Lakeview Intermediate fifth graders are embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: they are to write poems for publication in a popular British author's book.
Jeannette Slavinski, author of "The Naked Goddess," spoke with the students at Lakeview on Thursday via Skype. She read some of the poems from her book and allowed students to read their favorite poems to her. Then she tasked the students with writing poems with the themes of love and/or war.
For the first edition of her book, she asked people from around the world to submit their poems with the same themes and the best were chosen and published. The proceeds from book sales benefit Help for Heroes and the Wounded Warrior Project.
"I chose this theme because there are different ideas of love and war in each culture," Slavinski told the students. "The proceeds go to charity and it's only natural to use the theme of love and war."
The students have until Feb. 15 to write their poems and then they will be submitted to Slavinski. She will choose the best for publication.
"There's a quote in the beginning of her book I just love," said teacher Melissa Riegsecker. "She says 'everyone has a poem in their heart,' and I hope that as we go through this process that the students will realize writing poetry is about more than rhyming."
Riegsecker added that many students are children of military men and women and they are aware of how it has touched their families.
"We're very big on supporting our troops around the world here," Riegsecker said. "The students are excited to start this project."