Planting Poet Trees: Sowing Seeds of Inspiration in Texas Public Schools

“Roosevelt is proud to announce we are 1 of 7 sites to be named as recipient of the Planting Poet Trees project! Thanks to our special guests Senator Menendez and Poet, Dr. Carmen Tafolla!”

On Friday, Oct. 16, State Poet Laureate of Texas Dr. Carmen Tafolla kicked off the Planting Poet Trees Project at Roosevelt High School in San Antonio.

The school is one of seven sites selected to take part in this exciting program to engage students in hands-on writing workshops free of charge. In total Planting Poet Trees will serve 20 schools across the state.

Each selected school will receive a writing workshop conducted by the State Poet Laureate of Texas, Dr. Carmen Tafolla, as well as more than $300 in books for their school libraries, and the chance to submit student poems for an anthology to be published by Wings Press in 2016.

The program is housed under the award-winning creative arts collaborative, Urban-15, which also sponsors an annual world-streamed poetry reading entitled Mega-Corazon, which participating schools will be invited to make a part of their school programs.

Help Plant Poet Trees through GoFundMe
Advisory Committee Co-Chairs Dr. Cuca Robledo Montecel, President and CEO of IDRA, and Dr. Rosita Apodaca, Senior Fellow at the Dallas Center of the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute for Learning, set up a GoFundMe account to cover the program’s costs. Donations have started coming in from as far away as Ireland! To help plant Poet Trees in the next round of 13 schools, go to: https://www.gofundme.com/ka567scs

About State Poet Laureate, Dr. Carmen Tafolla
Tafolla, invested in May 2015 by the Texas State Legislature as State Poet Laureate, is an internationally published poet and educator with strong community involvement in all parts of this state and an award-winning author of both children’s and adult works. With books ranging from poetry and short stories to children’s books, Tafolla has conducted writing workshops in English and Spanish and for audiences of all ages. 

An Associate Professor of Bicultural, Bilingual Studies at The University of Texas at San Antonio, Tafolla’s first step in making her PPT project a reality was to approach UTSA's Dr. Betty Merchant, Dean of the College of Education and Human Development, and the chair of the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies, Dr. Belinda Flores, and request their support for this project, which would focus on 20 Texas public schools that serve students from low-income families.  Both responded enthusiastically, allowing Tafolla an alternate assignment working in these schools, and also allotting some travel monies, making UTSA’s College of Education and Human Development the first donor to the Planting Poet Trees project.

For more Information on Carmen Tafolla 
For teacher and student resources on Tafolla’s work
For more info on Planting Poet Trees, contact: Josh López, Workshop Coordinator