“She taught us to listen to our hearts.”
—MARGARET, AGE 6
“The thing I like about writing poems is the feeling and the flying of pencils and getting everything on paper.”
—NATHAN RIVERA, AGE 11
“Her very presence releases something for us and gives us permission for expression.”
—9TH GRADE ENGLISH TEACHER
The Heart of the Word: Poetry and the Imagination
A Writing and Literature Program
When I was 19 I began teaching poetry to children, first volunteering in a school, where I taught myself how to teach. Through my program, The Heart of the Word: Poetry and the Imagination, I’ve been at it ever since. In addition to working with children, I offer teacher trainings, classes for parents, and family writing workshops, and I consult in the area of curriculum development.
Through writing poems we can give voice to many aspects of our lives—our daily experiences, thoughts and feelings, our unique perceptions of the world. Writing poetry empowers students to see themselves as writers and to excel in written expression.
Staff development workshops educate teachers in poetry's uniqueness and how it give kids the needed inspiration to develop a lifelong love of writing that can open the door to all forms of writing. Rarely do teachers get the opportunity to write for themselves—a workshop with Patrice provides that chance.
Since parents are their children’s first teachers, a workshop on how to support kids success and enjoyment of writing is most apt.
Family writing workshops bring together children and parents to write together. Ever written a poem as a whole family? Patrice performs poems and leads the group in writing explorations.
During the 2019 - 2020 school year I’m teaching at two elementary schools—Captain Cooper in Big Sur and Robert Down in Pacific Grove. I’ll also offer workshops at area public libraries, including: Monterey, Pacific Grove, Salinas and Santa Cruz.