Over 10,000 secondary school students were introduced to Spoken Word poetry over the last 6 weeks in the Courts Bocas Speak Out Secondary Schools Tour.
Travelling to 30 schools from Tobago to Mayaro, Toco to Port of Spain and many places in between, members of the 2 Cents Movement, that includes some of the nation’s best young performance poets, won over younger people to the increasingly popular form of self-expression. Subjects included self-respect, romance, Caribbean culture, persistence, identity, youth sexuality, bullying, literary skills, abortion, making choices and social media.
The national tour was part one of a 3-part project to engage students on issues that concern or should concern them. So effective was the tour that over 1000 students have registered for part two of the project: workshops intended to share with them the finer points of writing spoken word poetry and performance.
After the training element and screening process the project will end in February, giving the most promising new performance poet the chance to travel to the USA for the biggest spoken word event of all, the international youth poetry slam, courtesy Courts, sponsor of the Secondary Schools Tour.
Speaking on behalf of Courts, Paula Linton-Daniel, head of marketing, said, “working with young people to improve their chances in life is at the top of our corporate social responsibility agenda and we are delighted to work again with the Bocas Lit Fest on this tour which we know will make a difference to many young people.”
Jean Claude Cournand, founder of the 2 Cents Movement and coordinator of the Courts Bocas Speak Out Tour says, “School administrators were very pleased with what we had to offer and want to be included in next year’s project.” He adds, “We were overcome by the receptiveness of the students. There was silence, outrageous laugher and even tears.”
Find out more about the poets on tour via the 2 Cents Movement Facebook page here.