Mission Statement

The 7th Grade Poetry Foundation (7GP) is transforming young lives and their classrooms through writing.  We provide free school-based poetry contests to every 7th grade student, in every type of school, in every community. 7GP seeks to create a national educational literary arts rite of passage that helps develop our nation's best and most diverse generation of poet laureates. We unite families, educators and communities nationwide through 7th grade poetry.

Why 7th Grade?

Reading and writing poetry is a part of the standardized curriculum for 7th grade classrooms in nearly every state in the country. This is partially due to the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a nationwide program developed by teachers, school administrators and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare children for college and the workforce. 7GP designed its approach to enhance school-based outcomes.

How We Accomplish Our Mission

With our collaborators, 7GP provides any school with a 7th grade classroom the incentives to encourage students to compete in our sponsored poetry writing contests. Students are asked to write a poem in any style on any topic. Each school picks one winning poem. 7GP publishes anthologies of each community's winning poems and donates them to the winning students, participating school libraries and public libraries. We host a filmed poetry reading event to showcase the schools' poet laureates presenting their own poems before invited family members and educators. A film of the event will be produced and aired online. Each winning student will receive a cash prize.



Aaron Williams, Board President; Founder and President, Aaron Consulting, Inc.

Robert F. Boyle, Board Vice President; CEO, justine PETERSEN

Leo G. "Gary" Stoff, Jr., Board Secretary; Director, St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners

Scott Intagliata, Board Treasurer, Sales Director, Unico, Inc.

Michael P. Grady, Ph.D., Board Member; Professor and Former Chair, Depts. of Communication and Educational Studies, St. Louis University

Bonnie J. Kruger, Board Member; Professor of the Practice and Costume Director, Washington University in St. Louis


Cynthia R. Buehler, Educator Liaison

Alexis Turim, Graphic Designer