Students from three urban New York City high schools came north to Somers High School last Thursday to work on a collaborative poetry project hosted by the Somers Rotary Club.
The inner-city high schools, one each in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, sent its students to Somers High School, where they joined students from Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers, and a high school in Rockland County, Rotary officials said.
All six schools came together to celebrate a 5-month project, a publication called “On My Mind 2011.” Above is a shot of the teachers and students assembling for the program.
The book of reflections is 244 pages and contains some poetry and some prose — all individual life experiences of the students.
The book is an annual undertaking of the Somers Rotary Club. Grants from Pepsi Beverages Company, IBM, Mahopac National Bank, and Putnam County Savings Bank help fund the project which is in its sixth year. The evening program consisted of discussions over pizza and Pepsi and a formal awards ceremony.
Keynote speakers were Jeff Pearlman, former Sports Illustrated senior writer and author of two New York Times Bestsellers; Dr. Ray Blanch, Somers Superintendant of Schools.
Each edition is introduced by a well known author. The opening remarks in the first edition were by Billy Collins, former Poet Laureate of the United States. For the current edition, the opening remarks were written by Peter Applebome, editor and columnist for the New York Times.
“The objective of the Somers Rotary project is to encourage the joy of writing and to bring together students from entirely different backgrounds and economic strata who now share something in common, and for this one evening at least, they will mingle over food and learn from each other,” said the Rotary.
On My Mind 2011 is available for a donation of $10 at various merchants in town. It can also now be ordered by mail from: The Somers Rotary Foundation PO Box 561 Somers, N.Y, 10589 Please make checks payable to The Somers Rotary Foundation for a suggested donation of $11 (includes postage).