Founded in 1964, California Poets in the Schools is one of the largest literary artists-in-residence programs in the nation. We encourage students throughout California to recognize and celebrate their creativity, intuition, and intellectual curiosity through the creative poetry writing process. We provide students with a multicultural community of published poets, specially trained to bring their experience and love for their craft into the classroom.
CPitS serves 25,000 students annually, in hundreds of public and private schools, juvenile halls, after-school programs, hospitals, and other community settings. We also partner with the California Arts Council to broadcast the Poetry Out Loud recitation program to high schools and audiences throughout the state.
The basic residency model includes a series of in-class, hands-on poetry writing workshops that encourage literacy skills: writing, reading and oral presentation. Curriculum is tailored to individual teachers needs with a focus on “success for all” young poets.
Some schools or classrooms choose to publish poetry anthologies; your visiting poet can help with this. We also strive to publish student work in the wider community.
1333 Balboa Street, #3, San Francisco, CA 94118
Visiting poets work closely with classroom staff to design and implement a series of hands-on creative poetry writing workshops. The workshops reach students at all skill levels, including those who need ELD/bilingual support. Each session includes introduction, creative brainstorming, warm-up poems, and silent writing time. Students are mentored to bring their own life experiences into the creative writing process. Writing tools such as alliteration, simile, metaphor, hyperbole, juxtaposition, line, stanza, meter and rhyme are taught in the context of inspiring intellectual curiosity, imagination and the creative process.
Visiting poets like to connect poetry with core curriculum like social studies, science, watershed studies, local history and visual art. Let your visiting poet know what matters so they will design a program that fits your needs. CPitS is experienced with multicultural and multilingual students, and always includes model poems from a variety of literary traditions, geared to YOUR students’ skills.
Each school needs to arrange time schedule that fits their needs with the visiting poet.
Workshop sessions take approximately 1 hour. Visiting poet will typically schedule 3 sessions per school site per day. Suggest a series of 3-5 workshops in each classroom.
Poetry writing workshops use the regular classroom space. Garden/outdoor field trip or Haiku Hikes by arrangement!
San Mateo and Santa Clara County. Santa Cruz County by arrangement.
Sessions cost the school $75/per. Visiting poet brings most supplies. If the school wants to produce an anthology or other showcase event, this would be at additional cost, by arrangement.
We like to communicate fully beforehand to avoid surprises! Considering that our poets live and work throughout the Bay Area, and that school schedules are very tight, we want to work together to make the best program for your school needs.