Saskatoon kids waxing poetic about their past & future

Students at St. Frances Elementary School are taking a turn in the world of spoken word poetry in Saskatoon.

Elementary students collaborate with some of the city's poets

The weekly meeting of young poets. Jordan Schultz, student Madison Pahtayken and Kevin Wesaquate (L-R) (Britainy Robinson)

It doesn't have to rhyme and there's no set formula. This poetry class is about as far away from Roses are Red as you can get.

For the last few weeks students at St. Frances Elementary School in Saskatoon have been sitting down to write poetry with spoken word artists.

The project was to create pieces of poetry about their history, culture and Cree language.

A big part of this project is performance. At first, students were to shy to share their poems.

"They would get the Facilitators to read it for them," explained project co-ordinator Desiree Macauley. "Since then, I've seen tremendous growth. They went from that to standing up and reading in front of the class. That's a huge accomplishment!"

It goes beyond the confidence to perform. The students say poetry has also given them a chance to vent about their lives and deal with problems.

"It helped me get my anger out." Madison Pahtayken said, "It helps me take it out of my mind and body and get it onto paper. Then I can either crumple that paper up and throw it away or share it."

Jordan Schultz is a spoken word artist in Saskatoon. He said poetry gives young people a voice and another option.

It gives them "the idea that they can use something so simple as the spoken word and create beautiful pieces, express themselves and use it as a teaching tool," Schultz explained.

A few of the students will be making their big debut Wednesday night. They will be featured performers at the Oskayak High School Gala at the Broadway Theatre.