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A partnership between Galveston ISD and Iconoclasts Artists, out of Houston, has had an amazing impact on GISD students’ lives as well as their test scores. Students at AIM College and Career Prep Academy meet weekly with Bill Moran from Iconoclast to explore themselves and their thoughts through poetry. 

AIM English Teacher Kristin Bingley explained that one of the goals of the program is for students to get their poems published in the Iconoclast publication, “They Say.” The book publishes the works of students from throughout the Houston/Galveston area in both English and Spanish.  

In addition to being published, students have an opportunity to perform their works at the Iconoclast Sessions, quarterly public performances. AIM Principal Cheryl Rutledge said, “As a campus principal, it is absolutely a joy to see our AIM students publicly perform their poetry pieces. The confidence level of our kids, as a result of being heard and affirmed as a writer, is phenomenal.” The performances were held in Galveston at the Bryan Museum. 

Rutledge also said, “We have absolutely seen gains in writing depth, understanding and critical thinking skills improve with our students as evidenced through coursework and STAAR EOC results.”  

One AIM Student, Dennilah Young, recently received the Partners in Prevention award from Iconoclast. She also was awarded an Iconoclast Artists scholarship in May, 2023. A video of Dennilah’s journey and the impact of the program can be viewed at: https://bit.ly/481wDEv 

When talking about Dennilah, Bingley shared that, “She didn’t know that she had it in her until she started the class.” This program is truly changing the lives of GISD students each day. 

For more information, contact Kristin Binkley at kristinbingley@gisd.org 

They Say Book Cover