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Officer Connects High School Students to Inmates

KC-MO Police Officer Chato Villalobos works with a group of teenage poets on Breaking Pinatas - a presentation of dance, music and poetry at the Guadalupe Center on Thursday, April 17. By Sylvia Maria Gross


KANSAS CITY, MO – Officer Chato Villalobos grew up on the West Side of Kansas City - the same neighborhood he now patrols. At one point in his life, he seemed like an unlikely candidate to be a police officer, or a poet. But now he teaches poetry to high school students at Alta Vista High School - he's planning a performance including his students, dancers from El Grupo Folclorico Atotonilco and the Latino Writers Collective. Villalobos asked inmates at some area prisons to contribute poetry and artwork - students will be reading the inmates' work. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross met up with Villalobos at the school last week as he was planning the show.

See pictures of Villalobos and students along with the inmate artwork here.

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