BASD Students Meet with Poet Nikki Giovanni

On Thursday, November 20th, students from four BASD schools, Freemansburg Elementary; Northeast and Broughal middle schools; and Freedom High School, attended a field trip to Lehigh University to meet and hear poet, Nikki Giovanni.The studentsĀ started theirĀ field trip with ice cream at The Cup on Lehigh’s Campus Square. Just by chance, the Bethlehem Farmers Market was in full swing with guest artist, Dave Fry, playing music outdoors in the square.

Christie Roysdon, Director of Library services at Lehigh University, arranged an educational hour at the beautiful Linderman Library. Librarians took students to different spaces in the library according to age, elementary, middle and high school, to read Giovanni’s poetry and learn about the political and historical circumstances of Giovanni’s life.

At 4 p.m., at Zoellner Arts Center Butz Lobby, Nikki Giovanni spoke to the students and answered questions. Two of our Freemansburg Elementary students opened for Giovanni by reciting two of her poems and saying why they liked those poems.

Ari’a Williams, 4th grader, read “Knoxville, Tennessee,” and Allen Grimes read “A Poem (for Langston Hughes).”

At 5 p.m., the students enjoyed a delicious box meal in the Goodman Lobby courtesy of Lehigh University.

The bus transportation for the field trip was paid for by a Pennsylvania Arts Council Project Stream grant for the Favorite Poem Project of Bethlehem.

Teachers, Karen Buchanan at Freedom, Anne Sipos at Liberty, Sheri Majczan at Northeast and Dawn Bothwell at Broughal, all submitted poems from their students to the Favorite Poem Project of Bethlehem.

One student from each of these classes was selected to read their poem at the Favorite Poem Project of Bethlehem public reading event at the Rotunda on the evening of October 19th. Teachers attended to support their students.