This summer, LitCorps interns worked in classrooms throughout New York City to implement LitCamp in partnership with the New York City Department of Education and Scholastic. Our inaugural LitCorps class wrote a poem as a reflection of their time with the kids and as encouragement to future LitCorps members:
From Brooklyn to Rhode Island,
We all come our separate ways.
Our ideas about literacy aligned
Learning new information in a daze.
Commuting with a canvas bag
Full of pencils and post-its,
Vibing on some LitWorld swag
And hoping not to get roasted.
I seriously cannot believe
I spilled coffee on my dress.
These kids are gonna call me out
For looking like a mess.
Sure enough, I get to school
And they point at the stain.
"I know," I sigh and explain,
"I spilled my coffee on the train."
We laugh and then they hug me.
Kids are funny that way:
They'll notice your coffee spill
And always hug you anyway.
They collaborate in twos and threes
They help each other read and write
They dance and freeze for all to see
I wonder if they’ll take a bite
Into the imagination of books
Infinite possibilities for expansion of mind
Full of endless crannies and nooks
It helps the most when they are kind
A constellation of fingers
explode with shooting stars
A stack of folders is piled up
and stuffed with fresh memoirs
We wrestle with blank stares
And lure creativity out their mind
Leaning over empty pages
Asking “who, what, where, when, why?”
That feeling when you plant a question
And watch a forest of raised hands grow
And every kid gives their best shot
Even when there are answers they don’t know
Some teachers may challenge your thoughts
And discourage you from being eager,
But these kids could grow to be astronauts
Or passionate English teachers!
Be flexible, be kind,
Be open to new things.
Take it one day at a time --
You’ll see them spread their wings.
The children may yell and scream,
Their small voices will grow bigger by one another
Until peace seems a distant dream
And all of their words blend together.
But when they stop for a moment,
When the words you read reach their ears,
Stop and listen to the quiet
And then welcome their thoughts, questions, and ideas.
And if they begin again,
Not two minutes after they’ve stopped,
Be patient and count to ten
And remember the moment
When each one was a scholar, and all of them felt on top.
We hope for all to see
Us coming together to form a bond
That will take LitCorps to new places and beyond.
We are so grateful to the LitCorps for what they accomplished in leading students to become confident Super Readers and writers and for their thoughtful reflection on their time in each special classroom.
As a special culminating project, the LitCorps worked on a LitCamp publication -- a digital zine of the experience and outcomes of LitCamp!