New Mexico State Poetry Society

Children's Poetry Project

Bonnie Rucobo

New Mexico State Poetry Society Children.s Poetry Project

The New Mexico State Poetry Society (NMSPS) embarked on a number of educational projects involving children and poetry in 2010. The Albuquerque Chapter, under the guidance of Larry Castillo-Wilson and then President Bonnie Rucobo, began the Children.s Poetry Project designed to inspire elementary-aged children to write poetry. John J. Candelaria took over the project in 2013 and became the Project Leader for Children.s Poetry in 2015.

Goals of the Children.s Poetry Project are:

  • To inspire and excite children about poetry
  • To help children learn how to write poetry
  • To encourage children to write about their diverse backgrounds
  • To inspire children to love poetry that will last a lifetime

In 2011 three presentations were scheduled at Albuquerque libraries. The presentations included the Los Griegos Library, Albuquerque.s Main Library, and the Lomas-Tramway Library. Ten presentations at Alvarado Elementary School in the North Valley began a commitment to bring a poet to each classroom. From the school years 2011 to 2015, the Children.s Poetry Project has been concentrated at Alvarado Elementary School. In collaboration with Alison O.Leary, Alvarado Elementary School Librarian and Intervention Teacher, the poetry project has grown so each class at Alvarado had their poems published in a book with pictures and drawings by the children. Alison.s efforts were acknowledged on April 26, 2015 when she was awarded Honorary Membership to the NMSPS at the NMSPS State Convention and Annual General Meeting.

Future plans include expanding the project to another school and to develop presentations at different New Mexico libraries.

Children's Poetry Project from 2010- Present

The Poety project grew as poets in the classroom were drawn from a collaborative effort by the following organizations: NMSPS, the OASIS Intergenerational Tutoring Program, SouthWest Writers, and Albuquerque Public Schools. As poets from NMSPS volunteered to be part of this poetry effort, other presenters from the above organizations were asked to volunteer for this program. The term Poet in the Classroom (PITC) was adopted for all of these volunteers.

In 2015-2016 Reginald Chavez Elementary School incorporated the PITC sessions into their Literary Day. This effort proved to be successful.

The total number of students on February 12, 2016 was 306. The Principal was so pleased Poetry in the Classroom was invited back for 2017.

On March 28, 2016 Alvarado Elementary continued for its 5th year. Student attendance was 306.

Friday April 7, 2017 Cochiti Elementary School was added to the Poetry In The Classroom Program. Newest location #3.

On April 29, 2017 Bonnie Rucobo became Project Leader for The Children's Poetry Project.

Over the last 7 years of this project the interest and support of each Teacher, Poet, School Leaders, Volunteers were essential in developing a strong Children's Poetry Project.

For more Information, contact Bonnie at

Updated July 2017

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