Bright Spot – PS/MS 279 After School


Teaching Artists, Chaya Babu and Liza Miller, have been hard at work with the seventh and eighth graders in their after-school residency at PS/MS 279. The students have been exposed to new poetry each week and have been writing and performing their own written pieces. The writing spans multiple genres, but across the board it has been very impressive! 

Chaya and Liza loved Ryan’s usage of anaphora and other repetition to write this simple and yet beautiful poem about a place that feels like home to him. The unit so far has been about heritage and personal narrative, and while some of the students are still figuring out how and what they want to write about themselves, Ryan found a way to use something he cares about to create a piece that speaks to who he is in very clear, concise language. And he grasped anaphora so well! 

The Basketball Court

My home is the basketball court, it’s cool and friendly.
My home is the basketball court, cool and fancy.
My home is the basketball court, where we play ball.
My home is the basketball court, where we learn to ball.


Wendoline is an English Language Learner and struggles with risk taking but also with writing in general. She performed this as a monologue. Chaya and Liza loved its simplicity and clarity, as well as the vulnerability evident in it as her mother passed away from cancer a few years ago. There’s a beautiful rawness to her explaining that she’s “talking to her mom.” And she used anaphora!

Talking To My Mom”

Because I love her
She gave me life
She gave me a great life
She gave me a home
She gave me school
And she gave me a family