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Michele Rivers

CPITS Poetry Teacher
Student Poets

Poetry Presentation 

Reading your own poetry builds so much confidence. We work on projection, body language, expression and fun!

What An Honor!


Five of my Student's Poems were selected for publication in the 2016 California Poets In The Schools Anthology - Where Animals Move Like Planets - 

Forward by Molly Fisk

Student Poets

"Using the imagination, learning writing tools and then jotting down thoughts with a pencil, forming a poem, editing, typing it into the computer, printing it out, editing it again and finally comes the presentation - it's scary to read in front of everyone, but fun too."

I am the strong, sturdy mountain formed by shaking ancestors,

reaching toward the endless heavens.

I am energy, my very existence is created

to connect with all people.

I am the harsh shine of a manufactured

diamond and the soft luster

of one found in raw rocks.

I am the rumbling of a giant volcano and

the tiny bubbles of my cooling lava.

I am everything, yet nothing

I am happiness, yet sadness.

I am me, and no one else can be that.

Peter Dachtler

4th Grade - Bel Aire Elementary School

Marin County, California

Group Poems


A lot can be learned writing poetry in a group.

It's a great team builder. Group poetry can be 

powerful tool for conflict resolution. Everyone is included, everyone's viewpoint is respected and everyone has a voice.

I Am Everything, Yet Nothing

Could I Be

Could I be the waves of the sea

as I carry driftwood across

the ocean effortlessly?

Could I be gravity

as it pulls me to the ground,

the cause of devastating avalanches

pulverizing the trees below?

Could I be an ancient civilization

creating an elaborate temple

simply with the stones at my feet?

Could I be a comet

in a front-row seat of the universe?

Could I be clouds

as I burst lightning from my core?

I could be anything.

Jack Renny

4th Grade, Bel Aire Elementary School

Marin County, California

Van Gough Poem - Art and History


It is so much fun to combine poetry with art and history. The children work together as a group to create their own Sunflower painting, This teaches collaboration and team spirit.

I Am The Light Of The World

I am the spirit of France,

a country that I've never been to.

The sky scraping the Eiffel Tower,

and the boats smoothly swimming

through the clear water.


I am the rolling waves reaching up

to touch the crisp sand.


I am the essence of winter,

the snow, a blanket over the land,

the bare branches hanging with crystals.

I am the voice of knowledge and wisdom,

the smell of books, the words written

on the old yellowed pages.

I am the light of the world.

We are woven together like one quilt,

from summer to autumn,

to the beaches and forests of the world.

Juliette Douglas

3rd Grade, Coleman Elementary School

Marin County, California

"The bare banches hanging with crystals . . ."

"Could I be the waves of the sea . . ."

Watching children blossom as they learn the magic of writing a poem is a total joy. Their successes 

always bring a huge smile to my face and heart.

"I am the strong, sturdy mountain . . ."

"Michele says that poetry is like painting a picture with words, I guess it is. I really like using my imagination and going for it. I can be me. No one else has thoughts exactly like mine. Poetry is very cool." 

I encourage my students to enter their poems into publishing contests. Anually CPITS celebrates student's work with a poetry anthology. Win or loose students learn the value of participation and going fot it!


Hundreds of students enter every year. It's a huge honor to be selected for inclusion. Five of my student's poems are published in the 2016 CPITS Statewide Anthology - 

Where Animals Live Like Planets



Published Student Poets

I Am A Heart Beat - Sydney Johnson

Lightness And Darkness - Georgia Bender

I Am Everything, Yet Nothing - Peter Dachtler

Could I Be - Jack Renny

I Am The Light Of The World - Juliette Douglas

Classroom Poetry Cafe Presentation

We designed and painted Parisien backdrops and sent out colorful invitations to parents. After some great rehersals with using a micraphone, we were ready.

The student poets looked adorable in their black shirts and berets.


Despite 'nerves' each child read one of their favorite poems beuatifully. The recital was fantastic adn a wonderful conclusion to a ten week, classroom poetry program. We created a wonderful anthology too.

"Reading poetry outloud is really scary, but I like it. And I get to talk into a microphone which is weird.

Classroom Poetry 

Children should be given time to uncover the joys to be found in nature and in poetry. By moving too quickly, much of the magic and beauty of life is missed. In this hectic world, I like to slow things down to help children to grow fully rather than quickly. 

As a poetry teacher with California Poet in the Schools, Michele's work with children spans many age groups and includes poetry residencies at: The San Geronimo Lagunitas Schools, Park School, West Marin School, Edna Maguire School, Mill Valley Middle School, Saint Rita School, Coleman School,

Bel Aire Elementary School, Old Mill School, White Hill Middle School, Strawberry Point Elementary School, and Bolinas and Stinson Schools.


Michele has also taught poetry to young adults at Juvenile Hall in San Rafael. She has worked with Seniors with Alzheimers, and with Vietnam Veterans in collaboration with USF's Community Wellness Outreach Poetry Program.


Michele taught poetry and creativity classes for adults and children at The Findhorn Foundation in Scotland, and for The Somerset County Council Special Education Program in England. Her popular altar workshop Creating Sacred Space has been awarded several grants by the Lloyd Symington Foundation.


USF contracted Michele to teach with retired Jesuit Priests at Sacred Hearts, and The Sisters of the Holy Names in Los Gatos.


Michele's poetry and her student's poetry have been published in many anthologies including five students poems in the 2016 CPITS Statewide Anthology - Where Animals Move Like Planets. 








"Michele Rivers brings total creativity into the classroom. She did a wonderful job improving academic knowledge.

She challenged the students, they became better poets and better people. She manages a class very effectively. We ended the program with a successful Poetry Café for all the parents. We all loved it!”

                        –Brian Clement, Teacher – St Ritas

Classroom Poetry 

Select a Poetry Program to suit your needs:


5 sessions (minimum)

10 sessions

20 sessions*

Half academic year program*

Full academic year program*


*These programs include creating an illustrated anthology,

and a poetry recital at the conclusion of the poetry program


Each class is one hour in length and includes time for listening to poetry, instruction on how to use poetry tools, an imagination journey, writing and presentation.


Michele's Poetry Programs can be customized to fit your classroom needs, or you can choose from any of the poetry plans listed below:

Poetry Land 

Whacky What If's

I Am



Could I Be?

Our Precious Planet

Ode to a Hot Dog

Liquid Life – water poems

Loudness and Quietness

Out of This World (Space)

Lightness and Darkness

Through the Camera

Animal Wisdom






Dreaming the Future



My Family

My Friends

My Dreams


Acrostic Poetry

Poetry and Art - Van Gough


Presentation (Class dedicated to performing)

Anthology - classroom

Individual poetry books with illustrations


“C.P.I.T.S. teachers are professional, published writers who are trained in the art of teaching poetry to children. Michele brought so much to my classroom. I learned a lot from her, and the kids fell in love with her and

poetry. Michele’s commitment is to support young poets to recognize, examine and value culture, imagination and creativity. She helps them to build an appreciation for self-expression.” – Susan Johnson, Teacher


“My students loved Michele, they couldn’t wait to show her what they had written. Some of my least confident writers turned into very self-assured poets. Michele’s a really wonderful poet and teacher.” 

                  –Julie Hoffman, Teacher – Edna Maguire 

Select a performance for your class:


Celebrate your students work with a poetry performance for their families and friends. 

Performance builds a child's confidence.

In Classroom Poetry Recital -

with lemonade and cookies for families and guests afterwards. This is also a great time to share the poets classroom antholgy with Mums and Dads.

School Multi Purpose Room Presentation - can be as simple or as elaborate as you like.

Invite the whole grade level or everyone in the school. What a fabulous showcase! 


Evening Performances -

are very special. Create a Poetry Cafe or a Poetry Land theme in the multi-purpose room or choose a venue off campus. Students invite family and friends and the recital becomes a real celebration.

Classroom Poetry Fees 

One hour poetry class $85 - $100 per classroom program

Grants may be available

Discuss with Michele 

Private Instruction


English born, Michele Rivers is a professionally 

trained CPITS teacher, a published writer, an award winning artist, photographer and author. 

She has a background in theatre and created her own Radio and TV shows. 

Each one hour tutoring session will include 

imagination journey, then guidance on transfering thought into poetry. Your child will learn writing tools: the use of metaphor, simile, alliteration and personification. How to edit and the layout of a poem are also included in the tutoring program. 

“Michele is my favorite teacher and poetry is my

favorite subject. Michele says writing poetry is like painting a picture with words.”

                                        —Kelly Lee, 5th Grade 



Performance is encouraged, as it builds a child’s confidence and pride. Family poetry recitals can be scheduled. If your child enjoys art, we can also compile an illustrated anthology which makes a fabulous treasure for Parents and Grandparents!



"Thanks to Michele, Meyer blossomed, his confidence, public speaking voice and his creative writing all greatly improved. All of which helped him get into a good school.”

                                   —Beth and Barry Gorelich

“Over the summer, Michele tutored 

Austin, which he really enjoyed. His

writing skills improved greatly and resulted in one of his poems being

published. Unexpectedly, he also learned to be a little gentleman and make pots of tea!”—Laura Alders

Private Instruction Fees

Choose A Poetry Program For Your Child

After school hours 2:30 - 7:30 pm

1 One hour session $100

5 One hour sessions $450*

10 One hour sessions $900*

Parent and Child Poetry Program:

Share the adventure of being creative together. It’s exciting to write with Mom or Dad. Learn about each other with poetry


Poetry Gift Book Package:

Custom, hard cover poetry book featuring your child's poetry, art and photos. 

Parent and child special poetry edition. 

These are the best type of gift giving!

*Poetry Program + Additional fee of $150

Call: 415 827-9793 or 


Private Instruction
Classroom programs also available
Social Etiquette for Children of all Ages

Michele's teaching skills help to develop a personal style, confidence and how to behave in the world. These programs focus on dining, communication, conduct and character building.

Michele is the author of the best selling tea book - Time For Tea - Tea and Conversations with Thirteen English Women —Random House

Children delight in Michele's unique approach to learning how to be gracious and appropriate. Kids have so much fun they don't realize that their learning skills that will serve them for a life time.

"My son is welcomed everywhere he goes because he learned the skills of good manners at nine years old. Today as a young man out there in the world, doors open for him. Not only is he a smart guy, he's knows how to behave at a dining table, in a conference room, throwing a party and even on a bus. He's that guy all the other Mothers love."

                                               —Nancy Rodman

Celebration Etiquette Packages: 

Planning and hosting an event, is a wonderful way to to engage children in the world of etiquette. Choose from the following list to enhance your child's learning: 

Birthday Party Celebration

Time For Tea - Tea Party

A Family Dinner


Individualized Packages can be designed to fit your child's specific needs.

Areas of Enrichment May Include:

Select from the following options to create a personalized program.

Showing respect for adults, siblings and other children 

Smiling and eye contact 

How to make introductions - the best meet and greet

Opportunities to be kind and generous

Table manners

Social media behavior 

Telephone etiquette

Table setting

How to write an invitation

How to write a thank you note

How to sit at a dining table

How to eat politely

How to give and receive gifts

Attention to your personal presentation

Attention to your wardrobe

Delight in seeing your child's best self 

"Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings for others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use."

                                          —Emily Post

Etiquette Fees

"It was kinda fun to learn how to be polite. My Gran gave me $20 when she saw how I

ate properly at the dining table." —Sam K

Michele Rivers


“For 19 years I have invited Michele Rivers to teach my 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students. 

Michele has a unique combination of brilliance which includes: creativity, experience, passion

talent, love, playfulness, patience, and very high standards. She has the ability to focus

students, which allows their best to come forth. The skills children learn in writing poetry transfer to many aspects of their lives. They do better in school, their communication, writing skills and confidence all improve. 

Any child privileged to work with Michele is blessed."                                                                                                     —”Susan Artis, EdD

Three of Michele’s favorite words are Curiosity, Imagination and Insight

She motivates students to creative and academic excellence. Michele encourages using a little fairy dust to make the magic! She asks students to use their imaginations, to take risks, to shut their eyes and to think outside of the box. 

Michele uses writing tools and language to 

inform, persuade, and convey ideas to diverse students. In each classroom she supports children to collaborate with others. She demonstrates empathy, ethical behavior, respect for self, others, and the environment. Poetry subjects often include a focus on local and global communities with an understanding for different cultures.


With her background in acting, Michele likes to encourage poetry presentations which teach

self-assurance and confidence.

Michele is a 20 year + California Poets in the Schools teacher. CPITS train and coordinate a multicultural network of published poets, who bring their passion and craft to public and private schools, juvenile halls, hospitals, libraries and other community settings.

Dear Friends of CPITS . . .


Why do children who write poetry do better in school? It’s simple. Poetry allows children to express themselves in a non-academic, creative way that is emotionally enriching. In poems, a girl can imagine she lives in a snowflake and a boy can crash into a rainbow. Children reveal their deepest thoughts, hopes and dreams in poetry; they write about sadness and cures for sadness, about divorce and autumn and growing up.


During April, the nation honors literary art with National Poetry Month. In this issue of Poetry Matters, you’ll find stories about the excellent work our poet-teachers do all year long, in over 1000 classrooms a year. Enjoy the featured poems, stories, and the many accomplishments of our students and teachers.


California Poets in the Schools continues to bring our award-winning poetry writing instruction to over 26,000 students a year. Third-grader Letizia Oetker of Los Angeles County wrote, “My poems are like wheels

taking me where I want.”


Let the journey begin! 


—Erica Goss, Editor, Poetry Matters


For more information on California Poets In The Schools - CPITS

Go to the link at the top of

Michele's website

Private Instruction
Michele Rivers & CPITS

One hour assessment session $100

5 One hour sessions $450

10 One hour sessions $900

Formal dining experience in

a restaurant - an additional fee

Call: 415 827-9793 or 



Michele Rivers:

Please do not hesitate to contact

me if you have any questions 

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