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Invest in Chicago’s Students

Support the Chicago Poetry Center


The Chicago Poetry Center is closing out a successful Fall semester in classrooms across Chicago during this pandemic, our second virtual semester of programming in 2020.


This spring, students in Poet in Residence Frankiem Mitchell’s classroom had their highest attendance during poetry sessions. Their classroom teacher knew that students showed up for poetry, because their Poet in Residence created sessions that mattered to them. This summer, Poet in Residency Joy Young ran a daily, social justice themed poetry residency at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary school. This fall, on the first day of programming in a classroom at Swift Elementary, Poet in Residence Leslie Reese asked her students to write wish poems, and at the end of that first day, 2nd grader Sara sang her poem of wishes to the class.


I’m writing you today to ask you to invest in students throughout Chicago by supporting the Chicago Poetry Center and our programs, so that together we can create more residencies (both virtual and live) that promote creative expression and literacy through poetry.


Chicago Poetry Center has proven uniquely capable in providing effective creative literacy content and instruction, whether in-person or virtually, continuing to make connections with students beginning immediately as the pandemic struck. In Spring 2020, CPC’s education programs were among the first in the city to pivot to support our 1,500 students remotely during the pandemic, and we did so in ways that could reach students both with and without internet access. This Fall, we’re streaming into classrooms across Chicago, and publishing student poetry online.


With your help, we plan to support 2,000 students next year, in more schools and with new residencies across Chicago. Please take a look at our donor levels at and help us add students and build residencies, and up your impact by working collectively.


Communities can now join together and pool their support towards funding and naming a residency. Donors can include the group name or the name of the organizing person with their donation, and we’ll recognize your community contribution on our website and at our campaign culminating with a virtual celebration on February 11, 2021, No Love For Love: Quarantine Edition. An invitation to our virtual fundraiser is included at any donation level.





“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.