French American School of the Puget Sound Poetry 2023

The French American School of the Puget Sound (FASPS) is a bilingual school located on Mercer Island. The students have instruction in both English and French. Though, for many, French and English are not their only languages. The students are surrounded by an extremely diverse group of peers from all around the globe.

For our first project with FASPS, in the spring of 2023, Jack Straw Writer Vicky Edmonds worked with first-grade students to produce countless pieces of beautiful poetry. After brainstorming, writing, and sharing their work, Jack Straw audio engineers Daniel Guenther and Ayesha Ubayatilaka brought their recording studio to the classroom. The students were able to record their individual poems to become part of three group poems, watch the engineers edit the recordings, and learn all about the complex job of being audio engineers.

Poet and Teaching artist Vicky Edmonds writes, “I loved coming up with a group of subjects to have the children write about, and I chose ideas that were profound so I might be able to draw out some of those ‘out of the mouths of babes’ insights that children so often have. Many people might not think first graders would be able to shed much light on ideas such as hope, kindness and how to treat children, but poetry itself allows the writer to explore depths of ideas they might not even know are there without it, even with 7 year old writers. . . . I hope each of the poems will help us all think about these ideas more deeply for ourselves.”

“The project was so much fun! They all loved the experience and the parents adored their poems at our parent night!
-Teacher Taylor Boccaccio

Special thanks to teacher Taylor Boccaccio and Head of School Eric Thuau for making this project possible.


Portrait of Vicky Edmonds, by Katie Jennings

Vicky Edmonds

Vicky Edmonds is a poet and a teacher who uses the written and spoken word to bring the deepest and most authentic parts of ourselves to the page into the…