BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Thanks to the Mountain Park Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization, 5th grade students enjoyed a three day residency by award-winning poet BJ Ward last from May 17 through May 20.

Ward is the recipient of the Pushcart Prize for Poetry and other accolades and his poetry and essays have been featured on National Public Radio and published in Poetry, The American Poetry Review, The Green Mountain Review, The New York Times, and many other notable journals. Recently, The Star Ledger listed BJ Ward as one of "10 Dynamic Jersey Artists Not Named Springsteen" who are "making a difference." Mr. Ward has also received many awards for his teaching of pupils of all ages; he currently teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Warren County Community College. 

Ward demonstrated to the fifth grade class strategies that opened the students' imaginations and used their knowledge and experiences to create vivid poems of their own. His enthusiastic, wacky approach kept the students laughing, moving and writing throughout the workshop. Each child created two poems and learned how to use ‘strong words’ to publish their final pieces.

This opportunity was nothing short of fun, exciting, and educational for all the students, as well as a wonderful way to bring their years at Mountain Park School to a close.