On September 28th, the park hosted the Prairie Visions Writing Festival, featuring its first poetry slam event with veteran poet Matt Mason leading the way.
One hundred and thirty-five high school juniors and seniors from twelve high schools from as far away as 300 miles gathered early that morning to hear Mason’s words of wisdom on what makes a great poetry slam event and demonstrate an expressive poetry performance. The students were then given two hours of free time to write their own poetry, using Homestead’s restored tallgrass prairie as inspiration.
Forty-two students competed in the poetry slam that afternoon. The initial field was narrowed to three students who competed for the coveted Homestead Golden Plow trophy. Said Angela Richart, a junior at Elgin Public Schools: "I had a ridiculous amount of fun!"
Friends of Homestead National Monument donated the funds for refreshments and Subway restaurants offered discounted lunch boxes for students.
Homestead National Monument of America’s provides education programs to over 16,000 students annually and reaches students across the country through distance learning technology.