“Since meeting Ms. Renée in November, not only has she had a profound effect upon me, but on my students, as well. I have learned more about my students’ personal lives than I could ever imagine. I know they, too, have learned about each other, and more importantly, about themselves. The short time that Ms. Renée was with us will last forever. Her positive spirit and I-can-do attitude is truly infectious. I wish all students could have her guidance and experience, as she shares herself like no other.”
Mr. Lieberman, Teacher
Classes 805 & 806, MS 226

“Dear Ms. McRae,
Thank you for being a blessing to all of us at the ALC.
May God always keep you blessed! You are our Poetic Therapist!
Thank you for helping students and staff understand themselves and each other.”
Mr. San Miah, Assistant Principal
Queens Alternate Learning Center @ Beach Channel

“Thank you for all you’ve done
And all the time you’ve spent
Teaching us to express ourselves
And all the stories you’ve sent

We’ve all learned a lot
We’ve written lots of things
You’ve made us feel wanted
We’ve felt like queens and kings

So thank you for all you’ve done
And all the time we’ve been together
You’ve helped us feel good
And helped us get better.”
D.G, Student
P23Q, NYC Children’s Center.

“To Ms. Renée –

Our paths crossed again
Memories soared to when it began
A friendship that blooms
Opening doors to joyous tunes
You’re leaving once more
Tears about to hit the floor
You’re absences say not to let up
Your examples teach us to get up
Waiting for our paths to cross again.”
Ms. Smith, Teacher
Royal Academy, Queens Alternate Learning Center

“Hey, Ms. Renée,
I just wanted to say I appreciate everything you have done.
You taught me how to trust myself and my writing.
Coming to poetry every Tuesday was always the highlight
of my week, and you truly shine.”
R.P., Student
P.23Q, NYC Children’s Center.

“Dear Ms. Renée,
Thank you so much for providing us sad teens a means of meaningful expression.
In these brief sessions, you have touched my life. You inspired me to hone
my writing talents for good use. In your classes, I have learned much about
myself and my classmates. Thank you so, so, so, so much!”
Giulia, Student
P.23Q, NYC Children’s Center.

“Dear Ms. Renée,
I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for the hope
you brought to this school. You didn’t turn down our ideas or make
us feel silly or dim. You received us with acceptance and I
appreciate having had a space where I could be honest. Thank you for
enabling courage that I had within me. Thank you for taking the
opportunity to learn from us like we learned from you. You are a gem.
Thank you for creating a safer space.”
Andie, Student
P.23Q, NYC Children’s Center.

“Ms. Renée rocked Wagner ALC. I enjoyed “Poetry in Motion” with Ms. Renée. When I went to “Poetry in Motion,” I felt happy because I learned a lot of things and words that rhyme. The special thing about the teacher is that she made me laugh. I looked forward to every Wednesday and Thursday with Ms. Renée. Her class was amazing. She is full of energy and life. She makes me believe in myself. My favorite activity is when we had to make our own poetry. I did not like poetry before because I thought it was not interested, but now she changed my feelings about poetry. In poetry, I learned about life and how to be independent. I learned that a poem doesn’t have to rhyme, as long as it makes sense. I learned to be creative…”
Carlos, Student
Queens Alternate Learning Center @ RF Wagner HS

“Thanks for inspiring people to pour out their inner-most thoughts and feelings
and immortalize those emotions in poetry form. You are a blessing.”
Ms. Lora, Teacher
Royal Academy, Queens Alternate Learning Center

“Step/Write Into Poetry was an awesome experience. It allowed me to tap into my inner poet. It also reminded me of the greatness that lies within each and every one of us while encouraging us to face life’s challenges without fear or doubt. My students were excited each week and made many self-discoveries about themselves as poets and writers.”
Ms. Ford, Teacher
PS 309, George E. Wibecan Prep., Brooklyn

“Thanks Ms. Renée, for those many hours
of bliss where we got to escape
the realities of life and opt to dream and to ponder
of things usually not said.”
Ms. Cherry Joseph, Guidance Counselor
Royal Academy, Queens Alternate Learning Center

“To the Best Poetic Psychotherapist on Earth -.
May God continue to bless you in your endeavors. Peace & Grace,”
Ms. Evans, Guidance Counselor
Queens Alternate Learning Center @ Beach Channel

T uesday’s became a day to look forward to
H aving our poetic gears grind
A s our pens and pencils dance along paper
N erves calm as we float along
K ind of on a Poetic Cloud 9

Y ou give us a poetic outlet
O ne we all enjoy
U s kids hope you’ll come again.
Angela, Student
P23Q NYC Children Center

“Thank you, Ms. Renée, Your motivation
and inspiration means so much to our young and staff.
Keep, keepin’ on!”
Mr. Keith Watkins, Teacher
Jamaica Academy, Queens Alternate Learning Center

“I know this one inspirational person
Named Ms. Renée
When it comes to poetry
She doesn’t play

She thrives and grinds
For our success
When I’m doing things right
I know she’s the best
We all love you
From the bottom of our hears
Your poetry level
Well, that’s just art

When you tell us to write
There’s always a point
When you leave
Who’s gonna run this joint?

Share your ideas
They’re the best
I love you
And so do the rest!”
Youssef, Student
Royal Acad., Queens Alternate Learning Center

“On behalf of the teachers and students at Lafayette Academy, we would like to thank you for your expertise and professionalism. Step’/Write Into Your Greatness has given our students the opportunity to explore their feelings and then express them on paper. Your program supports the growth of our students both in and out of the classroom. Whether it be one of the uplifting and enlightening quotes that you start your class with, or your witty way of reversing the students’ thinking and having them believe in themselves, the time you have given us is truly appreciated. Thank you for your service, it was a pleasure having you visit our school.”
Ms. Hanifa Chambers, Teacher
Lafayette Academy, Bronx Alternate Learning Center

Ms. Renée McRae,
I had to write the whole name
because you play no games!
When it comes to motivation
You are my whole community’s inspiration!
Thank you for your commitment
Our students are truly different
They grow up over night
With your creation and sight
To love and inspire
Which I truly admire
Keep up with your bad self
As you support my Craft and Poetic Wealth!
Can’t wait for next year
It will be the best – I swear!
Love Always,
Dr. Rushell S. White, Principal
MS 226, Queens. NY

“Your ability to engage and motivate often hard-to-reach clients combined with your capacity to create a safe, non-threatening environment, resulted in poetry that revealed more about some individuals than I was able to elicit in traditional settings over the past year.”
Donald J. Decker, CSW, Director
Recovery Works, Mental Health Assoc. of NYC, Inc.

“Some time ago
In another place
I met a woman
With a beautiful face

Her words moved the room
And moved me, too
I saw everyone’s face
And I didn’t know what to do

She elevated the minds
Of all in the room
Some laughed, some cried
But there was life, not doom

So now to the present
And who do I see?
It’s Ms. Renée
And she encourages me!

My creativity is back
Words come to life
Jumping off the pages
No hate, no strife!

Thank you, Ms. Renée
For showing us how
The future you speak
Has become my now!”
Mr. Robert Thomas, Teacher
Queens Alternate Learning Center @Beach Channel HS

“The Step/Write Into Your Greatness program provides students the opportunity to get in touch with their inner self through poetry. In the beginning most of the students were apprehensive. However, through Ms. Renée they were able to excel as novice poets. Her enthusiasm and style adds flavor to the program and draws the students into the world of poetry. It is my hope that this program continues to flourish and inspire students to use all of their talents.”
Ms. Melissa Priester,
Class 807, MS 226,

“Ms. McRae’s poetry program was a great inspiration for both students and staff. It was a way for them to express their heartfelt feelings without feeling like they would be scrutinized. I especially liked it because it was a way for students to express themselves when they didn’t have anyone to talk to. I think poetry helps you deal with your emotions. Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us.”
Ms. Sharon Smith,
Royal Academy, Queens Alternate Learning Center

“My favorite is ‘What’s Your Style?‘ Never really liked poetry until you came in.”
Omar, Student
RF Wagner, Queens Alternate Learning Center

“Much thanks to Mrs. McRae for taking on the challenge of working with my culturally and linguistically diverse students. It was surely a pleasure observing this creative process. I can truly say Class 704 benefited from engaging in this program. Each week they eagerly anticipated their motivational poetry sessions and were able to encourage and motivate themselves as well as their peers through the forum of literary expression.”
Ms. Hunter, Teacher
Class 704, MS 226,

“I’m proud of being your student.”
Ian, Student
Royal Academy, Queens Alternate Learning Center

“You were an absolute sensation with the students. You had their minds mesmerized during every one of your presentations . . . you were the first presenter to have two students on nearly every chair and all the standing room space filled as well.”
J. J. Thomas
H. S. of Fashion Industries

“Dear Ms. Renée. We thank you for not only bringing poetry to life for each of us, but also for the poetic inspiration you brought to our class. We appreciate that you motivated the poets in each of us! Thanks again.”
Ms. Carballo,
Class 601, MS 226,

“The second graders in Class 203 looked forward each week for “Ms. Renée” time. They enjoyed listening to poetry and loved expressing themselves through their writing. Students were so excited to share their writing with each other.”
Ms. Querni
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School PS 66

“Ms. Renée, I love you more and more and more each year! You are able to accomplish the unexpected with our students each year. You are simply amazing!!
Let’s do this again!!!”
Dr. Jennifer Brown-Shirley, A.P.
MS 226, South Ozone Park, Queens

“On behalf of the students who were fortunate enough to attend your presentation, I want to thank you for giving them such an enriching opportunity. Your dynamic and charismatic presence electrified the classroom. Your philosophy was clear and one that students needed to hear.”
Arnold Goldstein, Principal
Benjamin N. Cardozo H. S.

“Kudos to Ms. McRae and the ‘Step/Write Into Your Greatness’ program. The students learned how to write several forms of poetry, and they eagerly awaited each session. The assigned compositions were completed with enthusiasm. Ms. McRae both inspired and entertained the students. The experience was beneficial to my class. Thank you.”
Ms. McCoy,
Class 607, MS 226,

“I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to experience this program. Ms. Renée McRae has unlocked hidden talents in my students that they did not want to reveal or that they didn’t even know they had. My students have gained confidence in their writing abilities and have been able to express their emotions in a positive way. I have benefited, as well. I used to write poetry in high school, and I forgot how much I loved it. My students and I have been poetically motivated by Poetic Motivations!”
Ms. Sonia Zizilas
IS 126, Queens Alternate Learning Center

“It was a pleasure to have you visit our classes and share with our students the need to set goals and directions for their lives. Your presentation was enlightening and inspiring. . . . The students are still talking about your presentation and how much they really enjoyed it.”
Emma Locklear, Teacher
Townsend Middle School, NC

I have shared this poetry with my family, friends and other teachers. Even my father enjoys it. I ordered thirty copies! Ms. McRae’s book is a powerful teaching tool for any classroom K through 12!
Ms. Nykki Montecalvo
4th Grade Teacher, P.73

“Our residents generally take on a rather cynical view of speakers and presenters . . . It is one thing to impart knowledge, it is quite another to truly inspire, to touch someone at the core of their being as you were able to do.”
Rashad Madyun
The Apostles’ House

“Ms. McRae was simply superb and a breath of fresh air. Her poetry was very positive and really touched the heart and moved the soul. The clients were influenced by her words of rhyme.”
L. R. Robin
Brooklyn Psychiatric Centers, Inc.

“Thank you so much for sharing your love of poetry, creativity and infectious vivacious personality with the students of 256Q. Your involvement in all three of our residential high school sites was a wonderful addition to our curriculum. The students created poetry that was both insightful, and inspiring.”
Ellen Kaplan, A.P., 256
NYC Dept. of Education

“Thank you for allowing me to view the videotape of your recent performance. I enjoyed it so much, I had to play it through twice.”
Monique Fleming Berg
Black Community Arts, Cranbury, NJ

“Thank you for coming to our class on Friday. I enjoyed your performance. I especially enjoyed the way you free-styled it off the top of your head.”
Gilbert Alabre
8th Grade Student

“I liked the way you were free-styling. It was ill. I liked the poetry, too. You taught me to reach for positive goals. I learned the right way to achieve my dreams.”
Michael Thomson
8th Grade Student

“… So, I guess all that I can say for now is to stay as strong as you are because you are such a positive influence.”
Marcia Rahaman
11th Grade Student

“I knew what I wanted to happen in my life. I simply lost the ability to believe … until we talked last Saturday. Thank you for renewing my faith that all things are possible.”
Yvonne Anderson
Radio Host, Greensboro, NC

“Your ability to engage and motivate often hard-to-reach clients combined with your capacity to create a safe, non-threatening environment, resulted in poetry that revealed more about some individuals than I was able to elicit in traditional settings over the past year.”
Donald J. Decker, CSW, Director
Recovery Works, Mental Health Assoc. of NYC, Inc.

“Thank you so much for presenting at the 2002 Lumber River Youth Leadership Summit! The youth loved you and you were a pleasure to meet.”
Holly Hunt, Marketing Dir.
Lumber River Council of Gov’ts

“Our audience of students, staff and guests were in awe of your talent and are excited about using your literature in the classroom.”
Arlene O’Bryant, Sparks Counselor
Campus Magnet High Schools, NY

“Your positive motivational message reached our children in a way that I believe will have an everlasting impact upon them. . . . I thank you for the extraordinary presentation you gave to us . . .”
Robert Brisbane, Principal
Magnetech JHS 231, NY

“I thought this program was very helpful. I think that Ms. Renée was very committed to helping us create poems that give us insight into who we are as people. I love making poems with Ms. Renee”
Clodine Lebrun – 7th Grade

“Having Ms. Renée’s program was a true learning experience. Ms. Renée is an inspiring, empowering, motivating and caring woman that helps you think about life. I will never forget her “get out of success free card.” I believe that I wouldn’t have any clue what I was going to do with my life. It’s because of her determination and passion that has opened my eyes to realize that I want to help people feel good about themselves emotionally and mentally. Her program has really changed my life forever and I will never forget this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Quentin Price – 6th Grade

Ms. Renée, you are a good teacher. You make it fun and teach us life lessons. It’s a shame that you are leaving. You have helped me get to reach my goals by giving advice.”
Erroll Khan – 6th Grade

“I enjoyed the lessons taught by Ms. Renée because she allowed me to explore my mind. Ms. Renée is an excellent teacher and poet who inspired me greatly.”
Christopher Beharry – 6th Grade

“I like the poetry program because it helped me to express my thoughts and my feelings. In my class I am very nervous to answer questions, but in poetry I can write what I would like to say. I wish that in the future, poetry will be a part of my school life.”
Lucas Neira – 6th Grade

“They say first impressions are important. Well, what they say is true. As soon as Ms. Renée stepped into the room, the spotlight was on her. She started rapping all over the place. Then when she started to teach us about different kinds of poems and we got to do our own poems, that program was very magical to me. I enjoyed every moment of it. I hope to get the program again.”
Emmily Margan – 6th Grade

“Having Ms. Renée come to my school has been a great experience and a beautiful opportunity. I would like to thank Ms. Renée for coming to my school and teaching me to write poems and teaching me to go after my dreams.”
Alegra Gibbs – 7th Grade

“I really enjoyed having Ms. Renée coming here to work with our class. I really enjoyed doing this and getting a chance to express myself through my writing. If I was able to do this again, I would.”
Leilani Ross-Graham – 7th Grade

“Ms. Renée is really awesome!! Getting new inspiration each class with a quote … Her nice rhymes making everyone laugh … You’re my inspiration Ms. Renée . Your presence makes me smile before you tell us a childhood story. Thank you for being a part of my life.”
Yulraea Price – 6th Grade

“I think that this program with Ms. Renée influences me even more to become successful. I didn’t really know I had a poetic side to me, but with Ms. Renée being here I got in touch with that side of me and created awesome poems. Usually when I write poems they aren’t good but when I started to have Ms. Renée they became more mature and official.”
Tiara Williams – 6th Grade

“Ms. Renée’s class was fun. It helped me advance in rhymes. I had fun learning poetry all thanks to Ms. Renée. Now my poems are better. Thank You!”

Really fun and
Extra cool she
Never bores 601 and
Everyone looks forward to seeing the
Excellent Ms. Renée
Catherine Williams – 6th Grade

“I loved this year’s poetry class because Ms. Renée is very nice and I also met a new me. A poetic me. A happy me.”
Bryan Munoz – 6th grade

“Ms. Renée was great. She really connected with the students and they really enjoyed the class. The students could be creative and write what they felt. Ms. Renée used a quote each time as a basis that the students could relate to. I think the students also learned new things about themselves. Thanks Ms. Renée.”   Ms. Bleiweiss – 7th Grade

“The poetry program was excellent. It helped the students to express themselves using their words and feelings. My two boys were able to express their thoughts with a little help from me. I think this program even helped those students who do not talk much because they are afraid of how other students will react. I think it also helped the readers of their poems to know more about each student in the class.”
Ms. Speare – 7th Grade

“Dear Ms. Renée, We thank you for not only bringing poetry to life for each of us, but also for the poetic inspiration you brought to our class. We appreciate that you motivated the poets in each of us! Thanks again.”   Ms. Carballo – 6th Grade

“Much thanks to Mrs. McRae for taking on the challenge of working with my culturally and linguistically diverse students. It was surely a pleasure observing this creative process. I can truly say Class 704 benefited from engaging in this program. Each week they eagerly anticipated their motivational poetry sessions and were able to encourage and motivate themselves as well as their peers through the forum of literary expression.”   Ms. Hunter – 7th Grade

“Thank you, Ms. Renée, for the wonderful experience. I feel like a poet now. It was great to meet you, and I hope to see you again.”
Lasangra Aarons – 7th Grade

Thank you, Ms. Renée. You are an awesome person, and thank you for giving us the break to have fun and express our feelings …”
Sunny Hardyel – 7th Grade

“I enjoyed working with Ms. Renée because it was a fun program. I was inspired by the way she wrote her poems and read her poems as well as writing poems with her.”
Naveeta Bacchus – 7th Grade

“… It opened my mind up to new opportunities and new way to express myself.” Tiffany Fleitchman – 7th Grade

“The poetry program was very interesting because I learned how to express my feelings and my thoughts. I do not like to raise my hand in class because I am afraid of saying the wrong thing.”
Aon Thompson, Jr. – 7th Grade

“What I thought about this program was that I learned how to write poems about my future or about myself. Ms. Renée helped us a lot to think about how life really is. I really liked this program.”
Catherine Agudo – 7th Grade

“Before Ms. Renée started teaching my class and I poetry, I wasn’t really interested in poetry and writing poems. After a few lessons, I started to change my feelings about poetry. I learned that there was more to poetry than writing poems. You have to have commitment and passion. I think this program has really helped me learn more about poetry and I recommend that many other students should try this program because it would be very helpful.”                                   Bhojranie Brahmanand – 7th Grade

“During the time Ms. Renée was here we had to write poems based on ourselves. My poem, ‘You Think You Know Me,’ represents me and what I think.”   Ketia Newell – 7th Grade

“I loved this program because it had to do with Poetry, and I love Poetry because it lets me express myself in unknown ways.”
Oseah Campbell – 6th Grade

Ms. Renée, you are an amazing poet. You have great rhyming skills – you make writing poems fun.”   Rohan Ramotar – 6th Grade

“I feel like the poetry program was helpful in expressing my feelings through poetry with Ms. Renée’s help. I hope we can have the poetry program again. I love you, Ms. Renée!”   Reinalyn Dimapilis – 6th Grade

“I feel that the poetry program was really wonderful. We enjoyed learning about different types of poetry and I can’t wait to be a published author. I really loved this program. Ms. Renée was an amazing teacher.”   Gurleen Kaur – 6th Grade

“In my opinion the poetry program was a great experience. I learned a lot about the different types of poems and we listened to poems made by other people. Ms. Renée made learning about poetry fun. The type of poem I liked the best was the Limerick. I enjoyed the time we had with Ms. Renée.”   Naela Comer – 6th Grade

“My opinion on Ms. Renée’s class is I enjoyed it. This poetry program made me think deeply. I expressed all of my feelings. It made me realize mo other talent is to write poetry. Maybe I could be a poet when I grow up. However, this wouldn’t be possible without Ms. Renée. All I have to say is Ms. Renée is a friendly and creative teacher.”Anglique Beharry – 6th Grade

“I feel like Ms. Renée’s poetry program was a fun learning experience. The activities that me and the rest of the class did was informational. It also provided tips on life and how to keep going for your dreams and not to stop.”   Raven Fothergill – 6th Grade

“In this program with Ms. Renée, I loved it. It taught us that if we want to be successful, you have to work hard for it. Also I learned that if you want to be successful, speak up.” Kayla Grant – 6th Grade

“I really enjoyed this program! I loved learning with Ms. Renée! I have learned about different ypes of poems. I hope I could have Ms. Renée longer! Each day we discussed a quote that was given to us by Ms. Renée. By doing that I learned a lot.”   Amandip Kaur – 6th Grade