 5-12 can express their creativity through poetry, without the feeling of pressure that one experiences in school. If you are a young and budding poetry writer or a person who just likes poetry and wants to start writing your own, then this is the right AG for you!
Mrs Adedokun-Helm’s daughter, Sahara, who is in grade 5, drives her mother up the wall making up rhymes the whole time! Unfortunately, Mrs Adedokun-Helm found that Sahara never had the chance to recite poems at school in events like the Poetry Slam, because other children were chosen to perform their poems. This is how the idea of the Poetry Café arose. She thought that other children at the school might also like to have the chance to write poetry and recite in front of other students, without having to compete with one another. To enable students to have this opportunity, she decided to start an extra mural for students to share their poetry with others. Mrs Adedokun-Helm asked her good friend, Mrs Brunner, who also has a child at the DSK, to help lead the AG with her.
Their aim is not only for students to be able to share, recite and write their poetry but also to help children develop their poetry. Mrs Brunner said that the extra mural is not only for the super poetry writers, but also for also for kids who would like to write poetry but feel like their ideas are not good enough, those who ask “where do I start?”, or who just don’t like to sit and work alone. The Poetry Café environment provides a platform for both of these needs.
In the first 5-10 minutes of the Poetry Café sessions, Mrs Adedokun-Helm and Mrs Brunner let the children do some exercises to loosen them up and to get them to know each other. The next step is to ask the participants if anyone has poetry which they would like to present to the class. Often the students are very shy and so the two mothers give them exercises, like writing as silly poem on a chosen theme. On the first day, for example, they let the students swap names and write a poem on the name they got. Mrs Adedokun-Helm made it clear that they do not intend to put up any sort of curriculum, so as not to make the poetry café a school-lesson-like experience for students. This does not mean that the lessons are not planned. No. But the Poetry Café is supposed to be student orientated. The point is that the kids can express their creative talent. “It’s really not about what we want, it’s what about the participants want”, says Mrs Brunner.
Not only is this Poetry Café a great idea, it is also lead by people who know what they are talking about. Not only does Mrs Adedokun-Helm raise three children and runs family property, she is also a singer. She studied opera but also does jazz and performs in musicals. Mrs Brunner is an actress and a voice over artist, which obviously is exactly the right type of person for an extra mural like this.
Now if this is not an awesome AG and a great chance to learn, create and enjoy, then I do not know what is. So take up this opportunity and join, even if the extra mural has already been running for several weeks. Take part in the Poetry Café!
With many thanks to Mrs Adedokun-Helm and Mrs Brunner!