South Orangetown Central School District

“I am positive and kind
I understand I’m perfect the way I am
I say we’re all perfect the way we are
I dream that I will have a good future

I try to be positive and be the best I can
I hope stuff will get better
I am positive and kind”

This is an excerpt from a poem by Tatiana A., which was among the works displayed during the annual Poetry Cafe and Special Talents Celebration hosted by Emily McKay’s seventh-grade ELA class at South Orangetown Middle School this morning.

“When I returned to my class in August for the first time in five months, I posted the words of Nelson Mandela above my desk: ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’ This year, we all had to practice flexibility and perseverance,” noted McKay. “I’m most proud of how resilient my students have been. Despite the challenges, they have shined bright through it all and, more than ever, I wanted to celebrate their achievements.”

Displays included selected pieces from the seventh-grade poetry unit and highlighted the unique talents and interests of each student. The poets discussed their work with family and SOMS staff members who attended the outdoor reception.

Seventh-grader with Poetry Cafe display board