WESTERN HERITAGE OUTREACH PROGRAM
Our school outreach program serves ALL of Cochise County and is available to every public school within the county reaching more than 6,000 students a year in over 30 schools
The concept is to focus on the rich history and heritage of Southwest Arizona as well as educate students on ranch life – care for the land and the livestock.
Students submit over 500 poems per year. Every student who participated in the contest receives a Certificate from the Gathering.
It is always amazing to see the creative juices that flow from our young students. They have wonderful imaginations and when they decide to write a poem, they come up with some interest tales. The goal is to encourage young writers to write about the history and cowboy culture of Cochise County.
Entries are separated by grade level (elementary, middle and high school), and they are evaluated in a blind judging. The Gathering publishes the best of those from each group in a book call the Saddlebag of Poems. Each winner receives a prize, some of which are cash prizes. This year, we had 39 poems selected, and the judges identified one for a Scholarship of $1,000.00. Scholarship winners must write an exceptional, well-crafted poem that is based on the Gathering’s theme for that year. This year’s theme is, “It’s cool to be a cowboy.”
Winning students get to perform their poems in front of a live audiences on the Saturday of the Gathering and the top winners, typically the First Grand and Second Grand, perform at one of the headline performances.
The Gathering will have those musicians and poets who come for the Gathering visit the participating schools prior to and leading up to the Gathering. They share their tradecraft with the students so they see the professional side of this particular genre.
ENTRIES DUE BY NOVEMBER 12, 2019!
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: