Schools Program

Since 1987, The Dodge Poetry Program has been committed to giving teachers and students meaningful, relevant and revitalized experiences with poetry.

Since 1992, the Dodge Poetry Program has been offering Clearing the Spring, Tending the Fountain poetry exploration groups for New Jersey school teachers of any grade level or subject matter. These sessions get their title from the understanding that the spring of our imaginative and creative centers requires tending. The sessions give teachers the experience of reading, listening to and discussing poetry with their peers. Clearing the Spring, Tending the Fountain is held in locations around the state in order to offer access to teachers throughout New Jersey. Group size is limited (8-15 participants per group) to encourage an intimate environment. Many past participants have praised the refreshing and revitalizing experience of listening to and reading poetry in the supportive company of like-minded colleagues.

The Dodge Poetry Program is committed to encouraging the personal connection to poetry that makes students life-long readers. In addition to registering over 5,000 high school students for High School Student Day of the biennial Festival, the Poetry Program offers Dodge Poet Visits and Mini-Festivals in New Jersey High Schools every year. Dodge Poet Visits and Dodge Poetry Mini-Festivals in High Schools nurture creative, imaginative and metaphorical thinking in our young people. Through readings and discussions, Dodge Poets give students a way to relate to poetry that is meaningful and relevant to them, and through their modeling of curiosity and discovery, encourage students to be lifelong readers and poetry lovers.


Since its inception in 1986, the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Program has sent visiting Dodge Poets into more than 300 New Jersey high schools, in every region of the state, to work with nearly 100,000 students and 5,000 teachers. Each year, anywhere from 9 to 12 Poetry Mini-Festivals, inspired by the Dodge Poetry Festival, take place in high schools around New Jersey. These Mini-Festivals involve 20 to 24 participating high schools each year and over 7,000 students.

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