SC Poet Laureate at BCES: December 2021

A Special Visitor at BCES

FALLSBURG, December 2021– How timely and fortunate for Dianne Martinez that one of the children in her third-grade class at Fallsburg’s Benjamin Cosor Elementary School is Virginia Blackford.

The teacher discovered that Virginia’s father, Mark, was the first Poet Laureate in Sullivan County, and Classroom 28 was studying poetry and the power of words. The children did not know what a Poet Laureate was (except for Virginia!), and Mr. Blackford was very happy to visit the class on November 9, 2021. The class soon found out that a poet laureate is appointed to, or regarded unofficially as holding, an honorary representative position in a particular country, region, or group.

After his introduction to the students, Mr. Blackford discussed the power of words and how people use words to express themselves. He told of the magic of figurative language as illustrated in some of his favorite children’s poems. The class loved the selections. They proudly shared what they had already learned about figurative language during the previous week’s lessons.

Prior to the visit, the students made a PowerPoint of questions to ask Mr. Blackford about his life and his experiences with poetry. The day’s visit ended with each child asking his question and listening enthusiastically to Mr. Blackford’s thoughtful responses. To one question, he answered that “alliteration” was one of the favorite tools in his writing.

Virginia’s response to her dad joining the class for the day was brief and to the point, “Yay!” Also, she said that her dad was very excited to come in. Who knows, some day one of these third graders may be a Poet Laureate in Sullivan County or somewhere else.