TheI Am From Projectwas started by retired teacher and author Julie Landsman, who loves poetry and believes in its power to change the world, and freelance writer and teacher George Ella Lyon, who served as Kentucky Poet Laureate (2015–2016) and is particularly interested in the poetry of witness. They started the project as a way to celebrate diversity at a time when the nation is divided by hatred and fear. Their central goals are to help people of all ages and backgrounds use Lyon’s “Where I’m From” poem as a prompt to write about experiences that shape them, to bring these voices together in community, to get them heard locally, and to create a national “river of voices and images,” reminding the people of America that diversity is the country’s origin and strength. They encourage people to take the prompt wherever their art leads them—to invent their own ways of working with groups, classrooms, community and senior centers, libraries, and other gathering places. The project’s website offers suggestions and resources for teaching, organizing, and writing on the theme of “Where I’m From,” as well as ideas for “Where I Am Going” and other list poems. Teachers and students can explore the poems published on the website from around the country and beyond. They’ll see where this theme of the nation’s great diversity has lead others, from videos to artwork to photography (in Resources).
Each month we publish blogs and newsletters full of digital learning, funding, professional growth, social media, and STEM resources. Below are items from our blogs and newsletters that educators turned to the most in January.
Facing History and Ourselves offers a teaching idea that uses images to help students connect emotionally to the experiences of individuals and groups who choose or are forced to leave their homelands and who place their wellbeing and safety into the hands of others.
New York Times Student Journeys offers educational travel programs for middle school and high school students. The programs focus on destinations The Times has covered, where students can benefit from an insider’s view as they explore themes and topics associated with The Times coverage of local issues.