Thursday , 26 April 2018

And The Winning Poet at Burks Elementary is …

By Mary L. Harp, TSB Contributor

Not one. Not two. Not even a tie. Instead, there were 14 winners!

Fourteen students’ poems were selected for publication in the Young American Poetry Digest scheduled for release in October 2013. The National Schools Project, working with Burks Elementary School’s Librarian and Media Specialist, Mrs. Hinkebein, commended all students who entered, for their creative efforts.

The National Schools Project invited teachers and librarians throughout the United States to submit students’ poetry that best represented their schools’ creative ability.

Mrs. Hinkebein said, “To choose one winning poet was impossible. All 38 poems were great. Eliminations from 38 to one poet — no way.” Their works were creative and no matter how other schools determined one winning poet, Burks’ Mrs. Hinkebein could not. What to do; what to do?  It was settled. Thirty-eight poems, written by 38 students, were sent in and the National Schools Project’s panel of educators could not choose just one poet from Burks either and so 14 poems were chosen!

Listed by grade level and in alphabetical order, the Poets of Burks Elementary are: 5th Grade: Bella Carminati; Layna Champigny, Gerald Garza, Ionel Ghironte, Jr., Jiro Martinez, Xiomara Picado, Angelica Reyna, Fernando Sifuentes, Karis Stull, and Reece Weeks. The Fourth Grade poets are: Ethan Anderson, Jason Armstrong, Joel Rocha, and Julia Sellars.

The students’ poems were written on all subjects including three about the dentist, the loss of a life long pet, Sammy, and one on space. Kids free to think, to be, and to write. Uncensored. Expressing their thoughts, their hearts or their pain. They wrote with personal interest, brave conviction and with hopes of being chosen. Some sweated it through, some wrote as if writing poems were the most natural thing in the world.  While they struggled with showing their very depths of being, surprisingly, so many students submitted poems for hesitation of being laughed at. Because once their poem was published, their feelings and depths of emotions painted in words could not be taken back. The poets wrote knowing they would be showing their feelings to be read by strangers across the nation.

This is the 19th year of the National Schools Project which was designed to share American youths talents with others by publishing their poems.

The Burks Elementary School website is at and The Young American Poetry Digest’s website is

Pictured (top right): Poet Jason Armstrong with mother and sister

Pictured (bottom left): Proud Parent Robert Campigny with just published poet daughter Layna

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