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Project VOICE  

picture of WHS students at Project VOICE performance

picture of WHS students at Project VOICE performance

Watervliet High school students attend Project VOICE performance at the Troy Music Hall in November.

Students learn to express their voices through spoken word poetry

Watervliet High School students who attended a recent performance of Project VOICE at the Troy Music Hall are voicing a new-found appreciation of poetry and have become inspired to write their own poems.

More than 30 Watervliet students joined their peers from neighboring schools for a free performance featuring award-winning poets, performers and educators Franny Choi and Philip Kaye from Project VOICE—a national movement that celebrates and inspires youth self-expression through Spoken Word Poetry. Through the program, students are exposed to spoken word poetry, engaged to develop their voice and excited to share their ideas.

Toward the end of the performance, poets Choi and Kaye invited students, including Josie Munhall and Thomas Brown, on stage to participate and recite some of their own poetry. Following the show, the poets answered audience questions, posed for photos and signed autographs.

“After experiencing the performance many of my students are very interested in poetry recitation,” said Watervliet English teacher Mark Snyder. “It was a great introduction for students to learn more about spoken word poetry; in fact, several students have expressed interest in attending an event like this again.”

The field trip also provided students an opportunity to visit a local treasure and National Historic Landmark: the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in downtown Troy.

The local performance was made possible through the Riverfront Arts in Education Collaborative, a project facilitated by Questar III BOCES, which brings together arts and cultural institutions and schools in the Troy area to enrich teaching and learning through the arts. Participants include The Arts Center of the Capital Region, The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Sage Theatre Institute, Ellen Sinopoli Modern Dance Company and neighboring school districts—Troy, Rensselaer, Lansingburgh, Cohoes, Green Island and Watervliet.

More about Project VOICE

Project VOICE uses spoken word poetry to entertain, educate, and inspire. Through award-winning performances and innovative workshops, Project VOICE is dedicated to promoting empowerment, improving literacy, and encouraging empathy and creative collaboration in classrooms and communities around the world. Project VOICE has a lasting impact; students come away from a Project VOICE visit with a higher motivation to create, a belief in their own voice, and a desire to share and listen to each other’s stories.

Project VOICE has performed for audiences including National Poetry Slam, TED Conferences, HBO, NPR and Lincoln Center. Project VOICE is dedicated to promoting empowerment, improving literacy, and encouraging empathy and creative collaboration in classrooms and communities around the world.