We love to hear about arts-incubating programs that were inspired by programs or ideas shared on the Library as Incubator Project, such as the Garden of Poetry at Branksome Hall Asia, an all-girl international boarding school in Korea. The teacher-librarian, Taryn Berghuis, got the idea in part from the PoeTree installation at Lawrence Public Library. Read on for how the program came to be! ~Laura
The poetry garden outside of the Branksome Hall Asia school library.
Library as Incubator Project (LAIP): How did the poetry garden come to be? What was the impetus for doing this project?
Taryn Berghuis (TB): The Grade Two students were in the middle of a inquiry into poetry. Coincidently, this coincided with both poetry month and poem in your pocket day. Two events that the library were advocating and celebrating. The classroom teachers and the library team are always looking for authentic ways to collaborate and we thought poetry would be a wonderful opportunity. At the same time I saw a tweet from the Library as Incubator Project about the PoeTree installation set up by Lawrence Public Library and thought we could use this as an inspiration to develop a project that would suit our context.
LAIP: Why did you feel like this was an important or compelling project to do in the school library?
TB: It was an opportunity for the library to collaborate with the Gr 2 teachers and students in a meaningful way. We also thought it was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the students’ work in a more creative way. The completed project celebrated both the individual and collective creativity of the students, it promoted poetry, and showed students the power of creating a piece together. The project highlighted one of the many ways that the library can work with teachers and students.
LAIP: What advice or “next time I’d…” ideas do you have for librarians who might be interested in doing a similar project?
TB: Next time, I would give the project more time – I felt like we were a little rushed. More time to think about visual language, more whole class and small group examples and I would like to be more involved in the creation and editing process. I feel like that was really passed over to the classroom teachers and it would have been nice to approach it more as a team. To do this I would need to schedule more time to go to the classrooms to support in that way.