The thrill of using words
Author, poet speaks to students about his love
With a guitar in his hand and a smile beaming from ear to ear, award-winning author and poet Allan Wolf showed the students of Veritas Classical Academy how to use their minds and imaginations to see the world’s most simple and beautiful poetic moments.
On Monday, more than 60 students from first to sixth grade watched and giggled at Wolf’s fun and exciting teaching methods through song and dance as a part of Artsbridge’s second tour this year.
Wolf has won several awards for his many books of poetry and amazing adventures with characters that truly bring the book’s pages to life.
The author and poet also spends his life as an educator and performer and has been traveling across the country to different schools since 1988.
Wolf said the majority of his life is spent writing, so being able to travel to schools is where he receives his main inspiration as an author and poet.
“I get the energy as a writer when I’m sitting there all by myself and then I can take this energy back with me, because I know that there are real people out there that I can write for,” said Wolf.
Artsbridge is an organization that promotes and supports arts in the Mid-Ohio Valley through financial and technical support, and arts education in the schools and community.
Kathy Reeder, program director at Artsbridge, said she hopes students are able to take away a passion for writing through Wolf’s program.
“We want them to take away a love of poetry and literature and just how important reading, writing and expressing yourself is,” said Reeder.
Liam Ritter, 11, of Marietta said he was able to learn the different varieties of poetry and its many uses.
Through Monday’s program, Ritter said he’s learned to not give up on his dreams of becoming a poet.
“I’ve tried many times, I have had many successes and many failures. I’ve tried Reader’s Digest, I haven’t heard back from them yet, so you can’t say I failed,” Ritter giggled.
Sarah Ellem, 11, of Washington, W.Va., said she really enjoyed Wolf’s program.
“He taught us that you can express your feeling in words,” said Ellem. “He made it a lot of fun.”
Kate Mannix, 11, of Devola said she liked how Wolf made his poetry come to life with different voices.
“I liked how he did the different voices,” she said. “It’s fun for the younger kids because they can experience that and know that they have had that experience growing up.”
Wolf said he wants children to realize that anything is possible.
“I want them to know the simple things,” said Wolf. “I want them to know that they can do this without any fancy props and I want them to know that they can make any poem come to life.”
Headmaster Ben Rutherford said this is the first time Artsbridge has made its way into Veritas Academy.
Rutherford explained the importance of keeping the fine arts in the schools through programs such as Wolf’s.
“When you pull arts out of a curriculum you’re pulling out one of those essential components it takes to be human,” said Rutherford. “It’s taken as seriously as math and science, and if not more so as we get older.”
The headmaster said it was a joy to have Wolf make a visit to the academy.
“It’s great to have someone from the outside who has spent their life in some measure to that higher mind and to find such joy in it that it becomes infectious,” said Rutherford.
According to Reeder, Grammy-nominated musician Zak Morgan will be touring schools through Artsbridge in the spring.
¯Today, 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Blennerhassett Elementary.
¯Wednesday, 9 a.m. at Doddridge County High School, 1 p.m. at Ritchie County High School.
¯Thursday, 9 a.m. at Pleasants County Middle School, 1:15 p.m at Ripley High School.
¯Friday, 9 a.m. at Belpre Elementary School, 12:30 p.m. at Little Hocking Elementary.
Source: Kathy Reeder.