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ACC’s First Poet Laureate

Jason, Ella and Christine Hanley

When Amanda Gorman read the poem for President Biden’s inauguration, then at the Super Bowl, our nation took notice. A young woman who effortlessly spoke her beautiful words while moving her hands in an almost hypnotic fashion. In that moment, many people remembered how much they loved poetry – others learned that it was something of which they wanted more.

Her moment in history reminded us at the Achievement Centers for Children how important poetry and the written word can be. To develop communication skills, our speech language therapists sometimes encourage their clients to write poems. One of our Achievement Centers “Achievers,” Ellie Hanley, quickly took a shine to writing. We have been told that Ella has a notebook full of poems and song lyrics and that she is willing to share some of her work with us.

Because of her commitment to the art of poetry, we have decided to name Ella Hanley our agency’s first Poet Laureate! To celebrate, here is a piece she wrote, which we shared at an Achievement Centers for Children Board meeting:

If I love You – By Ella Hanley

If I love you, are you willing to play your part?
Dancing with you close to your heart.
A thousand stars in the night sky,
I will kiss you goodbye.

Being your hero if I give you flowers,
like you are mine to love
Do I look dreamy to you every time I feel down?
As a hero you come to me, giving me your warm embrace.

If I love you, can I open my heart to you?
May I have this dance?

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