LISD’s Global Languages & Cultures department hosted the 10th-annual Spanish Poetry Festival Dec. 2 at Reed Elementary, honoring poetry declamation, a traditional art form and an essential part of the culture and educational experience across Spanish-speaking countries. 

“The arts express culture, and culture creates community,” said Susan Hansen, a Middle School Dual Language Instructional Coach who originated the event a decade ago while a bilingual instructional coach at Knowles Elementary School. “For the past 10 years, the poetry festival has provided a space to celebrate the art of poetry declamation in Spanish, share in the joy of students learning and doing something new and create community.”

In this festival, students select a poem from a district-provided list to memorize and recite in front of two judges. The judges select several students to perform their poem on stage in front of the audience at noon. The event also featured a Baile Folklorico workshop for students  

This year, two middle school students from Danielson and Henry middle schools served as masters of ceremony.  And to kick off the celebration, two Baile Folklorico groups – Fiesta Mexicana from Cedar Park and Reed’s Ballet Folklorico – performed several dances.  

In total, 15 students recited poems for the audience, and one student even recited a poem they wrote themselves.