On, Friday, March 16th, Mr. Barry and Ms. Cecilia took a group of Adolescent students to Chicago to see Louder Than A Bomb 2018 Individual Finals. The Indy Finals featured the top 12 scoring individual poets in a competitive poetry slam.

This trip was part of the AP occupation led by Mr. Barry. Before the trip, the kids were assigned to write an “ode” poem recognizing something on the trip they found special. Here’s what happened on the Amtrak ride home: 

“On our midnight train ride back to Milwaukee, we had a whole car to ourselves. The kids were excited and wild and loud. Inspired, they took the extra space in the train car to stage their own open mic session.

Several kids—including Kailyn Pickett—spat out poems they had been working on all day, and when we ran out of poems, the kids started freestyling or reading from poetry books they brought with them.

Kailyn agreed to let me share her poem about the experience. I could have tried 100 times and would never have said it any better. Thanks to everyone for helping get this trip get off the ground and for your continued support and passion for all we do.

It was an extremely special moment on what is, for me, a highlight of my Highland career.” – Mr. Barry Weber, Performing Arts Director


Adolescent Occupations: Adolescent students have a strong desire to engage in purposeful work. Our Adolescent Program offers a variety of occupations to support the students as they strive to contribute in valuable ways to our community. 

Louder Than a Bomb: Louder Than a Bomb is an annual event hosted by Young Chicago Authors. Over 1,000 youth poets compete in poetry bouts. The bout our students attended was the 2018 individual finals. More information can be found at Young Chicago Authors’ website.