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Community Outreach


Furious Flower Poetry Center values community outreach.  We do poetry readings and host workshops throughout the region.    If your school, organization or company is interested in offering a writing-centered activity, please contact Elizabeth Hoover at hoovered@jmu.edu or 540-568-2694.

Furious Flower Collaboration with the Reading Road Show


As part of the Gus Bus Summer Enrichment Week, Waterman Elementary students took a field trip on Friday July 19, 2013 to the E.J.C. Arboretum at James Madison University for a tour and workshops in seed ball making and writing. After learning how to identify a number of trees, students made their own seed balls using soil, clay, water and wild flower seeds. Furious Flower’s Kayla Runion then led students in a writing workshop meant to both reflect and expand on the tour and seed ball workshop. Students wrote either poems or short stories that: 1) told of the journey the seeds would take on the way to becoming flowers; 2) re-imagined the marvelous things the seeds might grow into; or 3) created a vivid image of the flowers that would grow from the seed ball. Students were also encouraged to draw pictures along with their writing. Visit our flickr for pictures of the event.  



WVPT 11th Annual Children's Book Festival


landing strip at wvpt book festival

On Saturday, June 6, 2013 staff members and volunteers from the Furious Flower Poetry Center participated in the WVPT 11th Anniversary Kid's Book Festival at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds.  Kayla Runion, Outreach Coordinator, along with FFPC volunteers Kate Penney, Ciera Killen, Jonah Butler, and James Runion helped the children make gliders and test them on a floor-length landing strip.  The children also received a writing journal designed by Furious Flower staff and printed by RR Donnelley, pencils, and paper airplane emplates.  Other activities at this free family event included storytelling, magic shows and free books for the kids.  In addition, dozens of other organizations committed to the celebration of learning were on hand to inform parents and children about the learning opportunities in the Harrisonburg/Rockingham area. 




Poet Tree Reading at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum


In celebration of National Poetry Month and Earth Week, a group of James Madison University students and staff joined with community members to share poems at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum on Tuesday, April 23, 2013.  Poems were collected and left in the poem catcher basket that hangs on the weeping willow by the pond known as the Poet Tree. 

To read the poems left at the Poet Tree, visit the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum's Poet Tree page.




Staunton Parks & Recreation Departments's 6th Annual All Girl Conference



On Saturday, April 20, 2013 Furious Flower Poetry Center's Amber McBride joined middle and high school girls at an all day event designed to connect girls with community resources. Ms. McBride taught a workshop on poetry.  The event included keynotes speakers, interactive informational booths, workshops, food, and giveaways!  The 2013 Conference theme was: Girls Going Green: Saving Mother Earth!




Thomas Harrison Middle School Poetry Slam 2013 



On Friday March 15th, 2013 Furious Flower Poetry Center and Thomas Harrison Middle School PTO hosted the third annual THMS Poetry Slam. Students, parents, teachers, and community members gathered in the library to see student photography and hear students’ original poems as a celebration of Art Month. Students performed a selection of this spring’s musical High School Musical Jr. Judges awarded student poets prizes for their readings. It was a great event to close out the PTO’s Art Month classes. 





Slam Poetry Workshops at Skyline Middle School's RAOS program

For 8 weeks - starting in February and ending in March - Furious Flower's Kayla Runion coordinated eight afterschool workshops with the director of RAOS, Skyline Middle School’s after-school enrichment program. Kayla organized a group of 10+ JMU student volunteers to teach 8 original workshops dealing with themes of self-worth and community building. Each workshop contained between 5 and 15 students. The students performed their poems on March 27, 2013 at “Beyond the Bell,” a culminating event at SMS to showcase the work of RAOS students.