New York, NY (February 20, 2018)—With a fifty year track record of serving K–12 teachers, the Academy of American Poets, with the leadership of Education Ambassador Richard Blanco, is a national advocate for the importance of poetry being taught in our nation’s classrooms.

From developing the first Poets in the Schools program in the 1960s to initiating Teachers Institutes and launching as an educational resource in the 1990s to being named a Best Teaching & Learning Website by the American Association of School Librarians in 2017, education has been core to the organization’s mission.

Today, the Academy of American Poets, with the curriculum development expertise of Educator in Residence Dr. Madeleine Fuchs Holzer, is the leading poetry organization providing materials to inspire the next generation of writers and readers. The Academy partners with several nonprofit poetry and educational organizations to disseminate its free resources and classroom activities, and offer trainings to teachers, including 826 National, the American Library Association, National Council for Teachers of English, the National Endowment for the Humanities, New Visions for Public Schools, and Urban Word.

To help guide and champion the organization’s growing Education Program, the Academy of American Poets has established an Education Advisory Council comprised of leaders in poetry, education, and technology. They are:

  • Kristen Amundson, President/CEO of National Association of State Boards of Education;
  • Eric Contreras, Principal of Stuyvesant High School in New York City;
  • Lisa Fink, Project Manager for ReadWriteThink, NCTE;
  • Danielle Legros Georges, Boston’s second poet laureate and a professor at Lesley University;
  • James Johnson, retired from the partnership of the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton in March of 2016 and now focused on social justice issues;
  • Olivia Morgan, Vice President, Strategic Programs for Common Sense, the nation’s top organization rating, educating and advocating for kids around media, technology and child development;
  • Laura Baudo Sillerman, Chair of the Gilder Graduate Center at the American Museum of Natural History and past Chair of the museum’s Education Committee;
  • Amy Swauger, Executive Director of Teachers & Writers;
  • Elizabeth Wade, content specialist overseeing Grades 3-5 of the Core Knowledge Language Arts curriculum at Amplify’s Center for Early Reading; and
  • Renée Watson, award-winning young adult and children’s book author and founder of I, Too, Arts Collective, a nonprofit committed to nurturing underrepresented voices in the creative arts.

Academy of American Poets Board Members Liza Bennett, Bruno Navasky, and Gerald Richards serve as liaisons to this council.

About the Academy of American Poets

Founded in 1934, the Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. The organization produces, the world’s largest publicly funded website for poets and poetry; National Poetry Month; the popular Poem-a-Day series; American Poets magazine; Teach This Poem and other resources for K-12 educators; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events. The organization also coordinates the work of a national poetry coalition working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds.