Enrich Paterson's K-12 Curriculum with Arts Education!

The Theater and Poetry Project (TAPP) presents free poetry workshops, Meet-the-Author sessions, and musical theater and dance performances to the Paterson Public Schools. 

Programming Services

Poetry Workshops

We offer language arts enrichmentin the form of in-class or virtual workshops led by professional poets for Paterson students, grades 1-12.

Meet-The-Author

This experience allows students to meet children’s book authors and develop  personal connections with literature while increasing reading engagement.

Poetry Contest

A published anthology showcases winning poems, which are presented annually by students in the PCCC Theater during an awards ceremony.

Theater Performances

Professional shows presented in the PCCC Theater, including classic children’s stories and multi-cultural programming, offered to students, K-8.

2021 Poetry Contest Anthology

Anthology for the 2021 Paterson Student Poetry Contest, facilitated by the Theater and Poetry Project at Passaic County Community College

The 2021 Anthology showcases award-winning poems submitted by Paterson youth for the annual student poetry contest. Many reflected on the challenges brought by the pandemic, virtual learning, and the new normal.

During an extraordinarily difficult year, poetry was able to provide a small outlet to for for students to make their voices heard. 

TAPP's purpose is to provide students K–12 with exposure to fine and performing arts through activities in the classroom that align with core curriculum learning standards.

News & Updates

A Celebration of Laura Boss

Laura Boss was an integral part of The Theater and Poetry Project’s Poets in the Schools program. For many years, she led hundreds of workshops across dozens of Paterson schools and inspired countless students. On April 9, 2021, Laura Boss passed away after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

Winners of the 2021 Paterson Student Poetry Contest

The results are in! Judges have made their selections for this year’s contest. See the complete list of winners and honorable mention recipients here. To all participants and teachers, the Theater and Poetry Project would like to thank you for your participation in the 2021 Paterson Student Poetry Contest. It was an honor to have […]

West African Drummer Shows Paterson Kids a New Way to Celebrate Black History

West African Drummer, Victor Marshall, led drumming residencies throughout Black History Month in 2021. He led workshops in two Math classes, integrating drum patterns in lessons about fractions, and worked with disabled students at STARS Academy.

Community Testimonials

Laura Boss International Award Winning Poet

Over the years, the Theater and Poetry Project has enriched the lives of Paterson students, many of whom because of limited school budgets and constrained financial situations, have lacked access to the arts. But there are so many students in Paterson—some very gifted, some with just a thirst for the arts—who have flourished under what TAPP has brought to their lives in terms of creativity in both writing and theater.  For Paterson students, TAPP has opened doors—ones that might never have been opened except for this outstanding and innovative programming. 

Maureen Bruins 6/7 Grade Teacher, Paterson Academy for the Gifted and Talented #28

Over the years, the Theater and Poetry Project has enriched the lives of Paterson students, many of whom because of limited school budgets and constrained financial situations, have lacked access to the arts. But there are so many students in Paterson—some very gifted, some with just a thirst for the arts—who have flourished under what TAPP has brought to their lives in terms of creativity in both writing and theater.  For Paterson students, TAPP has opened doors—ones that might never have been opened except for this outstanding and innovative programming. 

Angela Kariotis Performer/Artist

Storytelling can be a form of community organizing. These stories and poems are testimonies to real lived life. Students flourish in asserting the power of their narrative, carefully crafting the beloved details of their perspective. There is great love and joy in opportunities like these. Learning moments like these raise the standard of our living. Young artists become tremendous ambassadors and advocates for their Silk City through their work. The Theater and Poetry Project is a servant leader by providing this space and tending to these relationships. The Center tends a garden in which we all grow. 

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