National Student Poets Celebrate Poetry Month Across The United States

    National Student Poets Celebrate Poetry Month Across The United States

White House-Sponsored Poetry Program Sends Student Ambassadors into Diverse
Communities to Encourage the Art of Poetry

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, April 1, 2013

NEW YORK, April 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --At a time when the arts in schools are
being cut across the nation, America's inaugural class of National Student
Poets, five teenagers who serve as literary ambassadors for poetry, are
spending the month of April spreading the word about their craft. During
Poetry Month, each young poet will visit diverse communities across the United
States to host workshops and participate in events that encourage other young
people, interested adults, and educators to see poetry as a dynamic and
thriving literary form.


"Through reading and writing poetry, young people learn to be creative, think
critically, and broaden their horizons – and those lessons will stay with them
for the rest of their lives," said First Lady Michelle Obama. "I am proud of
these five young people, not only for working hard and expressing themselves
so beautifully, but also for challenging the rest of us to see the world in
new ways as well."

The National Student Poets are Luisa Banchoff, age 17, of Arlington, VA; Miles
Hewitt, age 18, of Vancouver, WA; Claire Lee, age 16, of New York, NY; Natalie
Richardson, age 17, of Oak Park, IL; and Lylla Younes, age 17, of Alexandria,
LA. They were selected by a renowned panel of jurors in 2012 from a pool of
outstanding writers, grades 9-11, who received a national Scholastic Art &
Writing Award for poetry through the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists &
Writers. The National Student Poets Program is the nation's highest honor for
youth poets and a signature initiative of the President's Committee on the
Arts and the Humanities in partnership with the Institute of Museum and
Library Services (IMLS), and the Alliance.

Each of the National Student Poets' eventsand community service projects
recognize the power of young writers to impart new skills, inspire their
peers, and engage others in the appreciation of poetry:

  oLuisa Banchoff and the Red Mountain Writing Project in Birmingham, AL will
    collaborate on student and teacher workshops focusing on the power of
    words in effecting change, honoring the 50^th anniversary of the Civil
    Rights Movement.
  oMiles Hewitt will organize and facilitate an At Home At School poetry
    workshop and performance for youth ages 6-12 at Washington State
    University, Vancouver.
  oClaire Lee will conduct a series of workshops for third- and
    fourth-graders to help students strengthen their reading and writing
    skills at the East Harlem Tutorial Program in New York City. Additionally,
    Claire will read original works at the annual Academy of American Poets
    gala, which directly benefits National Poetry Month.
  oNatalie Richardson will be featured as part of Feed Your Soul, a poetry
    festival for engaging those in the community who are new to poetry, hosted
    by 826michigan, Inside Out Literary Arts and the Detroit Public Library.
  oLylla Younes will conduct a workshop with inner-city youth in Albuquerque,
    NM in partnership with the New Mexico Department of Health and the
    National Hispanic Cultural Center.

For the most up-to-date information about the National Student Poets' events,
please visit the media room.

The National Student Poets Program reflects the national imprimatur of the
President's Committee in advancing arts education, links the National Student
Poets with audiences and resources in their respective geographic regions
through IMLS's community-based network of libraries and museums, and builds
upon the Alliance's long-standing work with educators and creative teens
through the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The winners of this
year's Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have recently been announced, kicking
off the selection process for the second class of National Student Poets, who
will be introduced in fall 2013. More information on the National Student
Poets Program can be found at

The National Student Poets Program is an initiative of the President's
Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library
Services, and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, in coordination with
the Library of Congress and the U.S. Department of Education. Academic awards
are provided by the Bernstein Family Foundation. More information on the
National Student Poets Program can be found at

The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) is an advisory
committee to the White House on cultural issues. Its core areas of focus are
arts and humanities education, cultural exchange, and community
revitalization. First Lady Michelle Obama, like other first ladies before her,
serves as honorary chairman of the committee.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the primary source of
federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Through
grant making, policy development, and research, we help communities and
individuals thrive through broad public access to knowledge, cultural
heritage, and lifelong learning. To learn more about IMLS, please visit

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, identifies
teenagers with exceptional creative talent and brings their remarkable work to
a national audience through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Founded in
1923, the Awards is the longest-running, most prestigious program of its kind,
having fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students through
recognition, exhibitions and publications. Over the past five years alone,
students have submitted nearly 900,000 pieces of work and over $45 million has
been made available in scholarships and awards to top winning participants.

SOURCE Scholastic Inc.

Contact: Anne Sparkman, Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, 212-343-6657,, or Angela Baggetta, Goldberg McDuffie
Communications, 212-705-4221,
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.