Wednesday, December 28, 2011

City Springs Field: A Dream Fullfilled

Baltimore, MD - 12/28/11 - On November 29th, 2011 the Baltimore Ravens joined Living Classrooms Foundation, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young, the NFL/Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC) Grassroots Program and several former Colts players for the dedication of a new football field at City Springs Park. The field will offer more than 2,000 youth every year a safe place to exercise, play team sports and receive wraparound services.

The newly renovated City Springs Football Field features a regulation-size football field that will be used for physical education activities during the school day and will provide youth with safe and supervised recreation during the critical after-school hours.

The City Springs School Drug-Free Soul Steppers and Hampstead Hill Academy's Drum Line performed at the dedication.

Baltimore Ravens players and cheerleaders hosted a Play 60 football skills clinic for 125 students immediately following the press conference. The NFL's Play 60 campaign is designed to encourage kids to be active for at least 60 minutes a day in order to help reverse the trend of childhood obesity.

"Our students are very excited about this brand new field," said City Springs Principal Rhonda Richetta.

"We have been running an intramural flag-football league for several years. This field will help take the league to the next level."

The City Springs Flag Football League's fall 2011 season was funded by a grant from the Ravens All Community Team Foundation.

Public/Private Partnership

Funding for the City Springs Football Field was initiated by an NFL/LISC Grassroots grant of $100,000 to Living Classrooms, that was supported by the Baltimore Ravens and matched with funding from Baltimore City Recreation and Parks of $153,000.

This unique public and private partnership in the form of an Adopt-a-Field Agreement has designated Living Classrooms Foundation as the operator of the field by Baltimore City Recreation and Parks. As the designated operator, Living Classrooms will provide both the maintenance of this high quality athletic field and programming focusing on health and wellness for the East Baltimore Community.

The Dream...

The dream of a City Springs football field began in 2007 when a group of City Springs students presented Principal Rhonda Richetta with a petition at the school's daily morning assembly. The petition urged her to repair the run-down field, playground and basketball courts adjacent to the school.

"We really want to play football. We will not hit any cars. We will come in on time. We will not come in after 8:00 and ask for breakfast. We will also consider safety first. We will also not disrespect any adults that tell us to come in. We will also have our shirts tucked in... The complex outside has many things wrong with it. It is outlined with a very uneven grass, it has broken glass on the rocky concrete, a broken gate, a swing set without swings, a basketball court with only one goal and it is very trashy. This needs to be fixed because many children hurt themselves on the complex...we can have a football field, basketball court, a swing set and a gate to keep intruders out and to keep our fellow peers safe. This will benefit our school because our children will be more safe and will be able to stay healthy."

In response to this request, Principal Richetta and Baltimore Curriculum Project Executive Vice President Larry Schugam assembled an energetic planning team, which included Kevin Atkinson (BRE Construction), Michael Carter (BCPS Parent Engagement Office), Talib Horne (Living Classrooms Foundation), Blaine Lipski (BCPS Department of Facilities), Erin McVay (Legislative Aide to City Councilman Jim Kraft), Alison Perkins-Cohen (formely of the Baltimore Curriculum Project), David Pennington (Colliers Pinkard), Lucy Price (formerly of Colliers Pinkard), and Kinji Scott (Citizens for Washington Hill)

The team met regularly to flesh out the vision for a sports complex, discuss logistics, and develop a fundraising plan. BCP secured Community Investment Tax Credits and in October 2008 the Little Italy Bocce Rollers Association hosted a Bocce Tournament to raise funds for the project.

After determining that the sports complex could not easily accommodate a regulation-size football field, the team developed a master plan to build a regulation-size field in nearby City Springs Park and a "feeder" field for elementary-age football in the original location; complete with a track, basketball courts, and playground.

"After picking up the schematics for City Springs Park from the City Planning Department and determining that a regulation-size field would fit; I developed an albeit amateur design for a football field in City Springs Park," said Larry Schugam.

Living Classrooms

With said design in hand, Living Classrooms took the lead to meet with Rec and Parks and apply for a LISC grant to develop the regulation-size field in City Springs Park. The rest is history.

"We are incredibly grateful to Living Classrooms, the Ravens, Rec and Parks, and LISC for developing this beautiful field just a block from our school," said Rhonda Richetta.

"It is amazing what can happen when schools like City Springs and nonprofits like the Baltimore Curriculum Project and Living Classrooms work together."

Phase Two

Now that the students at City Springs have a regulation field within walking distance, the school and BCP have turned their attention to the dilapidated park next to the school.

"We hope that this investment in City Springs Park and the attention it has drawn to this part of East Baltimore will spark greater interest among local businesses and foundations in developing our original vision for the City Spring Sports Complex," said Muriel Berkeley.

In the park next to City Springs School the swing set still has no swings; the basketball courts still have only one basket; and the concrete is still broken.

As Principal Richetta gazes at park, all she sees is potential.

"With wonderful partners like Living Classrooms and the Ravens, no dream is beyond our reach."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young Performs with Collington Square Students

On December 20, 2011 at 12:00 noon City Council President Bernard "Jack" Young and Eastern District Baltimore City Police Commander Major Melvin Russell joined an all male cast of middle grades students at Collington Square School of the Arts to perform a new play: It's Not About Things, It's About People!: A Holiday Celebration.

Council President Young portrayed a Baltimore City Sanitation Worker whose son is embarrassed by his father's job. Major Russell played a police officer who has an interaction with a group of young African-American men on the street. The situation changes the perception that the young men and the police officer have of one another for the better.

The play was written in collaboration with the students in Collington Square's Theater Arts Class, which is taught by Koli Tengella of Social Justice Theater.

The performance was part of Collington Square School of the Arts' annual Winter Program, which featured the school's outstanding arts programs. The event included a choir performance led by Choir Director Daniel Dorsey, a band performance led by Music Teacher Josh Soto, and a spoken word poetry performance, which was facilitated by Librarian/Media Specialist Dawn Edward.

"The Arts are alive at Collington Square School and Mr. Tengella's drama groups are just one example of the outstanding opportunities our students have for creative self expression," said Larry Schugam, Executive Vice President of the Baltimore Curriculum Project.

"We were delighted to have Councilman President Young and Major Russell join us."

We would like to thank Council President Young and Major Russell for taking the time to perform with our students.

To view more videos of the play and other performances visit:

Police Commander Major Melvin Russell Performs with Collington Square Students

Eastern District Baltimore City Police Commander Major Melvin Russell performed with middle grades students from Collington Square School of the Arts in the new play: "It's Not About Things, It's About People!: A Holiday Celebration" on Tuesday, December 20, 2011. Collington Square's Theaters Arts Class is taught by OSI-Fellow Koli Tengella.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

City Springs 2011 Vocabulary Rumble

City Springs School students demonstrated their outstanding vocabulary skills while having a good time at their 2011 Vocabulary Rumble on December 15th.

View all of the videos at

TAN Donates 325 Book Bags to Wolfe Street Academy

We would like to thank Travel Advantage Network (TAN) for donating 325 book bags to Wolfe Street Academy. Wolfe Street's 190+ students will take these book bags home as a Holiday gift. The remaining book bags will be distributed to teachers at other BCP Schools.

Travel Advantage Network and the Baltimore Curriculum Project are clients of Sir Speedy in Linthicium. Sir Speedy Sales & Marketing Consultant Chris Fath connected the two organizations when he found out that TAN wanted to donate book bags to a Baltimore City school.

Thank you to Chris Fath and TAN Director of Marketing Sean Oakley for making this gift possible.

For more information on TAN visit:

For more information on Sir Speedy visit:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wolfe Street Students Perform at Fells Point Corner Theater

On Tuesday, December 13th all of the first grade students from Wolfe Street Academy performed at the Fells Point Corner Theater. They rehearsed every Tuesday after school for the event. The students performed The Rabbit, the Bear, and the Zinniga Zanniga by Dr. Seuss and a number of holiday songs.

Thank you to the Fells Point Corner Theater for hosting this and other Wolfe Street Academy events.

View more photos at:

Bike Safety Rodeo at Wolfe Street Academy

Bike Maryland hosted a Bike Safety Rodeo at Wolfe Street Academy's After-School Program on Monday, December 12, 2011. They arrived at 2:30 pm with a trailer full of bikes and set up a course on the play ground for the students to ride around. Representatives from Bike Maryland discussed bike safety and the importance of wearing helmets. They talked to 50 after-school students.

Fifth grader Kathryn Jagelka won an award for an essay she wrote for the event. She was honored along with Katherine Zuniga. Both were given beautiful bicycles.

Bike Maryland recently launched its Bike Awareness Program to provide youth and adult safety awareness workshops to reduce crashes/increase safety for bicyclists in Maryland. Bike Maryland hosts free youth bike safety rodeos and free adult commuter workshops. They promote safe cycling for fun, fitness and transportation.

The Bike Ambassador program is a collaboration between the Maryland State Highway Administration and Bike Maryland. For more information about the Bike Awareness Program visit:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Baltimore City Police Department Hosts Career Day at Collington Square School

Collington Square School Students Meet with Police Horses

On Thursday (12/15) from 10:00am to 1:00pm the Baltimore City Policy Department (BCPD) sponsored a Career Day in conjunction with Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Maryland Mentoring Partnership (BBBS/MMP) for over 200 students at Collington Square School of the Arts, a Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) neighborhood charter school.

The event informed students about the array of rewarding career opportunities available in law enforcement. Fifth through eighth graders learned what it is like to be a police officer and viewed a "Police for a Day" video. Deputy Commissioner John Skinner organized the event.

"The biggest hits were the police dogs, horses, and the BCPD Foxtrot helicopter," said BBBS/MMP Elev8 Manager Roosevelt Britt.

Collington Square School was selected for this event because BCPD is a new BBBS/MMP mentoring partner at the school. BBBS/MMP was present at the event, recruiting families for both school and community mentoring opportunities.

A number of students expressed an interest in BCPD's Law Enforcement Explorers Program, a mentoring program that partners youth with police officers who teach them good citizenship, community involvement, and leadership skills.

"We are very excited about this partnership between BCPD, BBBS/MMP, Elev8, Collington Square School and BCP. We want every student who needs a mentor to have a mentor," said BCP Executive Vice President Larry Schugam.

About the Baltimore City Police Department:
The mission of the Baltimore Police Department, in partnership with the Baltimore community, is to protect and preserve life and protect property, to understand and serve the needs of the city's neighborhoods, and to improve the quality of life by building capacities to maintain order, recognize and resolve problems, and apprehend criminals in a manner consistent with the law and reflective of shared community values.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Maryland Mentoring Partnership
Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Maryland Mentoring Partnership are now officially operating as one organization. This unites the two largest and most experienced mentoring organizations in Maryland -- Big Brothers Big Sisters in providing unparalleled quality in direct service mentoring support, and the Maryland Mentoring Partnership in providing expert training and technical assistance. The organization is headquartered in Baltimore and serves more than 2,500 children in the region. There are thousands of youth still in need of mentors. Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Maryland Mentoring Partnership are uniquely positioned to provide these children with the mentoring relationships and comprehensive support they need to succeed, but we need your help. Learn how you can positively impact a child's life, donate, or volunteer at

About Elev8 Baltimore
Elev8 Baltimore is an initiative working in East Baltimore to ensure that students in the middle grades (5-8) succeed in school and in life. Launched in 2009, Elev8 Baltimore provides out-of-school time opportunities, school-based health services, and resources, support and outreach for the families we serve. Elev8 partners with schools and the surrounding community to make sure that every student is ready to succeed in high school.

About Baltimore Curriculum Project
The Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) is a nonprofit organization that operates four neighborhood charter schools in East Baltimore: City Springs School, Collington Square School of the Arts, Hampstead Hill Academy, and Wolfe Street Academy. BCP empowers teachers and principals with the tools, training and support they need to help every child succeed.

View more photos of the event at

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

City Springs Featured on Great Kids Up Close

The Orioles Holiday Party for City Springs students was featured on Great Kids Up Close:

City Springs Featured in Article about Restorative Practices

City Springs School was featured in an article about how Restorative Practices has been found to improve school safety. BCP brought Restorative Practices to its schools in 2007 with the support of grants from the Goldsmith Family Foundation and OSI-Baltimore.

In the fall of 2010, City Springs Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore, Maryland began concentrating wholeheartedly on affective statements and the 10 other elements of whole-school change. The number of suspensions at City Springs declined from 86 in 2008-2009 to nine in 2010-2011.

Read the full article at:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

DBFA Adopts Wolfe Street Families

On Sunday December 11th the Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance (DBFA) held an amazing Adopt-a-Family Event at Wolfe Street Academy. Ninety-four Wolfe Street families received hundreds of dollars worth of clothing, boots, winter coats, gift cards and toys for the Holidays.

This is the fourth year that DBFA has partnered with Wolfe Street to provide gifts for families in need. DBFA also partnered with George Washington Elementary. Last year, DBFA was able to match nearly 150 families through the program.

In November participating DBFA families and businesses received wish lists from Wolfe families detailing each child’s age, gender, clothing size and a list of items the child might like. Families purchased the gifts and delivered them to the school.

“The program was originally going to provide one $40 gift for each child, but the donors go all out!” said Wolfe Street Academy Community School Coordinator Connie Phelps.

PTO Celebration

This year Wolfe Street’s PTO held a Holiday Party Fundraiser alongside the DBFA event. Volunteers sold tamales, hot dogs, hot chocolate, baked goods, and atole, a hot Mexican rice drink. The school’s Mexican Folkloric Dance Troupe performed while children took pictures with Santa Claus.

Funds raise will support field trips during the day and during Wolfe Street's after-school program, which is supported by a grant from the Family League of Baltimore City. This year the PTO initiated a grant program for teachers so that they can apply for field trip grants.

Thank You
We would like to thank Allison Pendell Jones, Michele Esch, and all of the DBFA volunteers for making this event possible. Thank you to the generous families and businesses that provided gifts for our families. Thank you to aMuse Toys offering a 15% discount on gifts purchased as part of the program. Thank you to the Wolfe Street PTO for holding the Holiday Party.

Orioles Host Holiday Party for City Springs Students

Former Oriole Al Bumbry and 4th Grade Teacher Andrew Frankel

On Tuesday December 13th current and former Orioles hosted 90 third and fourth graders from City Springs School as part of the 33rd Annual OriolesREACH Holiday Party at Dave & Busters in Arundel Mills Mall.

Manager Buck Showalter, Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton, Jeremy Guthrie and Brian Roberts were joined by former O's Al Bumbry, Dave Johnson Larry Sheets, and Scott McGregor.

Players played games with the students, served lunch, and signed autographs. Dave Johnson played Santa Claus and deliver new, unopened gifts donated by the Orioles to each child. Students played for free in the arcade room with the players courtesy of Dave & Busters.

The Right Side Foundation, the personal charity of Nick and Christina Markakis, made a financial contribution for the party and provided a copy of the book The Polar Express as well as a new baseball glove for each child.

Students were selected to attend based on a combination of attendance, good behavior, completion of assignments and adherence to the school dress code. This year's event marks the 33rd year the Orioles have held a holiday party for children from economically disadvantaged areas in Baltimore. A different school is selected each year.

View photos of the event at:

Thank you
City Springs School and the Baltimore Curriculum Project would like to thank the Baltimore Orioles and The Right Side Foundation for hosting this wonderful party for our students. You have given them an amazing holiday gift!

About OriolesREACH:
Since 1954, the Baltimore Orioles have given back to the community by becoming involved in a variety of area programs and initiatives, as well as creating new opportunities for assistance. Through OriolesREACH, the organization reaches out to our neighbors across Birdland to help our fans improve their daily lives. In addition to partnering with existing charities and organizations, the Orioles have also established a collection of new initiatives.

About the Right Side Foundation:
Children are the most precious members of our society. With this philosophy in mind, Nick and Christina Markakis established The Right Side Foundation to utilize the platform baseball has provided them in an effort to greatly impact this population. Through Foundation programming, investing in community groups/initiatives and developing strategic partnerships, the organization’s efforts will focus on improving the quality of life for children throughout the State of Maryland.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Class Matters. Why Won't We Admit It?

Op-Ed Contributors: Class Matters. Why Won't We Admit It?
Federal education policy seems blind to the relationship between poverty and student performance.

Monday, December 5, 2011

New Book on Direct Instruction and DI's Creator

Written by veteran journalist Shepard Barbash over a period of 10 years, Clear Teaching is a well-researched, highly readable introduction to Direct Instruction (DI), a systematic teaching approach which for more than 40 years has dramatically improved learning outcomes for students of all abilities and from all walks of life.

The book looks at the development of DI through the early experiences of its creator, Zig Engelmann; explains the principles that underpin this approach; and looks at DI's reception in the world of teaching, where it has been effectively shunned despite a formidable research base and example after example of transformative success.

Photos of students from BCP schools are featured on the cover and throughout the book.

Read more and download the book at:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fall 2011 Edition of BCP's Class Notes

Hampstead Hill Students Visit the White House and other news in the
Fall 2011 Edition of BCP's Class Notes

Click here to read the full Fall 2011 edition of BCP's Class Notes (PDF)

This issue features the following articles:

Around the World in Four Newsletters ...
Over the next four issues educators from around the world will share their thoughts on public education. This issue features Andrew Biemiller, Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto, and Ali Wannas Lafi Al-Rikabi, Head of Translation Department, University of Basrah.

False Dichotomies

By Jon McGill, BCP Chief Academic Officer
The educational world has its own version of the "nature versus nurture" conundrum. It is most often clothed in the guise of debates about whether good teaching can make up for the circumstances in which children live. Can high quality teaching provide the conditions in which children overcome poverty, racism, and difficult home circumstances? Are parental failings, poor home situations, poverty and race really destiny or can "equal opportunity" and excellent teaching, along with excellent schools, bridge the gaps?

Leading Minds Forum: The Impact of Poverty on Education

On September 22, 2011 over 450 teachers, community members, and nonprofit and business leaders attended BCP's fifth Leading Minds forum on The Impact of Poverty on Education. Co-hosted by Loyola University Maryland's School of Education and Urbanite Magazine, the forum explored why poverty has such a detrimental impact on academic achievement and what we, as a community, can do about it.
View a video of the forum and past forums at:

BCP Receives USTA Organization of the Year Award
BCP has received the US Tennis Association/Maryland Chapter's Organization of the Year Award. Last summer BCP launched a new Pre-K through eight school tennis initiative incorporating 10 and Under Tennis. BCP has committed to bring tennis this year to nearly 1,500 students in all four of its schools through physical education, after school clubs, and an intramural tennis league planned for 2012.

From Baraka to BCP: An Interview with Antoine Lewis

Antoine Lewis' journey from the Baraka School to City Springs School began over 15 years ago. The ties between the Baraka School and the Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) run deep. The Baraka School was an experimental school funded by The Abell Foundation, the organization that, under the leadership of Abell President Bob Embry, co-founded the BCP with BCP President Muriel Berkeley.

Arts Every Day at Collington

In an era when art and music are frequently sacrificed on the altar of high-stakes testing, the arts are alive and well at Collington Square School of the Arts. Collington Square is one of 44 City schools participating in Arts Every Day, a program that facilitates connections between the arts and learning for every student, every day.

Baltimore Arts Offerings at Collington

The Collington arts experience doesn't stop at the end of the school day. Students participate in visual arts and dance programs, courtesy of Elev8 Baltimore.

Hampstead Hill at White House

On October 12, 2011 more than 100 Hampstead Hill Academy students and staff participated in a physical education event at the White House. First Lady Michelle Obama hosted hundreds of area students in an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records record for the most people doing jumping jacks for one minute in a 24-hour period.

Hampstead Hill Recess in the News

You may have seen a recent Baltimore Sun article on the importance of recess. HHA middle school students were featured in a large, front page picture. The article highlighted the importance of having recess in the school day. It also pointed out the challenges that come with staffing and supervising recess, especially middle school recess.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program at Hampstead Hill

Again this year, HHA has been selected to receive about $50,000 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Good nutrition and healthy eating are part of what make for a good day at school.

Stability Balls at Hampstead Hill

Air-filled stability balls have been shown to help students focus on their studies and relieve discomfort caused by long periods of sitting on hard chairs. HHA was recently selected to receive a grant to study the use of stability balls to replace classroom chairs.

Family League Awards BCP $100K for Wolfe Street After-Schol Program

The Family League of Baltimore City has awarded the Baltimore Curriculum Project a $100,000 BOOST (Baltimore Out of School Time) grant to run the Wolfe Street After-School Program. Kathy Stroup, Director of Extended Student Services, has managed the program for three years. Currently, 82 students are enrolled and 35 students are on at the waitlist. We would like to thank the Family League for their support.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

City Springs Steppers and Hampstead Hill Drum Line Perform at Field Dedication

City Springs School's Drug Free Soul Steppers and Hampstead Hill Academy's Drum Line performed at yesterday's dedication of a newly renovated City Springs Football Field. Several Ravens, along with city officials, Living Classrooms and former Baltimore Colt Joe Ehrmann attended.

View the video at

Sunday, November 20, 2011

City Schools, Civic Works, and Collington Students Spruce Up Ravens Playground

Recently we noticed that the mulch at Collington Square School's Ravens Playground was getting a little low. I emailed Blaine Lipski (Baltimore City Public Schools Executive Director of Facilities) to see if he had any mulch and before you can say "exemplary North Avenue employee" Mr. Lipski had a truckload of free mulch scheduled to be delivered on Friday November 18th.

When the truck arrived Friday morning we had plenty of manpower, but were short a few wheelbarrows. Civic Works, Baltimore’s urban service corps and an AmeriCorps program, saved us with a last minute loan of three wheelbarrows and a dozen shovels.

Then the hard work began... About 10 Collington 8th graders worked tirelessly for hours to move a four foot high pile of mulch from the sidewalk to the playground. Spirits were high as we shoveled the mulch, pushed wheelbarrows up the hill, and spread the mulch over the playground. Principal Etta Johnson pitched in with the shoveling and rewarded the students with a pizza lunch.

History of the Ravens Playground

On June 11, 2007 over 300 volunteers turned out to build the Ravens playground at Collington Square School. The project was made possible by a partnership between the The Baltimore Ravens, KaBOOM!, the Baltimore Curriculum Project, and Collington Square School. Over $100,000 was contributed by The Ravens to build the customized playground.

View a video of Build Day at:

Thank You!

We'd like to thank:
  • The Ravens for giving us this playground, which continues to be a source of joy for our students;
  • City Schools, Blaine Lipsi and Pete Jessup of for providing the free mulch;
  • Civic Works for donating the tools and wheelbarrows;
  • Principal Johnson for coordinating the students and pitching in with the shoveling; and
  • all of the 8th graders who worked so hard.
- Larry Schugam, BCP Executive Vice President

About our Partners
Baltimore City Public Schools' mission is to accelerate student progress through effective implementation of the Master Plan, focusing on quality instruction, managing systems efficiently, and sustaining a culture of excellence.

The Baltimore Ravens have a strong commitment to the community. In addition to appearances by Ravens players, coaches and staff, the team assists hundreds of charities and non-profit organizations through in-kind donations of team memorabilia.

The Baltimore Ravens All Community Team Foundation serves as a separate non-profit entity of the team's community outreach efforts. In addition to Ravens appearances and in-kind donations, the foundation provides support to Baltimore area non-profit organizations. Ravens players are also active in the community through individual foundations of their own.

Civic Works transforms the lives of Baltimore area youth through community service and skills development. Their key program areas include community improvement, workforce development, education, and green programs.

KaBOOM! is a national non-profit dedicated to saving play for America's children. Our mission is to create great playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities. Ultimately, we envision a place to play within walking distance of every child in America.

Ravens Center Andre Gurode Provides 500 Turkeys to Collington Families

Baltimore Ravens Center/Guard Andre Gurode and
BCP Executive Vice President Larry Schugam

On Friday November 18th Baltimore Ravens Center/Guard Andre Gurode distributed 500 turkeys to the families of Israel Baptist Church and Collington Square School. Mr. Gurode signed with the Ravens on 9/5/11 and previously played for the Dallas Cowboys. He is a five-time Pro Bowl performer (2006-10) and two-time All-Pro (2007, 2009)

Melanie LeGrande (Ravens Director of Community Relations, Executive Director, RACTF); Heather Darney (Ravens Community Relations Manager); and Larry Schugam (BCP Executive Vice President) were on hand to help Mr. Gurode pass out the turkeys.

In addition to Mr. Gurode, several other Ravens players including Ray Lewis, Jameel McClain, Ray Rice, Ben Grubbs, Lardarius Webb, and Ed Reed were in the community last week to extend a helping hand in Maryland’s fight against hunger.

There are 466,000 people in the state who are food insecure, meaning they are unsure of where their next meal is coming from. Each year, the Ravens organization and its players commit to making a difference by feeding Maryland families.

We would like to thank Mr. Gurode for his generosity. Thank you also to the Baltimore Ravens and Melanie LeGrande (Executive Director, RACTF/Director of Community Relations) for always supportng BCP's neighborhood charter schools and school communities.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

AARP Experience Corps Literacy Festival at City Springs

AARP Experience Corps Baltimore City’s 3rd Annual Literary Festival took place on Saturday, November 12, 2011 at City Springs School and Langston Hughes Elementary School.

Many of the City’s 300 older adult volunteers who help children in 22 City schools will be there to complement what they do every week to get young people excited about reading and math. Sponsored by the Maryland Governor’s Office of Service and Volunteerism, the day’s festivities include literacy games, guest readers, dancing, music, book give-a-ways, refreshments, and more.

“We hope to get children and families excited about reading through this fun and free event,” says Brandi Roberts from AARP Experience Corps. “Our volunteers make a real difference every week all year long with kindergarten through third grade classroom teachers; this offers them the chance to reach out beyond the classrooms and into their communities.”

AARP Experience Corps is an award winning program that places people over 55 in elementary school classrooms. These AARP Experience Corps members tutor and mentor the students, providing homework help and serving as consistent role models. Independent research shows that Experience Corps boosts student’s academic performance and enhances the well-being of older adults.

We'd like to thank AARP Experience Corps for bringing this wonderful event and their dedicated volunteers and staff to City Springs School.

View photos of the festival at:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Baltimore Orioles Host Holiday Party for City Springs Students

The Baltimore Orioles have invited 100 City Springs School students and teachers to attend their Annual OriolesREACH Holiday Party on December 13th at Dave and Buster's. Each child will receive a delicious meal, a game card, and have the opportunity to meet Santa Clause along with many current and former Oriole players.

City Springs School and the Baltimore Curriculum Project would like to thank the Baltimore Orioles and Matthew Death, Baltimore Orioles Programs and Promotions Coordinator, for this wonderful Holiday gift.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wolfe Street Triumphs at Chess Tournament

Wolfe Street Academy won the elementary unrated team division at The Maryland Chess Association (MCA) tournament on Saturday, October 29th at Poly/Western High School. This was MCA's first scholastic chess tournament ever in Baltimore. Over 175 players competed with teams coming from as far away as Virginia and Delaware.

Baltimore Kids Chess League players collected 15 trophies. Organizers from MCA were impressed with the turnout and plan on holding another event in Baltimore next year.

The following Wolfe Street students took home trophies:

Eduardo Guzman - 2nd place
Robin Lopez - 3rd place
Jose Portillo - 4th place
Malacai Davis - 6th place
Jose Orellana - 8th place
Eric Vasquez - 10th place

Congratulations to the Wolfe Street team on their success!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

BCP Schools Rally to Transform Baltimore

On Thursday November 3, 2011 groups from three BCP Schools - City Springs School, Collington Square School, and Hampstead Hill Academy - joined groups from over 30 City schools for a rally to fix school facilities at War Memorial Hall.

Students decried the deplorable conditions of some of their school facilities. Students, parents, and teachers urged elected officials to support the Transform Baltimore campaign and adopt the Greenville Plan, a $2.8 billion bond financing strategy that was used successfully in Greenville, S.C. to renovate 70 schools.

Using the roughly $61 million that is currently available in annual funds for city school facilities, Baltimore could borrow approximately $1 billion to fix or rebuild half of the City's schools over the next few years. The $61 million a year would be used to pay back the loan.

Read more in:
The Baltimore Sun - Baltimore students lead rally for better school facilities
Baltimore Brew - Baltimore students protest “shameful” conditions in their schools

Learn more about the Transform Baltimore campaign at:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hampstead Hill Academy Pre-K Students Get New Learning Space « CBS Baltimore

Thank you Andrea Fujii of WJZ for the wonderful coverage and video of Hampstead Hill Academy's ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday! View the article and video here: Hampstead Hill Academy Pre-K Students Get New Learning Space « CBS Baltimore

Help Wolfe Street Academy kids feed the hungry & veterans

Children at the Wolfe Street Academy, Gough and Wolfe streets, are feeding the hungry and veterans on Friday, Nov. 11, and need things to serve. Nonperishables may be dropped off before Nov. 11: single servings of raisins or dried fruit; peaches, pears, mixed fruit, applesauce, pineapple, etc.; juice boxes; cookies; Rice Krispie treats; brownies; crackers; chips; popcorn and corn chips.

The children also need jars of peanut butter, jelly, mayo, mustard, whole wheat bread, large brown lunch bags, napkins, plastic utensils, paper towels, paper tablecloths, and rubber gloves, all sizes.
Perishables, drop off November 9-11: drop off lunch meats, cheese slices, lettuce, tomatoes, baby carrots, cucumbers, grapes, oranges and apples.

Volunteers are needed to help prepare and serve. For info email Suzanne Bailey, or call Maura Farrall, 410-396-9140.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hampstead Hill Academy November Newsletter

HHA Ribbon Cutting Ceremony - 11/5/2011
(left to right) City Councilman Jim Kraft, HHA Principal Matt Hornbeck,
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, BCP President Muriel Berkeley
and City Schools CEO Andres Andres Alonso

Read Hampstead Hill Academy's November 2011 newsletter at:

This edition features:
  • Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Pre-Kindergarten Addition
  • Senator Barbara A. Mikulski Tours HHA
  • American Education Week Events
  • International Night

Hampstead Hill Academy Ribbon Cutting Ceremony 2011

On Friday November 4, 2011 Hampstead Hill Academy held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the much-anticipated $1.2 million pre-kindergarten addition. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Schools CEO Andres Alonso, City Councilman James Kraft, Hampstead Hill Principal Matt Hornbeck and BCP President Muriel Berkeley participated in the ceremony

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Student Ben Simon Donates School Supplies

We would like to thank middle school student Ben Simon for donating 5 bags of school supplies to our schools. Ben collected the supplies as part of a middle school project. Ben and his family were nice enough to drop off the supplies last weekend.

We'd also like to thank Melanie C. LeGrande (Executive Director, RACTF/Director of Community Relations, Baltimore Ravens) and Bridgett Coates (Founder, Exposure BBC) for helping to coordinate the donation.

Monday, October 31, 2011

BCP President Muriel Berkeley on the Purpose of Public Education

BCP President Muriel Berkeley talks about school accountability and the purpose of public education during a Principals Panel Discussion at BCP's Fall Professional Development Conference on October 20, 2011.

The Conference provided over 300 teachers with a variety of engaging workshops. BCP offers customized workshops throughout the year that meet the staff training needs identified by teachers, principals and BCP staff members.

Collington Square School Principal Etta Johnson on the Purpose of Public...

Collington Square School Principal Etta Johnson talks about the purpose of public education during a Principals Panel Discussion at BCP's Fall Professional Development Conference on October 20, 2011.

The Conference provided over 300 teachers with a variety of engaging workshops. BCP offers customized workshops throughout the year that meet the staff training needs identified by teachers, principals and BCP staff members.

City Springs School Principal Rhonda Richetta on the Purpose of Public E...

City Springs School Principal Rhonda Richetta talks about the purpose of public education during a Principals Panel Discussion at BCP's Fall Professional Development Conference on October 20, 2011.

The Conference provided over 300 teachers with a variety of engaging workshops. BCP offers customized workshops throughout the year that meet the staff training needs identified by teachers, principals and BCP staff members