April means poems and pockets!

April is National Poetry Month. But wait, don’t yawn, it’s not only about metaphors and syntax.

There are plenty of ways poetry comes alive in San Francisco’s public schools.

Teacher-librarian Tracy Heffernan, who teachers both at Francis Scott Key and Frank McCoppin Elementary Schools, describes how her schools celebrate poetry on the culmination of the special month, a day called Poem in Your Pocket Day (April 30):

“Poem in Your Pocket Day is a day set aside each year in April by the Poetry Foundation to celebrate and share poetry. At my schools we explore poetry for two weeks during library time and in the classroom.

“I have recycled/reclaimed book pockets and old catalog cards we use as materials, and baskets of poetry of all kinds in the classrooms and the library. At lunch, in the library and any time in the classroom, students read widely and either choose their favorite stanza from a published poem or create their own to write onto the back of the catalog card, place in their ‘pocket.’ They decorate and wear as a kind of necklace on the day to share with each other, all over the campus!”

She adds: “My students continue their exploration right through the end of the school year usually, they are so excited to discover poetry!”

Find out what your school is doing for National Poetry Month, and maybe even start a Poem in Your Pocket Day at your school.

For National Poetry Month, KALW and America SCORES Bay Area have teamed up to bring you Radio Poets, a program featuring the voices of young poets from San Francisco’s public schools.

Throughout April 2015, you can hear SFUSD students read their poems on KALW 91.7, Monday through Thursday at 3:19 p.m. and 8:58 p.m.