Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Calvert School Reaches Out to Hampstead Hill Academy

Calvert School teacher Mrs. Gilly Babb has launched the "Book Bonanza Project" to provide books for students at Hampstead Hill Academy. The project, part of Calvert's Community Outreach Program, is focused on kids helping kids. Mrs. Babb's students are making books for students in Pre-K and Kindergarten.

Their goal is to make a book for each student that allows them to practice the skills taught in school. Students will receive the books after the holidays. In addition, each child will be given a new set of markers, crayons, or pens and some books from the book drive.

Calvert students in grades 5-8 are responsible for creating the books, raising the money to buy the markers and motivating fellow students to bring in gently used books. "By all accounts we have had a lot of fun working on the books and look forward to giving them away," says Mrs. Babb.

We'd like to thank Mrs. Babb and her students for supporting Hampstead Hill Academy.

City Springs Students are Eager to Return to School

Due to inclement weather Baltimore City Schools are closed today, but one City Springs School student doesn't want a snow day. Here is the story in City Springs Principal Rhonda Richetta's own words:

"The school bell rang. I couldn’t see who it was except that it was a little person wearing a hood. So I asked, 'May I help you?' And he said, 'Ms. Richetta, school’s closed tomorrow!' I said I knew and he asked if he could come tomorrow any way.

I told him there would be nothing for him to do here tomorrow and I wasn’t sure how long I would be here. He also asked me if I got them a present this year (because last year I gave all the students City Springs beanie hats).

I told him yes, and he wanted to know when they would get their present and what it was. I told him that they would get it in January and that it was a surprise. I told him I would give it to him now if I had it, but they had not been delivered yet due to the snow.

He said okay and that he might stop back tomorrow. I said okay (as I was trying not to cry). It was one of my 6th grade boys. It was very heart-wrenching."

Happy Holidays!

BCP Schools Benefit from $12 million Grant

A program new to Baltimore is aiming to help nearly 500 families on the eastside suceed by focusing specifically on its young people.

City, school system and community leaders welcomed a $12 million grant from the Atlantic Philanthropies yesterday to implement Elev8 [pronounced elevate]. Atlantic Philanthropies is an international foundation with a focus on children and youth.

The East Baltimore Development Inc. (EBDI) will administer Elev8 Baltimore, that is designed to improve educational and social outcomes for middle-grade youth and their families. The grant is part of a national effort to prepare youth for high school and continue on to graduation.

"It is our strong belief that our redevelopment efforts in east Baltimore will be significantly enhanced by the Elev8 Baltimore initiative,” said Christopher Shea, interim President & CEO of EBDI. “With Elev8 Baltimore in place, our greatest contribution to this community will be the legacy of high quality learning, health and family supports that children, youth and adults in this neighborhood can rely upon for years to come.”

The grant will allow Elev8 Baltimore to transform Collington Square School for the Arts, Dr. Rayner Browne Academy, Tench Tilghman Elementary/Middle School and the new East Baltimore Community School, which opened in August.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Duncan, Gingrich and Sharpton Visit Hampstead Hill Academy

Hampstead Hill Academy's outstanding student performance attracted the national spotlight on November 13, 2009 as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and the Reverend Al Sharpton brought their "listening tour" to the BCP charter school. Hampstead Hill was one of only three Baltimore schools chosen for the visit because it is an example of a successful learning environment that is meeting the needs of a diverse range of students.

The school was proud to host dozens of neighborhood, foundation, political, public education and faith community leaders who came to talk with the visitors about public education in Baltimore. Honored guests included State Superintendent Nancy Grasmick and City Schools CEO Andres Alonso.

View NBC's Meet the Press video of the visit:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

BCP Principals Grow Mustaches to Raise Money for Schools

This month Hampstead Hill Academy Principal Matt Hornbeck and Wolfe Street Academy Principal Mark Gaither competed in a mustache-growing contest to raise money for their schools. Mark won, raising $3,553. Matt was fourth with $1,715.

Read the Baltimore Sun article from December 16, 2009 here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Jean & Sidney Silber Foundation Supports Hampstead Hill Academy Summer Program

We would like to thank the Jean & Sidney Silber Foundation for their gift of $7,500 in support of the 2010 summer program at Hampstead Hill Academy. The summer program will provide academic instruction, enrichment activities, and physical education for Hampstead Hill students.

Mr. and Mrs. Silber have been involved in charitable work in the Baltimore community for many years. You can read more about the Silbers in the Baltimore Community Foundation's Fall 2006 newsletter:

Monday, December 14, 2009

David L. Holder Education Foundation Supports Hampstead Hill Academy

BCP and Hampstead Hill Academy would like to thank the David L. Holder Education Foundation for their recent grant of $8,000. The grant will support the Hampstead Hill Hornets Girls Soccer Team and Boys Basketball Programs, as well as an outdoor leadership experience at Genesee Valley Outdoor Learning Center. Genessee Valley provides groups experiences in the fields, woods and lakes on their 300+-acre property.

The David L. Holder Education Foundation was established in 2008 upon David’s untimely passing due to a rare form of non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. Although a mere 35 years at the time of his death, David left behind a tremendous legacy of community service, a passion for nature, and a commitment to public education.

In order to honor David’s memory and keep his passions alive, the Foundation will both continue to contribute to organizations that David cared about, and build new, enduring relationships and programs in the communities that he supported.

David Holder was an active member of the Baltimore Curriculum Project Board of Directors from 2006-2008 and is dearly missed.

For more information on the David L. Holder Education Foundation visit:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Soccer League Unites Schools and Community

Fourth grader Colby Johnson summed it all up when he told everyone at school about his experience playing soccer in his Patterson Park after-school league: "I like being out in the park for soccer. I learned how to keep the ball away from people on the other team, and I had fun." It is just that simple—playing outside in a public park, challenging oneself to learn, building skills and having fun doing it. This fall, three neighboring schools—Patterson Park Public Charter School, Hampstead Hill Academy and Wolfe Street Academy—developed their own soccer league where 66 students in grades two through five learned to play the beautiful game of soccer. More importantly, they learned to play as a team and respect themselves and others.

Read full article:{29932024-CEB2-45F0-A6A0-E5F280865490}&notoc=1

Ziger/Snead’s Classroom of the Future

In the summer of 2009, Ziger/Snead participated in Architecture for Humanity’s Classroom of the Future Open Architecture Challenge. The brief was to work with an existing educational organization to create a classroom design that would best serve their needs into the next century. Participating designers worked with schools from all over the world, but we decided to stay close to home, partnering with our friends at the Baltimore Curriculum Project. BCP is a nonprofit charter school operator that runs five schools in the city. We’ve worked with them in the past, collaborating on a vision for a renovated auditorium at the Collington Square School, and on the recently completed library, early learning center, and Phase One Masterplan for the Hampstead Hill Academy.

For this project, Rhonda Richetta, the principal of City Springs School, brought our team from Z/S into the classroom to talk to students about architecture, and find out from them what their school needed.

Read full article:

Higher Achievement at Collington Square

Liz Bowie's article in the Baltimore Sun on December 1, 2009 describes the Higher Achievement Program at Collington Square School of the Arts.

Read here: