First Annual ESL Poetry Jam Session
First Annual ESL Poetry Jam Session
Posted on 04/25/2019

In celebration of Poetry Month, UCS Community Education Adult Education and English as a Second Language (ESL) students were invited to participate in a new UCS tradition.    April 10th and 11th, over 250 staff and students took part in several “Poetry Jam Sessions”.  Each session was comprised of interactive poetry read by teachers, administrators and tutors.  Students read along and even acted out parts of the poems.

Students were given a booklet of poems to follow along in, which included poetry by famous authors as well as original works by several UCS staff members.  ESL teacher Mark Morgan, shared his original poem, You Are Love, while the students read along.  With a heartfelt introduction, Mr. Morgan, a published author, dedicated the poem to his students, encouraging them to use their creativity to enrich the hearts and minds of those around them.   Several other staff members, including Cindy Jurasek and Dan Dennis, are also published authors that shared samples of their original poems.

The students gave overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding the event.  Students thoroughly enjoyed reading and listening to the poems, particularly those authored by teachers they knew personally.  “It seemed to really help the students feel a connection to their classroom teacher”, commented one UCS staff member.   The general consensus on the “Jam Session” was that students enjoyed the interactive nature of the event and left feeling more confident and motivated to write their own poems. 

Reading, writing and listening to poetry is a great learning tool for English language learners of any age.  Poetry allows students, both young and old,  to explore meaning, sentence structure, rhyming words, sight words, vocabulary, and print concepts. Reading a poem out loud helps students to build confidence in oral language skills as well as reading fluency.  To learn more about the ESL opportunities in the district, call 586-797-6960, visit or visit us on Facebook at