Great Rapids — One day, while sitting in history class, Kraft Meadows Middle School eighth grade Sam Temple was having a rough day, so he wrote about it.
Sam turned those hard feelings into poetry, then remembered the writing contest his English teacher had encouraged him to enter.
Poem by Sam Temple “I wish I was a boy” became a finalist in the Kent District Library’s Write Michigan Teen Poetry Contest, an annual contest that accepts poetry written by students in grades 6-12 living in Kent County. Sam was one of 11 winners of the written contestwho each won a $50 Meijer gift card.
“I was just having a tough day so I wrote a poem,” Sam said. “I thought it was good, but I never thought it would win anything after I entered the contest .”
After a friend introduced him to poet Amanda Lovelace, Sam began to read and write more poetry and really enjoyed reading Sylvia Plath.
“Poems invoke emotion and that’s what I love,” Sam said. “I’ve always loved artistic writing styles, and music and poetry are like song lyrics. Writing poems is also a good way to express myself and an easier way to convey emotions.
Kent ISD Schools 2021 Write Michigan Written Poetry Contest Winners
• Samantha Gross, Wyoming Junior High
• Vivian Schmidt, Northview Secondary School
• Sam Temple, Kraft Meadows College
• Jesus Garcia, Grand Rapids Public Museum High School
• Samantha Zimmer, Grandville High School
• Jia Niemeyer, Forest Hills High School
And in another contest…
President Gerald R. Ford’s Student Writing Challenge provided another opportunity for students to express their thoughts and share their stories in writing.
This year’s theme was “resilience”. From more than 1,500 entries, a blind judging process involving 20 judges selected the finalists.
Kent ISD finalists included Andrew Karafa, from Forest Hills Eastern High School, and Priyanka Malaker, from City High Middle School.
Rosalynn Bliss, Mayor of Grand Rapids; Michael Ford, the eldest son of former President Gerald R. and Betty Ford; Shelley Irwin, host of the WGVU morning show; and public affairs professional Samuel “Buzz” Thomas III served as judges for the final round. For the complete list of this year’s student winners, visit the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation website. Click on here to watch the virtual awards ceremony with guest speaker John Agar.