Rising To The Poetry Challenge and Triumphing Out Loud

Senior Lily Nguyen won the regional Poetry Out Loud competition last month, and now moves on to the state level, with the chance to win a cash prize and compete nationally. In Middle School poetry news, Meghan Kenney’s seventh graders answered a prompt from NPR: “Honor MLK By Describing How You Dream A World.” Each student wrote their own poem, then chose their favorite line to contribute to the collective class poem based on Langston Hughes “I Dream A World.” Lily’s winning submissions are below, followed by the seventh graders’ work.

“Abandoned Farmhouse,” by Ted Kooser


“An Anthology Of Rain,” by Phillis Levin


“Tall Ambrosia,” by Henry David Thoreau


Collaborative class poems inspired by Langston Hughes’ “I Dream A World”

By English 7 (1)


I dream a world where peace, love and progress guide us, not hatred and heteronormativity.
A world where perfect isn’t what other people judge you for, but what you see in yourself.
I dream a world where everyone feels loved.
With this love there will be no one that feels alone, and people can love who they want.
I dream a world where subjects are optional.
A world where people are people in the eyes of businesses, and not just machines made to do their bidding.
I dream a world where everyone has a voice, and where voices are heard.
Where the streets will be filled with seas of colors: red, brown, yellow, white, black all entwined and linking in a powerful tide of unique beauty.
A world where anyone can walk the streets and not be ridiculed for what they look like.
I dream a world where no one has to sleep in the cold, and where there’s no need for worry.
I dream a world where there is no COVID-19.
I dream a world of a long happy life.
If planes can soar then we can too; we are all in this together.

By English 7 (7)

“The Way I Dream This World Of Mine”

The world I dream isn’t far, we can make it happen if we start working hard.
I dream a world where there is no hate just because of different races or beliefs,
A world where life is free.
I dream a world where there is no conflict
Or violence.
A world where all will feel safe.
I dream a world that is a healthy place for people to live in.
The world that I dream, gleams and money grows on trees.
Nations apart, but somehow combined, is the way I dream of mine.

By English 7 (6)

“This World I Dream”

I dream a world, this world I dream is equal for all and for all it is free.
A world where men and women are treated the same
A world full respect and equality
Where freedom knows no borders
And we come together and celebrate differences and individuality.

I dream a world where everyone sees the sun,
Everyone smiles and laughs,
And always has fun.

I dream a world where violence
Will not touch earth’s petals
Where we do not destroy the planet but care for it
A world with clean air and water all over it.
A world with no immediate conflict
Where no animal shall suffer
And everyone looks out for one another.
A world filled with green and no corruption
With police who can properly function
Where peace and love are all around and there is harmony.
I dream of a world free from war and injustice
A world where there is kindness and we see through our blindness.

I dream a world full of these things;
But the way the world has become,
I feel I can only just dream.

Unchecked Youths Go On Kindness Spree

The following acts of generosity and pure, unselfish goodwill were reported by Head of Middle School Meg Reed. The perpetrators remain at large and should be considered charmed and magnanimous.

ZJ Masks
Nisha Mele
MS Lizard Hoodie 2
MS Lizard Hoodie 1
GS Cookies
Julian Painting
Kindness Confetti
Unchecked Youths Go On Kindness Spree

— William Gould ’25 very sweetly wrote his neighbor, whose husband had just passed away the previous week, if she would like him to mow her lawn or wash her car.

— Nisha Mele ’25 was thanked in a neighborhood chat group as the “mysterious neighbor” responsible for the hearts on everyone’s driveways. This photo captured the brazen vandal in broad daylight.

— Natalie and Olivia Blocher brought six cases of Girl Scout cookies to Lancaster General as a thank you to the doctors and nurses. Not satisfied with cheering only healthcare workers, Olivia also put a box with a note of thanks in the mailbox for their letter carrier too.

— When the internet went out at the Blocher house, Natalie and Olivia got a message to the people the old fashioned way.

— Jean Noecker’s advisees made positive and uplifting signs during advisory one day. Tatum Ribeiro ’26 offered some advice on hers: “Throw kindness around life confetti.”

— Llarimar Vidot ’25 created an education box for her cousins. “They do not have school right now, so I wanted to help them out,” she said. “Also after school at 2:30, I FaceTime them and tutor them.”

— ZJ Suarez ’26 is “shy and talks seldom,” wrote his mom, Sasha, to Meg Reed. ZJ, his mom and his little brother Liam ’30 are good friends with a frontline worker at LGH and decided to make some masks to donate. When she wrote the email a month ago, they had more than 30 done, and they all looked pretty cool.

— For Julian Colino ’26, charity begins at home. Thank you to all chore-tackling heroes everywhere.

— Both of seventh-grader Raphael Andreae’s parents are doctors who have been in the thick of it since “Covid19” entered the vernacular. His mom, Adriana, wrote Meg Reed to briefly catalog some of Raphael’s unheralded compassion. “He picks his dad up from work most days. He cut his dad’s hair, and he built a vegetable garden for and with his younger brothers (Felix ’27 and Benyamin ’31).”

— Caralina Caplan ’25 wrote a thank you card to the doctors and nurses at a local hospital, and followed that up by sending a $100 donation to an area food bank. “I hope this is enough,” she wrote to Meg Reed.

— Finally, sixth-grader Agatha Clapper shows us all that kindness and compassion don’t just make people’s lives sweeter, but can deepen the ties between human and lizard as well. Her bearded dragon is staying ward and showing school spirit thanks to a bespoke hoodie that Agatha made for him.