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Spitting truths: Dieruff poets craft 'A Million Dreams'

Dieruff poetry club
Sarah Mueller
Dieruff High School Spitting Truth poetry club advisor Luke Boyd helps students (left-to-right) Francine Cedeno Bello, Ashley Marte, Kellissa Brown, Miah Melo and Adalys Rodriguez prepare for a performance.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Students at Dieruff High School are writing poetry about dreams in preparation for their performance at next week’s gala for the Allentown School District Foundation.

The High Notes Gala is being held on April 1st at the Americus Hotel. The theme is “A Million Dreams.” The event will also feature students doing theatrical, dance and musical performances.

  • Dieruff High School's poetry club is preparing to perform at the annual gala
  • The theme is "A Million Dreams"
  • All 12 students are creating one large poem for the group to perform together

Luke Boyd is the advisor for the Spitting Truth poetry club at Dieruff. He said students are writing their own interpretations of dreams.
“What we’re seeing come out of it is people writing about like dreams and nightmares or dreams that are not achieved," he said. "Or the American dream and what that means for a lot of different people and maybe reasons why different people struggle to achieve that if it’s possible.”

There are 12 kids in the poetry club and Boyd said they split into two groups to write their poems. Now they’re working on integrating them into one big poem where everyone will perform certain lines.

"It’s a really nice experience to share what’s on your mind without others judging you, you know.”
Dieruff Senior Francine Cedeño Bello

Dieruff senior Francine Cedeño Bello said her poems focused on dreams of searching for love and of being free of hair discrimination as a Black woman. She says she went to a Catholic middle school where her curly hair had to be done a certain way.

“So there are specific styles you couldn’t do because of this, this and this," Bello said. "Usually, the reason is it’s too distracting, it doesn’t look professional, blah, blah, blah.”

She said she’s gained confidence and public speaking skills through participating in the club.

“I really like that it’s a really non-judgmental space," Bello said. "You can write whatever you feel like and it’s a really nice experience to share what’s on your mind without others judging you, you know.”

Spitting Truth has been around since 2017. It’s open to all students in the high school.

This is the 13th year ASD Foundation is hosting the gala. The foundation is a nonprofit that raises money to support students and teachers with programs and scholarships.