Local Teacher Receives Grant for Poetry Listening Immersion Program

Bonnie Destakasi, a language arts teacher at Sarasota Military Academy, a local, public charter school, recently received the 2019 PoetryLife’s Teaching Grant to create a Poetry Listening Immersion Program. SMA Captain Destakasi was awarded the $500 grant during the Coffee, Conversation & Lunch event held in February 2019 at the Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota.

“Thank you to the PoetryLife organization for the grant to help foster a greater appreciation for storytelling and poetry in our classroom,” said SMA-CPT Bonnie Destakasi, Sarasota Military Academy Language Arts Teacher. “In our new Poetry Listening Immersion space, cadets will be able to read and listen to poetry from a selection of anthologies and favorite poets in a relaxing, inviting environment. My plan is to make the space beautiful and comfortable – a place where cadets will feel creative and inspired.”

Through the new Poetry Listening Immersion Program, SMA-CPT Destakasi aims to spark and foster a greater appreciation for and understanding of poetry for cadets at Sarasota Military Academy as her curriculum explores language that addresses, celebrates, and explores the human condition.

“One of the main reasons PoetryLife exists is to encourage and inspire the joy of poetry in our schools,” said Georgia Court, PoetryLife Founder and Bookstore1Sarasota Owner. “Teachers like Bonnie Destakasi not only inspire their students; they go the extra mile to make that inspiration come to life.”

“It is incredibly important to make poetry accessible and relatable, and this grant will help us offer a haven of sorts from the pressure and constant activity that comes with attending high school and being a teenager,” said SMA-CPT Destakasi. “The ultimate goal would be to eventually find equipment and ways for students to record their own poetry for others to enjoy.”

The PoetryLife event, a project of Bookstore1Sarasota, featured a guest panel including poets Terrance Hayes and Simon Armitage, musician and painter Bill Buchman and moderator Kate Alexander. PoetryLife grants were awarded to two teachers in Sarasota. To learn more about PoetryLife, visit https://www.sarasotapoetry.com/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

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