Arf, Arf! It’s National Poetry Month Plus ACE Poetry Contest Month
By Riley, ACE Poetry Contest Mascot, assisted by Martha Sessums, ACE President, who types faster than Riley
April is my favorite month. Not only is the sun shining more which feels so good when you’re taking a nap on the front porch but it’s National Poetry Month. That great month when we learn about and share poetry.
Plus, we write poetry for the ninth annual ACE Poetry Contest. And who’s the ACE Poetry Contest Mascot? It’s me again. Arf. Arf.
All the ACE Learning Center schools joined the contest, and each school has a cool mascot that represents the spirit of the schools. Let’s meet the mascots, then we’ll get to the poetry contest details.
Alpha Public Schools – Why, it’s me, Riley. I’ve been the Alpha mascot for all these nine years. Awesome.
San Francisco International High School – Max, the Husky, is a legend. Not only is the official SFIHS school mascot a husky, but Max was probably the inspiration. He’s a buddy with one of the school’s first-year teachers and still hangs around campus. Quite the legend. Welcome Max.
Oakland International High School – As we all know, there’s always a cat(s) involved in the ACE Poetry Contest and Bodie is OIHS’s cat mascot this year. So nice to have you working the contest, Bodie, and we look forward to your catteral poems.
Now let’s talk rules. My favorite part about the rules is that they are pretty loose. The only non-loose part is that the winners win MONEY. Something we can all use nowadays. Here are the rules:
🐾 Poetry topic is open. Any topic. Your choice. Your teacher will guide you as you learn about the different types of poetry.
🐾 Judging rules and choosing the winners are managed by each school.
🐾 First Place receives $100. Second Place receives $75 and Third Place receives $50. Prizes will be in the form of a credit card gift card so you can spend it anywhere.
🐾 Any type of poetry is eligible. Haiku, slam, limerick, free verse, qauīdah, epic, even doggerel, which is my favorite. Or catteral, which is Bodie’s favorite.
That’s it. Those are the rules. Not as complicated as the house rules that owner John makes me follow. Sit. Stay. Come. No. Mostly “no!” nowadays.
A “good dog” response gets me treats, but here is where you get poem treats. You can sign up for a Poem-a-Day email and learn about poetry. Plus, April 29 is Poem in Your Pocket Day where you can share poems with any one you meet – in person (masked and socially distanced, of course) or virtually.
More blogs and poems from your mascots will happen all month so be on the lookout. Plus, the winner’s poems will be posted on the ACE Spectrum blog with lots of fanfare.
Then there’s social media sharing. Be sure to use #ACEPoetryContest, #NationalPoetryMonth, #pocketpoem, #NPM21 or any of your social media faves. Anyone want to post a poem on TikTok?
Check out the blog all month long and remember – treat yourself to a poem. Arf.