Students get snaps for coffee house poetry

They laughed, they cried, they drank lattés. As the highlight event of their poetry lesson, 22 sixth-grade students from Meneley Elementary School read their poems at Northern Nevada Pony Espresso Friday.

Janine Mello said the purpose of the poetry lesson was to teach communication.

"This is the best class in the five years I've been doing it because they wrote from their hearts," she said. "Sometimes in class, we had to stop and have a cry session. I asked them to dig deep and write about important things in their lives. Every student met the challenge.

"Thanks to Pony Espresso for opening their doors and giving the students a break. It's a good example of the community and school working together," Mello said.

One by one, the poets stood up to read their poems amplified by a karaoke machine. The performances were often emotional as the poets told their hopes for the future, fears of death and in the descriptions of who they are. The audience of students and family members snapped their fingers in approval after the poems were read.

"I am different, I am myself. I hope for peace in the entire world," said Summer Miller, 12, in the poem she read about herself. Reading poetry aloud helped her to speak in public.

"At first it was embarrassing but helps you get better," Summer said.

"Miss Mello told us to use good eye contact," said Lacie Molina.

"I wonder why I talk so much," Melissa Nuñez, 12, said in her "I Am" poem.

"I hear dogs barking in the night. I'm athletic. I try to be better in math," she said.

Daulton Moore, 11, said in his poem that he's artistic, funny, happy and dreams of being a professional artist.

Austin Lambert, 10, said reciting poetry was a lesson in confidence.

"I have the confidence to stand up in front of people I don't know," said Austin.

In his biographical poem, Bobby Kellogg, 12, said he fears death and loves pasta.

"I plan to do well, I plan to be a good dad, I plan to live a good life," he said. "My final destination is heaven."


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