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Teen’s ode to sounds of Miami amplifies the power of poetry

The SEED School of Miami tenth grader Kyndra Palmer and her mentor Nikisha Williams show off this year's O, Miami Poetry Festival tote bag that includes some of Kyndra's poem.

The SEED School of Miami tenth grader Kyndra Palmer and her mentor Nikisha Williams show off this year’s O, Miami Poetry Festival tote bag that includes some of Kyndra’s poem.

For tenth-grader Kyndra Palmer, Miami is a city of sounds — fireworks, laughter, loud speakers, popping balloons, racing cars, honking horns, phone notification bells, and “everyone’s voices talking to one another.”

Kyndra, a student at The SEED School of Miami, wrote a poem about it called “The Best Part.”

O, Miami Poetry Festival organizers liked it so much that they awarded Kyndra the honor of having some of her poem featured on the annual event’s tote bag.

Prior featured poets include Octavia Butler and Marjorie Stoneman Douglas.

“We are grateful for all the ways our dedicated staff, families, and community partners show up to support our scholars like Kyndra, including the leadership of Ms. M. Pierre; Or, Miami staff members Melissa Gomez, Caroline Cabrera, and Kristia Leon; and Kyndra’s mentor Nikisha Williams,” said Kara Locke, head of school.

Kyndra was also awarded her own ice cream flavor “Kyndra’s Fairground Funnel Cakes,” a sweet cream ice cream with Sunkist jam, funnel cakes, and elephant ears pastry thanks to Sweet Melody Ice Cream.

Some O, Miami Festival projects have continued past April’s Poetry Month. One is the poetry “Ge-ode-caching” collaboration with Miami-Dade County Parks and artist Aileen Neri.

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Poem boxes hidden at 22 parks can be found through a geocaching app until the end of May. Miami-Dade County Parks Department

Neri worked closely with the department to select 22 parks across the county to drop boxes of original poems for park-goers to find.

Box coordinates can be uploaded through the app at www.geocaching.com/play, and users can find unique poems in their neighborhood parks.

There are also some freebees, available on a first-come-first-serve basis, and a notebook in which users are encouraged to write their own poems, their reaction to the original poem, or their name and a message to the next person who finds the box.

“I know O, Miami’s mission is for every person in Miami to encounter a poem in the month of April, and what better place to stumble upon a poem than at a park?” said Miami-Dade Parks Director Maria Nardi.

“Poetry and parks brought me all the peace in the world during the pandemic,” said poet Neri, who spearheaded the collaboration.

“I’d visit my neighborhood parks in west Kendall, and I’d draw and read poetry for hours after work for the better part of two years. Putting the two together is basically a dream realized, and being able to share with everyone feels like a great way to build community all around and drive O, Miami’s mission to provide access to poetry for all.”

Poetry boxes can be found through May. Park list and more extended events are at www.omiami.org

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Sherlock Holmes: The Exhibition will be at the Frost Museum of Science until Sept. 5. Guests can play detective and even visit Sherlock Holmes’ and Dr. Watson’s sitting room at 221B Baker Street, London. Photo provided by Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science.

Sherlock Holmes exhibition at Frost

It’s Elementary! Visitors to the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science can practice being detectives, and even visit Sherlock Holmes’ and Dr. Watson’s sitting room at 221B Baker Street, London, at a new exhibit opening May 16.

The interactive experience will combine science with history and culture to bring to life the underpinnings of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s rich and vibrant stories, organizers said. The exhibit coincides with Frost Science’s fifth anniversary and will run through Sept. 5.

Be sure to look for the final gallery with its collection of all things “Sherlockian” ranging from vintage Sherlock Holmes-themed card games, comics, and magazines, to radio scripts, and movie and television show props and costumes.

Featured are hero props from the Warner Bros. Sherlock Holmes movies set in the Victorian era, alongside costumes, props, and behind- the-scenes tools from the hit CBS television shows “Elementary” and the BBC’s “Sherlock,” both of which set Sherlock Holmes in the present day.

Admission to Sherlock Holmes: The Exhibition is included with all museum admission tickets. For more, visit frostscience.org/sherlock

Mental health awareness walk

The National Alliance on Mental Illness Miami is hosting the county’s first in-person Walk for Mental Health Awareness, “NAMIWalks Your Way 2022,” 8-11:30 am, May 21 at Maurice A. Ferré Park/Museum Park.

“Psychological distress since the past two years has really increased the demand for mental health services in our community,” said Susan Racher, NAMI Miami board president. “Our goal is to provide mental health for all.”

The walk is designed to combat stigmas, address the high incidence of suicide due to untreated mental health disorders, and raise funds for NAMI Miami’s free programs such as support groups, peer mentoring programs, outreach and educational classes.

Offered at no cost, programs are led by NAMI trained peer-leaders and remain confidential.

To register and/or make donations, visit NAMIWalks.org/Miami; or contact Kate Edelson at Kate@NAMIMiami.org 305-665-2540 or 786-775-0667.

Act, sing, dance at FIU camp

Here’s a fun way to keep children active this summer. Florida International University Summer Theater Camp will help kids develop social skills, explore their creative sides, and boost confidence.

Camp is Monday through Friday, 9 am-4 pm, July 11-29, for ages 6-16. No acting experience necessary. The fee is $550 and camp will be held at FIU South Campus at The Wertheim Performing Arts Center. More at go.FIU.edu/theatrecamp or contact 305-348-0548 or ilittpin@fiu.edu

Children’s Trust Camps

Still looking for a great summer camp? The Children’s Trust is one of the largest funders of summer camps in Miami-Dade, including free and low-cost options. There are dozens of programs to choose from. Find a match for your child at www.TheChildrensTrust.org/SummerCamps

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Write to ChristinaMMayo@gmail.com with news for this column.

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