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Students Gear Up for Living Poetry

On Wednesday, December 7, more than 1,200 students from Madison Middle School, Clark-Moores Middle School, Foley Middle School, Estill County Middle School, Rockcastle County Middle School and Berea Community Elementary School traveled to Berea College to participate in Poetry Alive!, an educational program from Asheville, NC that brings poetry to life through performances acted out by traveling actors.

Students and staff participate in Gear Up's Poetry Alive program.

The team travels yearly across the United States, exposing thousands of children to the wonderful world of poetry.

During the hour long presentation, a team of 2 performers “act out” several well known poems like “Casey at the Bat” and “The Highwayman”. Students are also exposed to poetry that is age appropriate and easy to understand. Focusing on such topics as life transitions like “The Eviction” and “Which Lunch Table?” Fun poems like “In Just” by e.e. cummings and “The Bells” by Edgar Allen Poe were also presented with students volunteering to become a part of the performance.

Founded in 1984, Poetry Alive conducted its first show in McDibb's music hall in Black Mountain, North Carolina. In the 20 years since its conception, Poetry Alive! has performed for over 7,000,000 children across all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan, South Korea, China, and Peru. Each year Poetry Alive! conducts approximately 2,200 performances, over 700 classroom follow-ups, and 100 teacher workshops for an estimated 600,000 students nationwide.

Poetry Alive! was sponsored by the Berea College GEAR UP Partnership, a federal grant program that endeavors to “provide GEAR UP students with the educational foundation necessary to complete a rigorous curriculum and to enroll in college.”

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