McKinley students celebrate poetry in the garden

June 20, 2018 Ariama Long
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Among pitched tents and tables set up in the Narrows Botanical Gardens– in Shore Road Park at 71st Street– were 12 eager William McKinley I.S. 259 students presenting poetry and artwork on June 10.  

The misty Sunday afternoon was described as cozy by Language Arts Teacher Jessica Amato, who volunteers in the botanical gardens and holds her school events there when she can.

“In the park with poetry, that’s natural,” said Amato, “it brings something that you can’t capture in a classroom.”

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About 50 people with their lawn chairs and light umbrellas watched the students showcase their work at the podium. One student would hold up the artwork while another read the poetry inspired by said work. The series of artwork and writing included four different categories.

The categories were based on New York postcards, a picture that represents the student’s identity, a picture from their neighborhood, and elements of old Bay Ridge.

Some students discussed motivations for their pieces from these categories, and expanded on ideas like liberty and freedom or paid tribute to Bay Ridge’s famous icons.

Amato said, “It was a community effort to promote literacy, art and a love of the art of poetry, which is dying. That was the mission.”

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