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Jefferson Third-Graders Create 'Guerilla Haikus' with Artist in Resident Caley Vickerman

By FRED SMITH/Courtesy Tap into SOMA


MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Third-graders at Jefferson Elementary School had the chance to write and display Guerilla Haikus through a program with Caley Vickerman, who was an artist in residence at the school the week of April 23.

Vickerman, who is the founder of the Public Art/Poetry Project, the Guerilla Haiku Movement, worked with students and taught them Guerilla Haiku, which "uses the short-form poetry structure of haiku to engage neighbors in conversation and empower students to connect with themselves, each other, and their communities," according to the Jefferson School PTA website.

Students were encouraged to write about themselves and their classes, and to gather haiku at home about their families.  

Haikus by the students, and gathered from others as part of a Haiku Challenge, were written on black paper with sidewalk chalk and displayed in an installation that started in the 3rd grade classrooms, then in the school auditorium Friday morning, before being shown in Maplewood Village's Ricalton Square on Friday afternoon, and in the South Orange Village gazebo on Saturday morning.

"In this way the 3rd Graders [built] a web of our words celebrating myriad community voices," stated the PTA website.