HCSTF Helps Slam Poetry Club Keep Climbing

March 24, 2014 (North Bergen, NJ) – Andrea Gibson, renowned spoken word artist, will visit High Tech High School for an in-depth poetry workshop and a performance this June thanks to a partial grant from the HCST Foundation, announced Linda J. Quentzel, Executive Director of the Foundation.

Photo of Andrea Gibson

Gibson’s visit, which was facilitated by Mr. Brian Mooney who teaches English at High Tech, will focus on students in High Tech’s Slam Poetry Club, which Mr. Mooney moderates.

“Bringing Andrea Gibson to High Tech builds on the past success of the Slam Poetry Club and ‘Word Up,’ our signature event,” says Mooney. Previous guest poets have included Pushcart Prize-winner Jon Sands and Shira Erlichman (Shira E.), whose work has appeared on NPR and other national television outlets.

Gibson, who was the inaugural champ at the Women’s World Poetry Slam and whose work has been featured in major news outlets around the world, was requested by the students. Ms. Gibson’s visit offers students the chance to learn from a respected working artist in a professional workshop setting. She will also perform her award-winning poetry as the Featured Poet at the “Word Up” showcase.

“The grant is truly a blessing,” continues Ms. Horan, “Without the Foundation’s help the students would have had to supplement the extra cost of a custom tour on their own.”

Linda J. Quentzel, Executive Director of the HCST Foundation, says, “Helping students experience the world in a memorable way is at the heart of the Foundation’s mission, and we are excited to help this group see beyond their neighborhoods.”

“Few schools across the country are as supportive of hip hop and spoken word projects, curriculum and events, as HCST,” says Mooney, “The Foundation grant represents the district’s real commitment to experiential and student-interest driven learning.”

Linda J. Quentzel, Executive Director of the HCST Foundation, said, “The Slam Poetry Club has allowed students a unique literacy learning experience. Mr. Mooney and his students represent the kind of student-oriented, real-world learning that we are always proud to sponsor.”

Mr. Mooney and his Slam Poetry club plan to compete in the 2015 Brave New Voices competition and hope to bring poets like Gibson and Sands back as resident artists in the future.

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