Monday, June 15, 2009

I Write To Change

Last week I was delighted to attend the graduation of Dream Keeper Elisha Branch from the Academy of Learning and Leadership Middle School in Milwaukee. In the above photo, Elisha is giving her Salutatorian Address. I am so proud of her. Read on for Elisha's latest poem and writings from some of the other Dream Keepers. Our theme for the day was, "I Write to Change." 

I Write To Change
by Elisha Branch

I write to change the lives of others,
I write to influence my sisters and brothers.
I write to change for the sake of us,
I write because I want and because I must.
I write to say, let's make this a great day.
I write because I have a lot to say.
I write to day and preach my word.
I write because I have a voice that needs to be heard.
I write to protect equalness.
I write to fight for what is just.
I write to protect justice and peace.
I write to protect—to keep your mind at ease.

I Write to Say
by Natalie Branch

What is this world coming to
I feel nothing but anger when I turn on the news—
Murders, robberies, and child abuse.
And not much good is coming from our youth.
Yeah, sometimes they show the thing we do that's a little right.
But followed right behind is a story about someone killed last night.
I can't take much more of this violence—
raising children in a world like this doesn't make sense.
I want my son's life to be worthwhile.
I don't want him growing up with false idols.
Rapper, gang banger, or a basketball player—
None of those things sound good on or off paper.
I want him to know that you have to work hard for a brighter future—
A big house and riches aren't just going to be handed to you.
These are valuable lessons to learn.
Not just for him but for everyone.
So for all of God's children both young and old—
Work hard to brighten your future and help save our world.

One of our Dream Keepers, a ten-year-old girl, lost her baby cousin to SIDs. After she told me about his death, I asked her to write about it. These are her words about what happened.

We Miss You!
by Trayvece

Meekel. A two-month old baby. Dead.
Meekel died a day after a wedding.
On a Sunday morning at 9:15.
Little Meekel found dead on his stomach,
His face got smothered on the bed.
His mom woke up 
because she thought her niece and nephews were making noise,
so she could tell them to stop before they woke him up.
But it was the angels giving the baby a party.
His face was purple and red. 
His mom put her ear to his mouth and no breathing was heard.
She put her ear to his heart. Nothing.
She started to tap him so he cold wake up. Nothing.
We Miss You!

I Like Monkeys
by Ashawn, age 7

I am going to the zoo
to visit monkeys.
Monkeys climb trees.
They eat bananas.
They say, "Ooh-ooh. Ahh-ahh."
When I see my monkey,
I will be happy.
Then I will go see more monkeys.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Spring Dream Keeping

The Dream Keepers have had a busy spring. The high school Dream Keepers continue to work on advanced writing projects. Jacque Troy of the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre visited us and presented a four-session playwriting workshop. At least two of the high school students finished plays and submitted them to Milwaukee Chamber Theatre One-Act Playwriting Festival. This is quite an achievement! 

The younger Dream Keepers group continues to grow. We attract a wide group of children each week—especially boys—who are interested in writing. Here are a few of the pieces the young people have created in the past two months.

by Robert

I am black and I'm proud.
I don't care what I am
Long as God's kind work together.
To be continued ...

by Trayvece

All I want is a dad who will
be there for me. Who would love me.
Who wouldn't forget my birthday.
And ask me is it a bad hair day.
Who would call me his little angel
sent from above and
tuck me into bed.
That's all I want.

by Kenneth

I am a tall giraffe walking the street.
I am a drum hitting to the beat.
When I'm tired, I go to sleep;
I hear the birds go tweet, tweet, tweet.

Summer is like ...
by Ashley, age 9

Summer is like a big ball of fun.
Sleep is a peace.
The moon is like a big night light.
Night is magic.
Day is drowsy.
Water is like a fountain of joy.
Time is priceless; you can't get enough.

Summer is like ...
by Kyle

Summer is like fire.
Sleep is like a break.
Time is like a slide when you can't stop.

Summer is ...
by Xavier

Summer is love. Spring
brings emotion. The heart 
beats back and forth to the
sounds of hummingbirds 
in the summer heat.

Urban Haiku
by Faith, age 9

Fight at school
Two boys punching each other
In the face. Big bump.