An Afternoon of Artistic Expression through Poetry and Jazz with 1st Graders

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Lift2Enrich After School Program at Westside Elementary School in Marietta, Georgia. It was a fun time of creative expression through poetry and jazz music. The children tapped their little feet, (tried to) snap their fingers, clapped, and danced! They loved hearing the different instruments found in Jazz music coupled with fun poems about kids playing basketball, taking a train ride, or dressing up in their momma's clothes!

I loved how attentive they were. When the music went faster, they danced and jumped for joy. When it slowed down, they closed their eyes and imagined what was happening in the poem. It's wonderful to see young people have a love for the arts. I began writing in elementary school, and still have a few poems, lyrics, and short stories. Writing is a talent!

Although my youngest client at Ivey Media Agency is 19, it's important to reach out to the next generations to encourage their love for writing and communications. The arts is an excellent starting point. For me, it doubled as an emotional outlet. While I was a foster child, I often turned to journaling for comfort. Today, I include it in the IRIS Book Series because I know that finding quiet time to reflect is priceless. The pictures included in this blog are the student's original artwork, showing how the poems made them feel and the topics of their favorite poems.

I shared from my favorite childhood poetry book by Eloise Greenfield, Honey I love. When I was a little girl in DC, I would take the metro bus to the MLK Library in downtown. There, I would listen to this book on cassette tape. I would close my eyes, use my imagination, and tap my feet. Just like the awesome kids at Westside Elementary. I found the entire book-on-tape on YouTube... I hope you enjoy it just as much as we did!

Learn more about Chinua Joi Ivey's speaking engagements and events on Instagram @IRISadvocate.


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