The Program

SLC residents and staff in the gymSt. Louis Center Day Program Coordinator Haylie Moran challenged Tifani Barnett, Direct Care Worker, to plan a fun event for all of the residents participating in the day program. In conjunction with World Poetry Day, Tifani planned an event for the staff and residents to hear and recite poetry. Jennie Maynard, sister of one of the residents, got a donation from the Chelsea Bakery for refreshments. On March 21st, everyone gathered in the gym, enjoyed coffee and pastries, and best of all listened to many different types of poetry.

The Purpose

A poem is a piece of writing where the writer expresses a range of feelings, meanings, and ideas by using a series of words that contain a mixture of images, rhythm, and rhyme. Poems can be spoken (performed) or read.

World Poetry Day was first recognized in 1999 with the core purpose of exploring the human condition and invoking emotion through words. This is a very accurate description of the event at St. Louis Center that day. Staff members and residents took turns reciting their favorite poems, or ones that were selected for their content.

The Poems
  • Summer Reed at the podium.In the Middle by Barbara Crooker – recited by Haylie, Day Program Coordinator
  • Don’t Hesitate by Mary Oliver – recited by Crystal, Direct Care Worker
  • Open a Book – recited by Joey, St. Louis Center Resident
  • The Summer Day by Mary Oliver – recited by Izzy, Housekeeping Coordinator
  • Footprints in the Sand – recited by Ashley, Direct Care Worker
  • Dreams by Langston Hughes – recited by Jerome, St. Louis Center Resident
  • If by Rudyard Kipling – recited by Kaitlyn, Kitchen Supervisor
  • Poem her sister wrote – recited by Robin, Training Coordinator
  • The Wind – recited by Jacqui, St. Louis Center Resident
  • There is Another Sky by Emily Dickinson – recited by Emily, Nurse
  • Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou – recited by Brad, Direct Care Worker
  • Daisies – recited by Cathy, St. Louis Center Resident
  • The Rainbow by Christina Rossetti – recited by Summer, Social Services Assistant
  • Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost – recited by Desirae, Direct Care Worker
  • Risk by Anais Nin – recited by Janet S, Direct Care Worker
  • Isaac, Direct Care Worker – chose his own poem
  • There Will Come Soft Rain by Sara Teasdale – recited by Crystal, Direct Care Worker

Some were so moved that they also wanted to offer a bit to the program. Mark, a Center resident, was heard strumming his guitar from time to time, and Alex had some poet words to share. Everyone enjoyed the program and looks forward to having another poetry event.

Read the entire issue of St. Louis Spirit here!

If these stories move you, please consider a donation of any amount by submitting the form below.