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Children's poetry now decorates Mountain Line buses

Posted at 2:25 PM, Nov 25, 2022

MISSOULA - Thanks to the Missoula Writing Collaborative, Mountain Line buses are adding a little bit of poetry to their routes.

AmeriCorps Vista member Madison McMillion had the idea to display poems written by Missoula's third and fourth-grade students on Mountain Line buses. 

She read the poems and was inspired by how much the kids loved their city.

“It’s really cool to read these words that were inspired by this place, by these students’ perception of their place, and their love for their place. So not only does it inspire their art, but also inspires them in life, and I hope that’s able to be shared with everyone else who reads them," McMillion said.

There are 23 different poems on Mountain Line buses, and they are rotated so riders can read the different poetry from each classroom.

Each sentence is written by a different student in the class and McMillion hopes the poems remind riders of the beauty in the city of Missoula.

“I thought it would be a really awesome idea to share our student's words with others that live here, and what better way than for local youth to remind us and inspire us. To remind us that there is beauty in this city that we share with everyone," McMillion said.

Mountain Line spokesperson Shanti Devins sees the city bus as an important space in the community and is happy that the poems are able to spread positivity to commuters.

“I think it’s really fun to think of the bus as a community space and to have these words on the buses just brings that sense of place closer to home,” Devins said.

The Missoula Writing Collaborative reaches 2,500 kids across Western Montana.

They hire writers in residence to teach poetry in classrooms and inspire kids to use writing to express what they’re passionate about.

Each teacher has a poetry class once or twice a week and this program is being used in 37 schools across the area.

McMillion sees poetry as a great way to encourage kids to think creatively

“Poetry really is such an amazing way for students to find their creative voice and to honor the voice that their peers have as well," McMillion concluded.

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