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“We’re not just cookies and basketballs,” said Principal Kilian Betlach, who keeps tabs on his students as he roams the halls with a baseball bat (“It’s a prop”) and a sense of humor. “We have a real moral imperative to provide kids from low-income backgrounds with the services and opportunities that middle-class kids get. We don’t do just hard academics. We offer access and opportunities.”. The school of 375 students — in the middle of a tough Oakland neighborhood where the shooting of a 13-year-old boy on New Year’s Day was the city’s first homicide — has been promoted as a national model for how to create and finance an after-school program that supports both enrichment activities and academic success.
Part of the school’s uniqueness is the way it blends the regular school day and the after-school program, Rodzhaney Sledge, dressed in the light-blue school uniform, is new to the school as a sixth-grader, but she already understands how the after-school part of the program supports her academic work, She took a class called Tools for Peace, where she learned to meditate, Meditation, she said, has helped calm her so she can focus womens ivory ballet flats on academics, She also appreciates the help with her homework she receives for at least an hour each day..
“I don’t understand the students who have problems staying after school until 5 p.m.,” she said. “You can do your homework and don’t have to do it when you get home. You’re free.”. Betlach and community partners — primarily Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit that focuses on providing quality expanded learning programs for middle school students in low-income communities — have cobbled together federal, state, local and private funding to support the unique program. The school was one of five featured in a national report by the National Center on Time & Learning about financing exceptional expanded learning programs.
In exchange, the AmeriCorps fellows will have earned their intern teaching credential at the end of their two years at Elmhurst, AmeriCorps teaching fellow Jeannette Aames, who is finishing her second year and hopes to teach high school math womens ivory ballet flats in Oakland Unified in the fall, said teaching a math intervention class was her most rewarding experience at Elmhurst, The class of three girls and nine “rowdy boys” could not grasp the concept of negative numbers, “Direct instruction didn’t work with them,” Aames said, requiring her to develop more hands-on approaches to teach the concept..
Aames also has learned how difficult it is to teach children facing poverty and violence in their community. The first homicide of the year was a student from Alliance Academy, a middle school that shares a building with Elmhurst. “We knew him,” she said. “It feels like he was one of our students.”. Last December, the 2-year-old younger brother of one student — and cousin of another — was shot. “It makes it hard to figure out what motivates each child,” Aames said. “Many of them have a lot bigger things than learning math to take care of, like their parents or their siblings. But I believe there is a way to help every kid feel successful and be successful.”.
The students also get opportunities through Citizen Schools to participate in apprenticeships with “citizen teachers,” any adult from the broader Bay Area community who has a passion, such as robotics or radio reporting, to share with the students, The citizen teachers receive basic training on how to teach from Citizen Schools staff before they begin the after-school class, In addition, local companies invite students to their womens ivory ballet flats offices for apprenticeship experiences, At Pandora, students learned how to make an app, “It was a video game where you dodge fireballs,” Betlach recalled..
Students are encouraged to try a number of apprenticeships with the citizen teachers. But in eighth grade they are expected to focus on one after-school activity, sort of like picking a major in college. Andres McDade, who tried robotics, skateboarding and film, chose to major in music this year as an eighth-grader. He plays the saxophone and percussion. “I like the joy of playing music,” he said, adding that the AmeriCorps teachers have showed him how music can help him get a scholarship to college.
TORONTO — Have you heard the womens ivory ballet flats joke about Miley Cyrus’ dad and Dionne Warwick’s kid? That would be “Achy Breaky 2,” the video released this week by rapper-producer Buck 22 (Damon Elliott) featuring Billy Ray Cyrus and a cameo by Larry King, It racked up nearly 5 million YouTube views in less than two days — less in the way of the new Nicki Minaj single than in the camp mold of Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” where looky-loos crowd in to gawk at the wreck..