In Dr. Michelle Ciminelli’s Foundations in Literacy course, students explore the benefits of poetry, including its emotional appeal and the ability it gives its writers to express information in a nontraditional way.
These benefits were exemplified in April, during National Poetry Month and the shutdowns instituted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Ciminelli thought the timing of these events would provide her student with a practical way to study course content while reaching out to others.
“We decided to write Haiku poems to display in a public forum to uplift and encourage people in this time of uncertainty,” she said.
The students, who are all education majors, responded to the idea with enthusiasm and creativity, Dr. Ciminelli said. Many wrote poems of encouragement on sidewalks, posted in public spaces, or shared on social media. Their inspiring words helped to spread joy and build hope in others, while enabling them feel like they were still "teaching" in some small way.