JTF Announces Array of 2022 Poetry Contests - Jason Taylor Foundation





The Jason Taylor Foundation has kicked off the new year with a full array of poetry contests through its Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network. Students of all ages will have an opportunity to share their voice and showcase creative writing skills, as contests exist for elementary, middle, and high school writers. All three contests strategically build towards the Foundation’s annual celebration of youth poetry, the Louder Than A Bomb Florida Poetry Festival, which will take place from March 15 through April 23.


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“It is our mission to foster opportunities for students to explore the power of poetry. Poetry develops literacy skills, as well as helps students build social and emotional skill sets including self-awareness, self-confidence, and oral presentation,” said Shawntee’ Herring, Director of Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Programs. “These contests will provide students at each level an opportunity to express themselves in a way that is engaging and rewarding for both poet and audience.”


The list of poetry contests include:

blu is for Apples

Organized in partnership with Hoffman’s Chocolates, blu is for Apples is designed to promote interest in creative writing and literacy within elementary school students. Participating schools will be offered virtual writing workshops led by members of the foundation’s bluapple Poetry team. Students will be challenged with writing a poem inspired by the prompt “What seed would I like to plant?” Children representing all grade levels will be recognized, with winners receiving prizes including free Hoffman’s Ice Cream, custom caramel apples, recognition during the Jason Taylor Foundation’s Louder Than A Bomb Florida Festival, and more. Additionally, the school with the highest percentage of participation will receive a $500 donation, as will the classroom of the educator whose student produces the winning poem.

Panthers’ Poetry Project

The Jason Taylor Foundation has partnered with the NHL’s Florida Panthers Hockey Club to launch the Panthers’ Poetry Project. To kick off this competition, the Foundation’s Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry team will conduct a pep rally tour at participating middle schools to generate excitement and interest in poetry. Students will be guided through writing workshops and led through the development of their original poems, which must incorporate the theme, “It’s Time To Hunt.” Children representing grades 6-8 will be recognized, with winners receiving prizes including tickets to Florida Panthers home games, recognition during the Jason Taylor Foundation’s Louder Than A Bomb Florida Festival, and a professionally produced poetry video for the overall winning poet. Additionally, the school with the highest percentage of participation will receive a $500 donation, as will the classroom of the educator whose student produces the winning poem.

South Florida Youth Poet Laureate

The South Florida Youth Poet Laureate competition is a joint program of the Jason Taylor Foundation and Urban Word, a New York-based literary arts education and youth development organization, with support from community leaders including the Miami Dolphins, UKG, and UPS. The program seeks to identify young writers and leaders, ages 14-19, who are committed to civic and community engagement, poetry and performance, human rights, diversity, and education across South Florida. Interested students must submit five original poems, raps, or performances to the Jason Taylor Foundation, along with a resume reflecting the student’s accomplishments in the classroom, after-school, and within their community. Along with winning the prestigious title of South Florida Youth Poet Laureate, the winning poet will also earn the opportunity to publish his or her own poetry chapbook.

All three contests are now officially open for participation. Schools, educators, and students seeking more information or looking to apply should contact the Jason Taylor Foundation by emailing bluapple@jasontaylorfoundation.com or by calling (954) 424-0799. Information can also be found at www.JasonTaylorFoundation.org.


About the Jason Taylor Foundation

In July 2004, Miami Dolphins legendary defensive end and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Jason Taylor, established the Jason Taylor Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization. The Foundation’s mission is to support and create programs that facilitate the personal growth and empowerment of South Florida’s children in need by focusing on improved health care, education and quality of life.

Since opening its doors, the Jason Taylor Foundation has impacted tens of thousands of children through innovative programming including The Jason Taylor Reading Room, Cool Gear for the School Year, the Jason Taylor Children’s Learning Center, Jason Taylor Scholars and the Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network, among others. For more information on the Jason Taylor Foundation, please visit the organization’s website at visit the organization’s website at www.JasonTaylorFoundation.org or follow on social media sites including Facebook or Twitter and Instagram: @jtfoundation99.