Book distribution intended to spark poetic creativity for students

Published: May. 28, 2020 at 7:06 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — For the fourth year running, two area nonprofits teamed up to provide the youth of the area with some summer inspiration.

Each year, the Olseth Family Foundation has given a grant to the Greater Mankato Area United Way’s Fourth-Grade Book Project.

The initiative gifts 1,700 students with Shel Silverstein’s ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends,' a poetry book well known nationally.

On Thursday, the books were presented in front of teachers and staff via a Zoom call where students each read a poem they had written this school year.

"I can’t go to school today said little Piggy Anne McKay.

I have the measles and the mumps, a gash, a rash and purple bumps.

My mouth is wet, my throat is dry, I’m going blind in my right eye.

My tonsils are as big as rocks and I’ve counted 16 chickenpox.

If there is more that's 17, and don't you think my face looks green?

My leg is cut, my eyes are blue, it might be Instamatic flu.

I cough, I sneeze, I gasp, I choke... I'm sure that my left leg is broke.

My hip hurts when I move my chin. My belly button is caving in.

My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained, my appendix pains every time it rains.

My nose is cold, my toes are numb. I have a sliver in my thumb.

My neck is stiff, my voice is weak. I hardly whisper when I speak.

My tummy is filling up my mouth. I think my hair is falling out.

My elbow is bent, my spine ain’t straight. My temperature is 108.

My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear. There is a hole inside my ear.

I have a hangnail... what? What’s that you say? You say today is... Saturday? Goodbye, I’m going out to play," read Morgan Stewart, a student at Hoover Elementary School.

“It’s really important for children to think of things creatively,” said Barb Kaus, CEO of the Greater Mankato Area United Way. “Having poetry, it’s a way they can branch out into that avenue of literacy.”

Schools will be distributing the books during their supply pickup days.

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