Hillsborough County Public Schools Curriculum and Instruction
Action Item

DATE: Tuesday, October 21, 2008
TO: School Board Members
FROM: MaryEllen Elia, Superintendent


Approve the Contract with the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center to Host the 2009 High School Poetry Jam. (Curriculum and Instruction Division)


We request approval of the contract with the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center to host the District High School Poetry Jam Competition on January 16, 2009. The High School Poetry Jam is a districtwide poetry writing and performing program for students in grades 9 to 12.

The first District High School Poetry Jam was held in April of 2005 at Blake High School with students from 12 high schools participating, and has increased each year with students from 21 high schools participating in the 2008 Jam. Students from 23 schools are expected to compete in the 2009 District Jam.

Students first attend a school level Poetry Jam, where a local poet performs Spoken Word Poetry and instructs students in writing original poetry. The students are then given time to compose their own poems. When the time for writing is complete, the students meet as a group and are given time to perform their poetry. Teachers and members of the community, such as public librarians, use a rubric to judge each poem. The poet, whose poem is judged to be the best, is selected to represent his or her school at the District Poetry Jam.

The District Poetry Jam provides students with an opportunity to perform for friends and family, as well as to compete against students from across the District. Each student performs his or her own poetry and is judged by a panel of local poets and teachers. The first, second, and third place winning poets are given individual trophies, and the school of the first place winner is awarded the Poetry Jam Cup, a traveling trophy, which is housed by the school for one year.


* Demonstrate consistent and effective teaching methods, * Motivate students to become responsible learners


Barnes and Noble is donating $438.00 to cover the cost of renting the TECO Theater at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.


Records will be kept on the number of students and schools participating in the High School Poetry Jam and will be reported to the Board as part of next year's contract approval request.

SUBMITTED BY: David Steele, General Director, Secondary Education
 Christine Van Brunt, Supervisor, Library Media Services 6-12

Wynne A. Tye
Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction
(813) 272-4221
Gretchen Saunders
Chief Business Officer
(813) 272-4272
A 5.10
Hillsborough County Public Schools (Florida) * Mtg.#20081021_302 * Section A Item# 5.10