By Alice Roche Cody
Seventh grade poets shared their vision for a brighter future in Ms. Tuohy's English class recently. Their works – influenced by civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., and writer Langston Hughes – explored themes of hope and change, inspired by a national poetry challenge from kid's book writer Kwame Alexander.
Ava Hearn '26 recited her entry:
"I dream a world where
Protests are peaceful
Trash isn't taking over our flourishing sea
We are not cutting down our young trees..."
Then two classmates explored the pandemic through their poetry, starting with Ariana Tellalian '26.
"I dream a world where there is a vaccine.
COVID is gone,
and faces are seen.
Where privileges aren't given,
But are earned.
When dreams are followed
and euphoria prevails…"
Jasper Guella '26 echoed similar sentiments with his words:
"I dream a world without
all the troubles of today
like quarantine and masks
to keep Corona at bay."
For the contest, Ms. Tuohy's class modeled their poems after Langston Hughes' I Dream a World, the poem that sparked Dr. King's I Have a Dream speech. The challenge stipulated that poems start with the line, "I dream a world," and then describe a hoped-for change. Ms. Tuohy encouraged students to submit their creations to National Public Radio, which will compile a community poem of selected lines to be read on-air by Mr. Alexander and Morning Edition Host Rachel Martin.
In Ms. Tuohy's mind, her whole class penned award-winning poetry.
"Yay!" she exclaimed after listening to their lines. "You guys make me so proud when you're creative! Everything you hope and dream can become a reality, with goal setting, planning, and hard work. Always remember compassion, which is one of our school's core values."