WSHS students bring Power to Poets club to Cherrington Elementary

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Westerville South High School junior Nabiha Ilkaqor launched the Power to Poets club this year to help her peers — within and beyond WSHS — express themselves through poetry. 

On Monday, the club expanded their outreach to fifth-graders at Cherrington Elementary, where Ilkaqor and other WSHS students introduced students to the expansive world of poetry.

“We understood there was a lack of an outlet for students, especially elementary kids, to express themselves and we wanted to build a passion for them to keep going, not only in school but in other forms of arts,” said Ilkaqor, who started the club as part of her Take Action project for the Global Scholars Diploma program. The group had previously visited and worked with students at Emerson Elementary.

During their visit, WSHS students hosted stations throughout Cherrington’s cafeteria, where they explored various forms of poetry such as blackout poetry, limericks, free-verse poetry and narrative poetry.

High schoolers helped the young students create their own poems with the theme of things or experiences that have made them bloom or grow.

Fifth-grader teacher Alison McKinley said the visit offered a great opportunity to expose students to poetry and a different way of thinking about the written word. And having the high school students lead the lessons was especially meaningful.

“I hope (the fifth-graders) get the experience of hearing from other students the importance of language arts,” she said.

“These kids are coming back and taking the time out of their day to teach kids something they are really passionate about in ELA and it’s a really tricky subject… It gives them the little tools when they go to middle school that now they realize that language arts can be fun and has lots of different components to it.”