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November 18, 2010

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November 18, 2010

I am a personal donor and a huge fan of the beautiful poetry that is the heart of ROW program. A chorus I sing with, WomenSing, partners with ROW. Our chorus commissions young composers to write music for the poetry and we connect the poet with the composers so they can have insight into each others creative process. The young poets have been remarkable in their observations, articulate and thoughtful. The chorus and its supporters have been enriched by observing the process and through their contact with ROW.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have experienced their passion about the children, the environment, and their great generousity of time and follow-through while working with them on our project

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help them secure more stable and consistent funding

September 25, 2010

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September 25, 2010

I'm a professional nature writer and a long-time enthusiast of River of Words (ROW). In its early years, I worked for International Rivers Network where ROW got its start, and was fortunate to work events in San Francisco and Washington. D.C. when the kids were celebrated and honored for their work. One year, I interviewed all the kids, and their positive and passionate attitudes were awe inspiring. I can easily say that ROW is my favorite kid-friendly environmental and art organization.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

witnessing an increased confidence in the kids involved. I've talked to many of them who told me that the contest changed their lives.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 22, 2010

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September 22, 2010

This is a great program to help these youngsters see the artist in there! Roll on river, roll on. I see poems form past participants other places now too.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

poems and pictures. we publish a book every year.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 16, 2010

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September 16, 2010

The River of Words poetry contest has shown my students that they can be inspired to write about their love for the natural world and be recognized for their efforts. Not only is the potential for publication a powerful incentive for writing, the publications of previous winners provide models to encourage and instruct my students in their own endeavors. When my students began to become winners and travel to Washington DC for the awards ceremony it added another dimension to this potential for recognition. This sense of limitless possibility was not a feeling many of the winning children were used to, one in particular, who was chosen as a grand winner, had been homeless on and off for some time and was amazed at the outside interest and encouragement provided by River of Words. I have countless stories of how participation in the River of Words program have has helped inspire my students, and been an invaluable tool in assisting me to teach writing skills. I have found that writing about the natural world opens up opportunities to work with other disciplines. I decided to work with an after-school environmental club. It was in one of these short workshops that Luis wrote Waterfall Slam the poem that secured him a place as a finalist in the ROW contest. For a fourth grader, it was a major encouragement, he had an article and photo in the newspaper and the experience changed him. He became one the most self-confident writers in the fifth grade. The following year, he was the MC for Poetry night, was referred to the gifted program and went to Middle School as an honor student. I was impressed by the power of success to bring more success. Carlos was a finalist in the River of Words two years in a row. He wrote a poem both in English and Spanish in his fifth grade class. The first year Carlos didn’t want to read his poem in Spanish but he we convinced him to do it anyway. When a family from Puerto Rico came up to him afterward, who had only understood the Spanish version, he was always eager to read his poems in both languages. He was invited back to DC for the third time to read at the National Book Festival. He even signed the beautiful River of Words Book at the book signing with Pamela Michael. I was given the Teacher of the Year award in May of 2009 and it was a great honor. This program has changed lives including mine.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As I have described in my story,the River of Words program has helped my students to learn about the narural world,to excel in poetry , and they have experienced success which has brought them even more success.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 11, 2010

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September 11, 2010

A committed and energetic crew supports River of Words. I had the wonderful opportunity to see how Pamela, Susan, and Louisa work tirelessly to help the organization remain active. No other organization works as hard to encourage children to make the connection between themselves and the rivers and wetlands surrounding their homes. The workshops they offer help introduce poetry and art to students in a time when these essential activities receive very little funding from local and national governments. I fear that without River of Words we might lose a generation of poets, artists, and environmentalists.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I helped sort and organize poems and art work students submitted to the annual contest in 2009. I was amazed at the surprising connections these poems and pictures showed to watersheds and the environment.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 9, 2010

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September 9, 2010

As a teacher and administrator, I find River of Words to be the very best program/contest for elementary school students. It is really the only one I emphasize every year at our school with teachers and kids. It is so important for children to understand their connection to the natural environment because it encourages responsibility, stewardship, and certainly learning. Children naturally seek to know how they fit in to the world. How they belong. Understanding one's watershed and then expressing this understanding and relationship in words and visual arts has brought out some truly amazing and outstanding products. This program has opened the door of poetry to some very unlikely students. We had one National Poetry Winner from our school, a State Art Winner, as well as other students recognized. I always display every entry in our school so all of the participants are recognized. This program is a perfect vehicle for integrating so much of the curriculum...science, art, writing, environmental studies, social studies, and even math!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

witnessing an incredible interest in writing poetry among so many students. It has also been a vehicle for integrating curricula and focusing on environmental stewardship schoolwide.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 9, 2010

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September 9, 2010

Students colored their ideas of a river and life in/around it. They designed it on envelopes and wrote stories in Spanish and/or English about what they learned. The 450 envelopes were streaming through the class upon completion and the students learned in art that the process was called an "installation." Suggestion:the website can post literature for parents to become involved so that the art and writing can be a home assignment.

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The enthusiasm continued during our second year with two other classroom teachers participating. I noticed the language development increase as students wanted to share their personal stories about camping along a river or simply playing in a city creek.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

. .ask many generous people to take a close look at the impact of such a strong leader and volunteers; add a sizable financial contribution and human energy to continue outreach to schools for children to understand they are the stewards of our planet.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

. . .they have it together! Even though each year "they tweak it a bit" "it is on the money" with organization. I know they could use the outreach for staffing and other costs as the economy is a bit of a mess!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

the staff is unbelievable! During the second year of our participation they had a naturalist come and speak to our students. Patient, kind and knowledgeable are only a few words to describe her. This mirrored the Directors' sincerity in making this happen

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

impact generations to come with outreach for young and old. I can envision a healthier planet and as a result of that, safer and happier.

Ways to make it better...

. . they could have someone speak to the principals to stress the importance of this type of education and how it impacts the learner. That would be very important! And, moreover, I suppose superintendents can request business and government to help!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

. . . funding. They have such integrity and strength in their board I find that if they could have a great deal of funding and human resources they can make a great shift in our creative world which is sensitive to the human spirit.

One thing I'd also say is that...

. . . . thank you for the forum to stress the excellence of this organization.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 8, 2010

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September 8, 2010

River of Words is a wonderful organization which recognizes the strong connection kids feel to the natural world and encourages them to express themselves through poetry and art. The results are amazing! Each year the contest produces a wonderful outpouring of inspiration from students all over the world. The resource materials and lesson plans for teachers are first rate. I recommend this program to classroom teachers at every level!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My students have had their writing and artwork recognized by River of Words and been validated and inspired to continue writing and drawing because of it.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 8, 2010

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September 8, 2010

River of Words provides a wealth of curriculum resources to teachers to support environmental education through art and writing. I found out about their amazing resources and student art and poetry contest in 1998 and have been sharing the wealth with my students ever since. River of Words is a trailblazer in Environmental Education. Their international contest is extraordinary in the ways that it touches and inspires students and teachers around the world. Their books are treasures for the classroom and I share them each year with a new group of students to inspire THEIR vision for preserving, conserving and treasuring our natural resources around the world.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The inspiration that students literally draw from their books of student art and poetry about water resources. My student artwork is grounded in the rich tradition that River of Words compiles from children around the world to celebrate a world of beauty.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

sharing the beautiful illustrations by children around the globe "picturing" the treasures of the natural world.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

helpful, thoughtful, and passionate about the natural world.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

bring the world to awareness about living sustainably and the importance of preserving our natural resources. They would create a world of artists and writers to preserve, conserve, and share resources responsibly.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 6, 2010

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September 6, 2010

The river of words nonprofit has inspired my 5th grade students to submit poetry and art for the River of Words yearly competition. Our local ESD 113 in Olympia, Washington has a local celebration and sends it's top placing poems to the National contest. It such a joy to see students share their feelings through poetry as they work hard to edit and revise for a perfect poem.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My students have gained from this program and this year I had my first students invited to the National ceremony in Washington DC. Thank you for providing these most meaningful opportunities for children.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The encourage my students to write poetry.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Always greatful for students who participate.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Honor more students and provide travel for those less fortunate to be part of the national celebraton.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

Help staff a booth at an educational fair or watershed festival, organize artwork in our Young at Art Gallery, assemble educators’ guides--we have many, many jobs for people with the time and inclination to help out