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Cool cats at Hebron raise money through their poetry

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By Stephen Thomas

 HEBRON ESTATES - The cool cats of Hebron Middle’s Poetry Club are changing the world one word at a time.

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The club hosted a beatnik-style benefit to show their skills while raising funding for Shepherd’s Shelter, a local non-profit agency that assists community members who are unemployed or homeless.

The event allowed students to present their own original works in poetry or song, or to present popular songs and poems. Many of the works were inspired by issues familiar with the plight of Shepherd’s Shelter clients.

“Students discussed the stigma of homelessness, and how to bust it,” said Hebron reading instructor Rachel Kenzie. “They’ve learned it is much different than they originally perceived.”

Patrons were advised to snap their fingers as applause for the performers, rather than clapping, like in the poetry clubs of the 1960s.

Dinner included spaghetti and bread donated by Frisch’s and salad courtesy of Mr. Gatti’s. Kevin Calkins, a deaf musician, provided light dinner music with his guitar. Kenzie thanked Calkins and Bullitt County Public Schools sign language interpreter Donna Lawlor for their assistance.

“Donations were all based on student-written letters,” said Kinsey. “Some club members wrote poetry, some wrote letters, some did research or public relations. Not everybody in the poetry club is a poet.”

Poetry Club member Christine Scharrer said she assisted by creating promotional posters in school. She said students selected Shepherd’s Shelter because it was a local charity doing a nice service.

“We thought it would go to a good cause,” she said. “We all helped and pitched in to make this community better.”

The Poetry Club raised $200 for Shepherd’s Shelter, along with filling a few bellies and ears with goodies.

Kenzie said a total of 25 students participated in the poetry club, including many seventh grade students returning next year.