This month Heritage Elementary School, your Glendale charter school, is holding its Celebration for the Arts on Thursday, January 28. This event will include the Talent Show, Art Showcase, Art Auction, and a dinner. Tickets are available in the office for $5 before the event, and cost $8 at the door.

January will also feature our Poetry Contest. The guidelines and entry packets will be distributed the week students return to school from winter break. Winning poems will be framed and displayed in the front office, as well as featured in the school yearbook. Students who win will celebrate with a special pizza lunch (parents are invited to join them). We invite all students to set pen to page or tap away on the keyboard to capture their own thoughts, feelings, stories, and ideas in free verse or form.

To inspire your budding poet, you’ll find here a mix of children’s poems in different styles and veins, as well as encouraging quotations from poets.


By Shel Silverstein

If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!


“Children spend their whole lives talking, listening, reading, and dreaming in one language (or more, if they are lucky), so why not encourage them to do all those things in the most pleasurable possible way—with poetry. Great poetry is a circus for the brain. It’s ten pounds of excitement in a nine-pound bag. But children won’t know what that means unless we offer them the best. Soon, they’ll be asking for second and third helpings. Even though few children will become poets, poetry helps them realize that one of the most phenomenal gifts humans get free of charge is the English language. And there is nothing in any language more beautiful, more inspiring and thought-provoking than poetry.” – J. Patrick Lewis, 2011 Children’s Poet Laureate

Zoophabet: Ants to Zorillas

By Avis Harley

Ants use antennae to seek out their tracks,

Beavers gnaw trees for their lodge,

Camels store food in the humps on their backs,

Dragonflies dazzle and dodge,

Elephant trunks furnish watery flings,

Flamingoes eat shrimp to keep pink;

Grasshoppers’ ears appear under their wings,

Hummingbirds hover to drink,

Inchworms advance with a rear-ended loop,

Jellyfish sometimes can sting,

Kestrels catch lunch with a lightning-like swoop,

Larks love to warble and sing,

Moles tunnel intricate malls underground,

Newts thrive in ponds filled with weed,

Owls like to swivel their heads right around,

People can learn how to read,

Quetzals are gorgeous in feathery dress,

Rats have acquired a bad label,

Seahorse appears like a figure in chess,

Tortoise found fame in a fable,

Umber-birds thrive in the African wild,

Vipers can poison their prey,

Worms turn the soil when the climate is mild,

Xylophage chews wood all day,

Yaks grow in horns that are gracefully curled,

Zorillas are striped black and white;

each zooabet creature is part of this world:

unique, with its own copyright!


“Poems come from your more secret mind. A poem will want to ask deeper questions, higher questions, more puzzling questions and often too more satisfying questions than the everyday obvious questions than the story of your life would tell.” – James Berry, distinguished children’s poet


By Jane Yolen

Jack was quite nimble,

Jack was quite quick,

Jack gave the beanstalk

A mighty big kick.


Down came the giant—


Bottoms up in a crater,

Thus ending it all.


“Poetry is important because it manages to say in words things that you can’t otherwise say, often, it manages to express people’s love, people’s grief, people’s loss and intense moments of their lives and poetry somehow captures these moments that people go through, that we all go through, in various different ways in our lives and expresses for us what usually cannot be articulated. Poetry gives a voice to the voiceless…really.” – Jackie Kay, award-winning writer of fiction, poetry, and plays

Taking One for the Team

By Sara Holbrook

We practiced together,

sweat and stained.

We pummeled each other

and laughed off pain.

Teams may disagree,

may tease,

may blame.

Teams may bicker and whine,

but get down for the game.


You had my back.

We fought the fight.

And though our score

was less last night,

we’re walking tall.

Our team came through

and stuck together like Crazy Glue.

I’m proud to say

I lost with you.


“Good children’s poetry can distill an idea or an emotion into a short and memorable “package” that can broaden a child’s perspective on the world. Poetry is perhaps the most playful of all exercises for building children’s growing brains and minds.” – Kenn Nesbit, Children’s Poet Laureate


By Tato Laviera

pues estoy creando spanglish

bi-cultural systems

scientific lexicographical

inter-textual integrations

two expressions

existentially wired

two dominant languages

continentally abrazándose

en colloquial combate

en las aceras del soil

imperio spanglish emerges

control pandillaje

sobre territorio bi-lingual

las novelas mexicanas

mixing with radiorocknroll

condimented cocina lore


nasal mispronouncements

baraja chismeteos social club

hip-hop prieto street salsa

corner soul enmixturando

spanish pop farándula

standard english classroom

with computer technicalities

spanglish is literally perfect

spanglish is ethnically snobbish

spanglish is cara-holy inteligencia

which u.s. slang do you speak?

Useful Links

Poetry Foundation: This independent literary organization seeks to discover and celebrate poetry and share it with the largest audience possible. They have poems, articles, biographies about poets, and a section dedicated to children’s poetry.

Children’s Poetry Archive: A project of the Arts Council of England. It includes interviews with poets, some of which include readings of their work, and a poetry archive.

Poetry for Children: A blog dedicated to sharing poetry with children and young people. The site includes poems for various age groups and articles.

The Miss Rumphius Effect: The blog of a teacher who discusses poetry and children’s literature. She posts short articles and introduces poetic forms, as well as sharing poetry. The website of children’s poet Kenn Nesbitt features poetry, games, and links to all sorts of fun and educational topics.