If You Give a Child a Word, You Open up Their World
Thank You Darlin’ Foundation, a local non-profit that promotes youth literacy through poetry and art-based enrichment programs for underserved schools and community centers across North Texas, has announced the return of their annual in-person Voice2Youth™ Poetry Slam on April 16, 2022 at 1:00 pm. The afternoon of poetry will take place at the historic I.M. Terrell Academy for Stem and VPA.
The Voice2Youth™ Poetry Slam is open to the community — the foundation welcomes any poetry lover seeking to support these young poets. After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the vibrant voice of DFW youth will once again take the stage to compete as an individual poet or as a poetry team in three select categories, including elementary (3rd – 5th grade), middle (6th – 8th grade), and high school (9th – 12th grade). A prestigious panel of local judges will select a winner in each category to receive a cash prize. Launched in 2006 in partnership with the Keller Independent School District and later with the Fort Worth Independent School District, the grassroots organization is thrilled for this major comeback, bigger and better, at one of the original poetry slam locations — I.M. Terrell Academy for Stem and VPA.
When asked about the return of the Voice2Youth™ Poetry Slam, event organizer and Thank You Darlin’ Foundation Executive Director, Carolyn West said, “I’m so excited to partner with I. M. Terrell, the first free public school for African Americans in the history of Fort Worth! Together, we’re giving voice to some remarkable kids from diverse backgrounds and bringing back the poetry slam live and in person.”
The event plans to welcome more than 40 competitors to the stage of I.M. Terrell and will host a unique lineup of previous winners who will serve as sacrificial poets throughout the day’s event. Slam participants and audience members will become a part of a long and valuable Fort Worth legacy in the newly remodeled auditorium of I.M. Terrell. The school is a hallmark for education, innovation, and creativity; as the first free public school in Fort Worth for Black students, the historic school has continued to build its legacy. In recent years, the school reopened in 2018 as the I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA after a restoration and construction project. The academy has since equally prioritized the importance of art alongside traditional technologies and sciences, making it the perfect home for the Voice2Youth™ Poetry Slam!
The deadline to register poetry teams and individual poets is March 25, 2022. Schools and individual students can register online at https://tydfoundation.org/. The school registration fee is $125 and covers ten students and two teachers or coaches. All funds will benefit Thank You Darlin’ Foundation’s literacy and art programs in marginalized and underserved schools throughout the year and ensure the annual Voice2Youth™ Poetry Slam continues its impact on young poets. Donations for $5 or more are welcome. You can make a secure online donation today https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=AE9SBW68AHP8C&source=url.
“If you give a child a word, you open up their world.” Ms. West continued. The non-profit founder is passionate about giving all young voices a platform to shine and invites the North Texas community to join in.