Monday, August 16, 2010

This has been an incredible summer. How fitting to end the summer blogging with this picture of Neisha tackling the ropes course at the Urban Impact Camp.
All summer the youth explored many avenues dealing with the environment, “going green” being the set theme. It goes to show you, that with some discipline, a burning desire to achieve, and a lot of determination sets a path with endless opportunities. Trial and error plays a big part too, but one has to be willing to go that extra mile.
See, Maya Angelou stated that:
“You may not think you can reach it,
climb anyway.
You may not think you’ll be heard,
speak anyway.
You may not think you can change things,
try anyway.”
That is exactly what they did. From Aviant, a 2nd grader, who has motivated his family to recycle to a bunch of Kindergartners and 1st graders learning the importance of eating right, to Neisha who was determined to succeed and make it to the top.
Plain and simple, I encourage all of you, especially those who work with youth, to repeat the mission statement at least twice week, “equipping youth to envision who they can and one day will become.”
Hello new school year!!!!

P.S. It is true; a picture does speak a thousand words…

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hiring Americorps members--Immediately!

The Central Dallas Ministries’ Education Department is looking for dedicated, committed, and creative individuals who wish to be a part of a program that moves youth forward by focusing on social skills, college, careers, through incorporating innovative technology, doing projects (like gardening, blogging, reporting, etc.), providing fun reading activities, and creatively interacting with academic-type classes.
There are 8 part time (25-30 hrs/week) and one full-time (40 hrs/week) position available:
Part-time positions require a high school diploma with a preference given to those working on or already having a degree in Education.
Full-time position (40 hrs/week) require a high school diploma with an ability to oversee programs, write curriculum, organize staff scheduling and working directly with students in a variety of areas. 
If interested, please fill out application at and forward application and resume to Janet Morrison at or fax to Janet Morrison at 214-824-5355.

Multiple Program Coordinator

Full-time position--40 hours/week (Sept. 1-July 30)
Position to be filled 8.31.10
Hours: 12:00-8:00 Monday-Friday (some Saturdays)

The coordinator is in charge of developing, overseeing, and helping implement all programming in the building and ensuring the program maintains a focus on programming that develops education, college/career, and social skills. He/she will monitor the youth's academic and social development, communicate progress with each child's parents, and work with each program to adjust curriculum accordingly. The Program Coordinator will be responsible for recruiting volunteers and ensuring any curriculum they use maintains the program focus. In addition, the coordinator will ensure program data is collected and reported.

After-School Academy Teacher

Part-time position--25-30 hours/week (Sept. 1-June 3)
Position to be filled 8.31.10
Hours: 1:00-6:30 Monday-Friday (some Saturdays and later evenings)
The ASA Classroom Teacher will be responsible for planning, creating, and implementing activities in a project-based approach to teach Kindergarten through 5th grade students. Teachers must maintain a strong focus on "going green," and will assist with creating lessons for their students in the Learning Garden, Farm Stands, Library, and Computer Lab. Teachers are expected to focus students on improving social skills (caring, manners, and greeting), college and careers, critical thinking, and project-based learning within their classroom. 

Part-time position--25-30 hours/week (Sept. 1-June 3)
Position to be filled 8.31.10
Hours: (varies slightly) Monday-Friday 3:00-8:00 and Saturdays 10:00-2:00

The Librarians will work together to create programming and facilitate reading clubs for elementary, middle, and high school students. The Librarians will ensure that money is collected for the sale of books and create strategies that draw people of all ages into the library and ensures all Roseland neighbors know the library programming, hours of operation, and location. The Librarians will also oversee behavioral management of library participants and engage volunteers.
Teen U and Mid-Teen U Facilitator
Part-time position--25-30 hours/week (Sept. 1-June 3)
Position to be filled 8.31.10
Hours: Monday-Friday 3:00-8:00 Saturday 10:00-2:00 (hours may vary depending on activities)

The Teen U (9th-12th grade) and Mid-Teen U (3rd-8th grade boys) Facilitators will supervise and assist with programs to prepare middle and high school students mentally, socially, and academically for college. The Facilitators will assist with homework, connect youth to programs/events that further their stated interests, and collaborate with other organizations to offer programming with the goal of preparing youth for college and post-secondary life. The Facilitators will establish relationships and partnerships with the parents to help them understand and be able to assist their child in preparing for college/post-secondary. The Facilitators will recruit volunteers as needed to facilitate programming and will develop programming that includes evenings, weekends, and summer.

Technology Facilitator
Part-time position--25-30 hours/week (Sept. 1-June 3)
Position to be filled 8.31.10
Hours: Monday-Friday 3:00-8:00 Saturday 10:00-2:00 (hours may vary according to other staff schedules) 

The Technology Instructor will supervise and assist with programs to prepare elementary, middle, and high school students mentally, socially, and academically for the world of technology. He/she will facilitate the Digital Connectors program that combines leadership development, digital education, and community service to prepare youth, ages 14-to 21 years old, to build the technical proficiency of their respective communities, and serve as a bridge to digital opportunities. He/she will also create educational technology opportunities for elementary, middle, and high school students.

Friday, August 06, 2010


After a student inquired about earthquakes, I decided to teach the 3rd,4t, and 5th grades about fault lines, epicenters, tectonic plates, seismometers, and what to do when an earthquake hits. While learning about the afore mentioned topics the students had to build structures that could withstand an earthquake and make videos demonstrating what to do during an earthquake. Below are the videos.

Chrystalin W. (3rd,4th,5th grade teacher)

Public Service Announcements

All summer long the k-2nd graders have been learning about the Five Food Groups Meat, Milk, Grains, Fruits, and Vegetables. They also learned how different foods from the food groups help their body. For instance, they learned that milk and other dairy products have calcium which helps you have strong bones and teeth. Therefore, for part of their last project they got a chance to make their own public service announcements about being healthy. We also stressed how important it is to take care of yourself so that you can take care of the environment. The theme for the k-2nd graders was “A healthy you; A healthy environment!” Enjoy J

-Danielle, Shenandoah, and Kameshia

Come on, Bro

Let's give it up for the solar system! Hours of work turned out fruitful with Joshua and Isaiah, including working with Audacity to edit the soundtrack, and then a trip to the Apple Store to work with the green screen (which was our green wall). It began in Ms. Chrystalin's class, where they had a simple assignment to write a rap about the solar system. But they took it further. Ms. Kameshia and Mr. Chris set up a mini studio so they could record a clean track, adding some music and editing out unwanted noise. Then came the video. We started with a diction workshop to better understand the words, and then we spent a couple of days choreographing. And then it was lights, camera, action!

Lots of creating. Lots of editing. Lots of fun.

~Mr. Chris

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Victory Is Sweet

And finally, it is finished. The first video is our trial & error phase of the invention, so titled after Thomas Edison's most famous quote (though I'm off by three zeros...). Here we learned all about problem solving, the power of observance, and patience (you can even notice Kath'Ryn's statement about halfway through). Each time the marble seemed to roll off somewhere else, so we spent some time today tweaking and hoping, tweaking and hoping. It got tedious until Iesha finally developed a solution to our greatest problem of the marble rolling off the entire machine, it being in the form of an empty paper towel roll that guides the marble into the plinko board. Then you can see it all comes together.

The last video shows two shots of our machine, one from afar, and another that gives the viewer a more first-person kind of view. Notice all of the fine details, those small pieces of cardboard and splinters of popsicle sticks, we had to place inside each part to ensure the marble's continued movement. It takes time, but the kids definitely found the worth of meticulous, hard work the first time the marble rolled all the way through, and then when each of them got to be picked up by Mr. Chris to send the marble through their own machine.

To imagination.
To determination.
To Newton.


Monday, August 02, 2010

An Unlikely Pair

Our kids love to play games in the library but sometimes it can cause problems for the ones who get out early in the games. So, in order to prevent hurt feelings we decided to try something new last week. When someone got out, everyone that was still playing cheered for them and told them how well they did. Therefore, those who were out felt encouraged by their peers.

We, the staff in the library, saw a dramatic change in our kids' attitude while playing games. We were so happy our idea worked. We were even more excited when we saw two of our kids, Kanye and Kira, who had not bonded for the past six weeks, create their own game when they were out instead of crying. Since the beginning of last week Kira and Kanye have been inseparable. They read to each other, eat lunch together, help each other stay positive during group games and throughout the day.

MTU Visits Lego Exhibit

Last Thursday, the MTU boys had the opportunity to visit the Lego Exhibit at Northpark Mall. We were going in hopes that there would be someone we could interview in order to help us in our building of the Roseland Community out of legos, which will be our project this fall. Although we were on our own for the tour, we were able to view some examples of famous buildings from our own city that had been consctructed completely out of legos. The boys decided it was too good to keep to themselves so we recorded a tour of each building for you to enjoy as well!

Until next time!

Sheena Hampton (MTU Teacher)

Books for 25 and 50 cents! I cant believe it!!!!!

Last week while I was doing Kidzlit with my K-3rd graders, I was approached by one of my older students who wanted to buy a book that is apart of our most famous series, The Bluford Series. I told him I would help him as soon as I was done with the younger students. When I was ready to help him and told him the book was only 25 cents, he could not believe it. He was overjoyed at the cheap price of the book. He could not believe how affordable the books are in the library. So, I told him from now on he could by books instead of candy because they cost less and last longer.