We held our first ever Jacket Slam the last Wednesday in April in honor of Poetry Month. This event began with a student who saw the promo for the Word Up event held in Bham. She decided that we needed to put together our own event and started a sign up sheet to see if there was enough interest from the student body.
Planning began in late February and she and a small committee of students promoted it by making posters. They created a form for students who wanted to participate and share their own original work. We included poems, short stories, rap/song, and skits. In the end we had 10 students perfom their work and each area was represented. We held the event in the library and had it set up like a cafe.
After each person performed the audience snapped their fingers to show their support (much like a beatnik). The library sold snacks to the audience during intermission as a small fundraiser, and the students who performed were able to have snacks after the event was over (for free of course).
I was very pleased with the poems performed and proud of the students who were willing to stand in front of their peers and share their personal work. The senior English teacher and I were the faculty sponsors and she was the MC while I videoed. One of our principals commended us on having the first McAdory Poetry event and has asked that we continue it next year in the fall and spring (hoping that it will empower other students to participate).
I truly loved seeing the students take control and plan and manage everything. We liked the intimacy of the library setting but would love for more students to be able to attend, so we may have to expand to the auditorium in the future.