Charity launches national spoken word project to support schools

Eastside Educational Trust has launched a new national funded creative project designed to enhance the creative writing and oracy skills of young people.

SPOKEN WORD POWER is a 3 year national spoken word poetry programme for school age young people. SPOKEN WORD POWER embeds spoken word poetry teaching, practice, writing and performance skills into the nation’s school life. By first providing young people with the support to create and perform their own spoken word poetry, then supporting schools to provide a platform to showcase their work, SPOKEN WORD POWER will engage a whole new generation of primary and secondary school students with the spoken word art form.

Matt Lane, Eastside Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director said: “Creative education in many schools across the nation continues to be threatened by Covid restrictions, demanding STEM targets and reduced budgets. At Eastside, we believe that training in the arts is more important than ever.

“The three year project that we are launching today, SPOKEN WORD POWER, will provide thousands of young people with exciting opportunities to use the spoken word to develop their creative thinking, unlock their imaginations, broaden their horizons and build up their confidence. The project will support young people to articulate their opinions and develop their voices, approaching key issues with a critical mind and a positive attitude.”

James Bridge, UKNC Chief Executive and Secretary-General, commented: “The UK Commission for UNESCO is delighted to work with Eastside Educational Trust and partners in supporting SPOKEN WORD POWER. The project and the young people’s poems are inspiring and help unlock creative potential. The SPOKEN WORD POWER poetry slams are a key contribution to UNESCO celebrations on World Poetry Day.”

Through participation, young people will develop the confidence, skills and creative acumen to write and perform their own spoken word poetry, showcased at over 180 school slam events, 15 major regional spoken word events (celebrating World Poetry Day) while becoming published in annual SPOKEN WORD POWER anthologies.

Matilda Thaddeus-Johns, Eastside Schools Programme Manager said: “We are excited by the potential of this project, and would like to encourage as many schools as possible to engage with our free classroom resources online to get their pupils writing and performing their very own original spoken word poetry.

“This year’s theme is Speaking My Truth and Eastside’s experience of running poetry programmes for schools has demonstrated just how effective spoken word poetry is in enabling young people to find their voice whilst accessing the English curriculum in new and exciting ways.”

By first providing young people with the support to create and perform their own spoken word poetry, then supporting schools to provide a platform to showcase their work, SPOKEN WORD POWER will engage a whole new generation of primary and secondary school students with the spoken word.

Find out more https://www.eastside.org.uk/eastside_programmes/spoken-word-power

World Poetry day is on 21 March https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/worldpoetryday

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