‘Poem to Pavement’: High School marks Earth Day with sidewalk chalk haikus

chalk art

To mark Earth Day, which has been celebrated worldwide since 1970, and April’s Poetry Month, Leiny Valet’s English 9 students and Jennifer Thibodeau’s teacher with studentsCreative Writing students created Earth Day haikus which have been transformed into sidewalk chalk poetry to share with the school community.

Students’ work was an opportunity to showcase their writing creativity in a unique artistic way. Plus, the outdoor assignment also gave them the opportunity to blend their knowledge of a social movement into an assignment.  Earth Day student with chalk arthas been marked for the past 52 years to increase awareness of environmental issues and challenges and the promotion of  conservation and sustainability.

As the day progressed, the high school’s main sidewalks grew in color and words, intending to inspire students and make them think.

“As students walked outside at the end of this day, they were surrounded by sidewalk poetry to raise awareness and evoke emotions in relation to chalk artcelebrating Earth Day,” said Mrs. Valet.

A traditional Japanese haiku is a three-line poem with 17 syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count. Often focusing on images from nature, a haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity and directness of expression.

student with chalk art“Sidewalk poetry is poetry found along outdoor sidewalks, meant to delight, encourage, inspire,”  Mrs. Valet added.  “Today on our high school campus, this poetry enhances our outdoor school space. Sidewalk poetry is a great way to share great poems in an unexpected avenue.”

Assistant Principal Dr. Michael Burns  praised all involved for their efforts.

chalk art“Combining important creative writing skills, art and current events is another example of how innovative our faculty is,” he said. “And our students are equally imaginative in their creative writing work and their chalk presentation skills. Today’s weather is just a perfect example of how important Earth is to our daily lives.”

Earth Day is an annual campaign to raise awareness about the climate and ecological crises and help people understand how to reduce their environmental impact. This year’s theme is “Invest in our Planet.”

As part of the day, high school faculty also wore “kindness” shirts as a reminder for everyone to be kind to the Earth.

See more photos on the district’s Facebook page.