Students - Above today's poem, you see a question. I cut and pasted the image from Twitter, where Mrs. Miller's fourth graders at Glacier Ridge Elementary School in Dublin, Ohio often share their learning and questions.
When I first read their question, it felt like a piano had fallen from the sky onto my head. Would I write about the election? Why had I not already written about the election? What would I say? I have strong opinions about this election, so how could I write a poem about the election without pushing my opinions on other people?
I thought about this for a week. And then, in my bed late one night, the first few lines began to form. I followed them, thinking about my own life as a voter and as a citizen, and I offer this poem to Mrs. Miller's students and to all who are thinking about the election and to all who care about their communities, who work to make good lives for others.
I carried this question in my hand for a week and let it turn around and around in my mind before I began writing. What questions do you carry? You might wish to list such questions or make a quick note of them as they come to you.
Here, in this document from the North Carolina Citizenship Project, you can learn about the U.S. Voting Timeline, who got the vote when. It is very interesting, and a reminder that all people have not always had voting rights in the US. This document only goes up to 2002, so I also recommend visiting the American Civil Liberties page about the Voting Rights Act.
Making sure that United States citizens have access to free and fair voting something that the ACLU is always working hard to do, and this is deeply important. Learn more HERE about current work to end restrictive voting laws. Don't miss the great map where you can click on states with such laws.
Around the world, it is true not all people have this very human right, to help choose leaders. This is something we can continue to talk about, work toward, speak out about.
In the name of community and celebrating how differences make us stronger - and make our vote stronger - I am offering a giveaway on Twitter. You can see the information below, and primary teachers of bilingual classrooms may retweet to enter. Teachers - you can find me on Twitter at @amylvpoemfarm.
Irene Latham and a thoughtful scarecrow are hosting today's Poetry Friday Palooza over at her joyous home, Live Your Poem. Please know that everyone is always welcome to Poetry Friday: to read, to celebrate, to share. Happy PF! xo, a.
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