Birthday tribute for Hoosier poet

To celebrate famous Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley’s 167th birthday, fourth-grade students will meet Riley as portrayed by actor Charles James Adams.

Parkside, Schmitt and Smith elementary schools in Columbus each will have their own program throughout the day Friday. The times for each are:

  • Parkside: 9:30 a.m.
  • Schmitt: 11:45 a.m.
  • Smith: 1:20 p.m.

Adams, who will play the part of Riley, said he is intending to engage students throughout the program, which he has titled “The Raggedy Man” after the poem. Adams hopes the students will be inspired to learn more about the poet and Indiana history afterward.

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Kaitlyn Evener is an editorial assistant for The Republic. She can be reached at or 812-379-5633.