Stevens Elementary third graders build confidence as they find their voices at "Speak Out!" Club Poetry Slam.
By: Kayla Friedrich
[SPOKANE, Wash.] On Thursday, Stevens Elementary third graders rushed into the colorfully decorated Lair Conference Room to spend the day with Spokane Community College’s “Speak Out!” Communications Club for the “Find Your Voice” Poetry Slam.
Stevens Elementary students filled the room with laughter while they learned how to find the words to share their stories. SCC student volunteers, including the SCC men’s basketball team and English as a Second Language students, worked with Stevens Elementary to write four poems. Although topics varied, the goal was all the same — give students the tools and confidence to find their voice.
Being Stevens Elementary third graders’ only field trip for the year, “Speak Out!” club members and volunteers were determined to make it one for the books.
Marshall Wheatcroft was once a Stevens Elementary third grader seated next to an SCC student volunteer searching for the words and the nerves to be himself. Years later, his journey came full circle as he sat at the same round tables, this time as an SCC student volunteer.
“This may be their only field trip and I’m hoping to make this a good experience for them,” Wheatcroft said. “Some of these kids might’ve had a bad morning, or maybe a bad week, and it might not seem like a big deal, but for them to be surrounded by people who are positive and smiling will make the biggest difference.”
Wheatcroft said his third-grade field trip was the reason he jumped at the opportunity to get involved as an adult.
SCC student and “Speak Out!” Club President Amy Fain has been working with Stevens Elementary students for the last four years and said it was a real treat to step up as a leader in the group this year.
Fain appreciates the impact of good communication skills and enjoys giving students the chance to come out of their shells to empower their voices.
“I believe our intention that was most important with this year's Poetry Slam is helping the kiddos find their voice,” Fain said. “We encourage responsibility and independence through creativity. We want them to walk away from the Poetry Slam with confidence by letting them write their own poetry.”