Friday, October 23, 2009

My First Staff Development Meeting with ASA & Teen University

I could use the word "excited" to describe how I feel about starting my new endeavor; however, that would be a complete understatement. Beginning as a Teen University Coordinator assistant through the AmeriCorps program is going to be much more than just a job for me. I already feel an incredible bond between myself and my co-workers. When I got to my first staff development meeting here, there was a lime green crayola box with hand sanitizer and kleenex inside; along with a cardboard note that said "WELCOME TO THE TEAM :)." It was at that point when I realized, "Hey, this isn't a job, it's a family." Everyone is making me feel comfortable and right at home; a little sister of sorts.

I look forward to working with Terrance and Katrina. Oh and everyone else as well. (Everyone keeps telling me that I'm going to have to computer train I'm prepared.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dallas South News' Junior Reporters in training

Dallas South News' founder, Shawn Williams, conducts a Junior Reporter class at our After-School Academy every Thursday. He's working toward getting them to the point of being able to post articles on the Dallas South News website. Last Thursday I met up with Randy after he won the "Junior Reporter of the Week" award. He was so proud! The kids had been learning about asking open-ended questions. This Thursday, the kids began working with the Flip video cameras. As far as I can tell, the kids had never worked the video cameras before. You can hear Shawn instructing them in this random video below: But, as we know, kids are quick learners. After a few simple instructions about how to work the Flip video camera, the kids quickly moved to interviewing each other. Shawn was impressed that the open-ended questions lesson had stuck. Kwane, interviewing Lewis here, was awarded the "Junior reporter of the week" this week. Check it out. I think you'll understand why: I couldn't resist posting Ishmael's interview. I love his beginning answer, "I go to school. I get a good education." Toward the end he explains what he does to get that good education. He's already preparing, whether he knows it or not, to be a great college student! Keep an eye out for more from these Junior Reporters.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Junie B. Jones, meet Hayzul

"We're going to see Junie B. Jones!!!!!!!!"

That's how Hayzul greeted me as I walked into the ASA on Friday.

Hayzul and I went to the Dallas Children's Theatre with the tickets from the Free Night of Theater offered by the City of Dallas.

Evidently, Junie B. is a pretty popular character. I think I realized why. Hayzul *is* Junie B.! Hayzul was so into the play, I don't even know if she realized she was rolling her eyes and sighing when Junie B. got sent to the principal's office for "no apparent reason" if she, herself, were the one marching to the office. I watched Hayzul growl in frustration and exasperation at Junie B.'s best friends. I think Hayzul's life was being acted out on stage.

After the play, we topped the evening off by stopping by 1/2 Price Books. Seeing how much she liked Junie B., I wanted to get her an Anne of Green Gables book. I think she'll like "Ann with an 'e'" a lot, too. I can't wait to talk to Hayzul about it!

See pictures from the play below:

Hayzul getting autographs

Hayzul with Junie's classmate Jim

Hayzul with Mrs (the teacher) and Grandma

Hayzul with one of Junie B.'s best friends

Hayzul with Junie B.'s classmate

Hayzul with Junie B.'s best friend, Grace

Hayzul and Junie B.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Roseland Community Garden update

Ladaysha and Niemen are two of our Garden Apprentices this year. I am truly amazed and impressed with what they are doing in the garden!

Today they showed me the black-eyed peas, tomatoes, bell peppers, and jalepenos that are growing in the garden. From the videos you can see that we still have a little work to do on telling the difference between the different vegetables, but they are quickly becoming expert gardeners. As I quietly walked up on them, hoping to get some good pictures, they were so intently involved in putting the thermometer and rain gauge in the ground and staking the tomatoes that they didn't even notice I was there.

Check out the two videos below to see our garden and what the kids are learning:

Friday, October 09, 2009

Digital Connectors is coming!!

We are so excited to be a part of this amazing grant that will allow us to teach high tech skills to our young people! Check out the announcement made earlier this week:

Wireless carriers donate $1 million for tech training
Funding classes for 360 low-income youths on wireless issues and technologies
By Matt Hamblen
October 7, 2009 02:51 PM ET

Computerworld - SAN DIEGO -- The nation's four largest wireless carriers today announced a joint $1 million contribution today to a program to help bring mobile broadband education to low-income communities.

The contributions from AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA will be donated to One Economy Corp., a Washington-based non-profit organization that seeks to find innovative ways to deliver technology and information to low-income people.

The funds will be used to help fund One Economy's Wireless Digital Connectors program, providing 360 youth, age 14-21, with up to 200 hours of training in wireless technology, including software design and how to safely use wireless technologies while driving.

The program was announced at the International CTIA Wireless conference held here this week. Once trained, the 360 youth from low-income neighborhoods are each committed to provide at least 56 hours of technology-related community services in their areas. Rey Ramsey, CEO of One Economy, said that the nonprofit has already provided technology trained to about 3,000 youths, who have in turn performed 56,000 hours of community service.

He called the One Economy program, created nine years ago in a basement of a home in Washington, a means of "connecting people to the tools they need to improve their lives through a sustainable, lasting and innovative curriculum focused on mobile technology."

One Economy has programs underway in 10 cities.


Homework !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Homework !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Homework !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Homework at times has been very challenging with the new school year. When I say challenging, the youth are ready to play and homework is the last thing on their minds. I am a strong believer with the right ingredients, like little creativity, proper tools (notebook paper, pencils, dictionary and etc) and great mentors the homework blues will be no more. At the ASA, those very ingredients have made a world of difference. So hats off to the ASA team, Phillip, Tameshia, and Anna. Much thanks goes to Amanda too. Every day they stand strong and deal with the youth and their homework blues. They have made homework more of an adventure. If you think about it, homework is an adventure. I mean homework has it all, numbers, stories, human emotions, “the facial expressions”. It really does not get better than that…

I started my homework,
Then my pencil broke.
I thought I was going to have a stroke .

I sharpened my pencil,
But then I had to sharpen everyone.
So much to do.
And I have just begun.

Truly I did…
I started my homework,
But then I had a sneezing attack.
I thought I was going to choke.
Then when I saw all math problems.
Was this a joke?

I started my homework
Truly I did...
But then I got distracted,
My books were taken hostage.
I spilled juice on my paper .
Plus, I was running out of excuses .
Where is the cape crusader?

I started my homework,
Truly I did…
Everything I said before ,
Just part of my homework.
A little creative writing,
Do you want to hear more

Monday, October 05, 2009

cloudy with a chance of meatballs.

About a week ago, I read Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs to my class. They were amazed by the fact that someone wrote a book about "food weather". The book has sparked serious discussion about the possibility of it raining pizza. They all agreed that it would be pretty awesome if a huge pancake fell on their school and forced school to be closed for that day.

As a follow-up to our reading, we did an activity online. I taught my class how to check the weather across the United States. Niesha simply loved the activity. She taught her classmates how to read the temperature and even explained to them that the F following the degree sign means Fahrenheit. I believe she would make a wonderful meteorologist one day.

That friday, each teacher got to pick a student to go see the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movie in 3D at Studio Movie Grill. I picked Shamaria.

Shamaria is known for her smile and quiet disposition. However, during the movie Shamaria anxiously pointed out the similarities from the book. In fact, she talks about it everyday now.

I'm looking forward to having more experiences like this one.

Friday, October 02, 2009

My Feelings Before Baptism

today is friday two days b4 i get baptised. im happy because this will be a major change in my life. not only am i getting baptised but i also became a member. my church is Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church every ones proud n i jux had to spread the word

Chavondria AkA ♥Shay♥