Tuesday, January 31, 2012

BCP Seeks President/CEO

Dear Friends of the Baltimore Curriculum Project:

The Baltimore Curriculum Project’s Founding President, Muriel Berkeley, will be retiring this year.

BCP was Muriel’s vision. Motivated by her affection for the City’s public school students and her conviction that a research-based curriculum delivered by well- trained, hard working, highly motivated school personnel is an essential component of a successful school, Muriel has led BCP to where it is today.

Finding a successor for our Founding President will be a difficult task.

A Search Committee has been formed and we have begun advertising for applicants. We are certain that our best chance of finding the perfect person is if people like you, who know BCP, get the word out to friends who might be interested and urge them to apply.

Click here to view the job description (PDF file). It is also posted on our website: www.baltimorecp.org. We are asking that requests for information and applications be sent electronically to bcpsearchcommittee@yahoo.com.

Hats off to Muriel and her amazing tenure with BCP and thanks in advance for your help as we move forward.

George Hess Anne S. Perkins
Chair, Board of Directors Chair, Search Committee

BCP Winter 2012 Professional Development Conference

On Thursday, January 26, 2012 BCP hosted its Winter 2012 Professional Development Conference for over 200 teachers from City Springs School, Collington Square School of the Arts, Hampstead Hill Academy, and Wolfe Street Academy.

BCP provides two professional development conferences and several day-long seminars each year. Principals determine their staff training needs and BCP customizes training to meet those needs. BCP also provides training that addresses areas identified by BCP coaches and leadership staff.

Click here to view the event program (PDF file).

A variety of workshops were offered at the Winter Conference including:
  • CHAMPS: How to manage difficult kids
  • Challenges in Urban Education
  • Literacy Centers: Incorporating Literacy Centers into the Primary
  • Maximizing Opportunity to Learn: Engagement Strategies
  • Enrichment Activities for DI Lessons
  • Effective Firm Up Procedures
  • Writing Workshop
  • Effective Lesson Planning for All Learning Levels
Presenters included Tara Anderson, Laura Doherty, Nora Hogan, Brenda Kahn, Marvelyn Johnson, Jeff Krick, Susan Lattimore, Jon McGill, Laura Moyers, Ed Schaefer,

Keynote Address

Journalist Shepard Barbash delivered the keynote address. Barbash has been a writer for thirty years. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, City Journal, Education Next and other publications.

He is former bureau chief of the Houston Chronicle in Mexico City and is the author of five books, including Clear Teaching, published in January by the Education Consumers Foundation.

Luncheon Speakers and City Springs Choir

Collington Square School of the Arts Resource Teacher Lauren Bevacqua and City Springs School Para Professional Antoine Lewis delivered talks during lunch. This was followed by a performance of the City Springs School Choir.

Thank you

We would like to thank Hampstead Hill Academy for hosting the 2012 Winter Professional Development Conference and the entire HHA staff for making it a success.

Thank you to Chipotle and ADP for sponsoring the conference.

Thank you to Tara Anderson for organizing the conference and to all of the BCP staff members who helped out: Tilda Johnson, Larry Schugam, and Angela Scott.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

City Springs Restorative Practices Featured on CBS

City Springs School's implementation of Restorative Practices was featured in a January 25th CBS News broadcast.

Restorative Practices is a proactive approach for building a school community based on cooperation, mutual understanding, and respect. Restorative practices provides processes for holding students accountable for their actions and behavior while at the same time building a nurturing school environment.

BCP brought Restorative Practices to its four neighborhood charter schools in 2007 with the support of grants from OSI-Baltimore and the Goldsmith Family Foundation.

Read the article and view the video at:

92Q Jams Supports Collington Square School

On Friday January 25, 2012 Sean and Ian from 92Q Jams visited Collington Square School of the Arts to generate excitement about the school's incentive program for good behavior.

Students in grades three through five earn points for good behavior on their Collington Cards. The points add up to prizes an field trips.

In order to motivate the students, Assistant Principal Bernarda Kwaw invited 92Q to celebrate and shout out to the students who are doing a wonderful job using their Collington Cards.

Thank you to 92Q for supporting Collington Square School of the Arts.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wolfe Street Receives Lowe's Grant for Living Classroom

The Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation (LCEF) has awarded Wolfe Street Academy a 2011-2012 Lowe's Toolbox for Education grant of $2,000 to support the school's Outdoor Living Classroom Project.

The grant will enable the school to transform an underutilized courtyard into a serene Living Classroom learning environment for students, families and the local community. The courtyard, which currently contains a container garden, will also include benches, raised flower beds, a butterfly garden, a bird bath and feeders.

Teachers will use the University of Maryland Food Supplement Nutrition Education Program's Growing Healthy Habits (GHH) curriculum to provide nutrition education through gardening.

This curriculum was developed specifically for educators in Maryland reaching low-income youth who wish to use gardening as a tool for improving nutrition-related behaviors. GHH was written by Chrissa Carlson, Hampstead Hill Academy's Food for Life Educator.

A variety of partners are supporting the project. Students from Kennedy Krieger High School have volunteered to build the raised planter beds; Master Gardeners from the University of Maryland’s Nutrition Education Program will provide technical assistance; and the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation will provide a variety of workshops for students on nutrition and gardening.

We would like to thank Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation for supporting our Living Classroom project.

About Lowe’s Toolbox for Education
Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant program is funded by the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation, which has supported thousands of grassroots community and school projects in the communities where Lowe’s does business. Learn More.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

City Springs Sweeps MLK Essay Competition Again

City Springs School has swept the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Writing Competition for the second year in a row. The competition is hosted by the Baltimore Urban Debate League (BUDL) and The Walters Art Museum.

Congratulations to Chelsea Gilmer (4th grade), Charisma Coles (6th grade), and Shardai Little (7th grade) for winning the Elementary and Middle School Divisions. They presented their winning essays at the Walters Art Museum's MLK Jr. Family Festival on January 16th.

The students composed essays about unsung heroes of the civil rights movement; what Dr. Martin Luther King meant to them; and how they want to continue his legacy today.

Last year City Springs School took 1st and 3rd place in the Elementary Division and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in the Middle School Division.

Read the winning essays at:

View of video of Shardai Little reading her essay on the BUDL Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/bmoredebate

About BUDL
The Baltimore Urban Debate League (BUDL) enriches the academic experience of students from Baltimore City's public elementary, middle and high schools through participation in team policy debate. Through debate, students become engaged learners, critical thinkers and citizens and leaders who are effective advocates for themselves and their communities.

About The Walters Art Museum
The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland is internationally renowned for its collection of art, which was amassed substantially by two men, William and Henry Walters, and eventually bequeathed to the City of Baltimore. The collection presents an overview of world art from pre-dynastic Egypt to 20th-century Europe, and counts among its many treasures Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi; medieval ivories and Old Master paintings; Art Deco jewelry and 19th-century European and American masterpieces.

BCP Featured on Restorative Practices Blog

An article about BCP and Restorative Practices was featured on the Restorative Practices Blog:
In the fall of 2005 Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) President Muriel Berkeley attended a workshop at the Maryland Charter School Network Conference that sparked a wholesale transformation of school culture at BCP’s four neighborhood charter schools: City Springs School, Collington Square School of the Arts, Hampstead Hill Academy, and Wolfe Street Academy.

The workshop, led by Tonya Featherston, explored Restorative Practices (RP), a school-culture building approach that promotes positive relationships over punishment.

“RP was just what we were looking for to improve our school climates,” said Dr. Berkeley.

Read the full article at:


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dorfman Museum Figures Donates Art Supplies

Dorfman Museum Figures, a Dundalk-based business, has donated spools and other art supplies to Wolfe Street Academy's After-School Art Program. Students used the spools to create the beautiful artwork you see in the photo above.

Myra Gnadt, Administrator for Dorfman Museum Figures, has been instrumental in coordinating the supply donations. Founded by Earl Dorfman in 1957, Dorfman Museum Figures, Inc. has added vitality and drama to museums and exhibits from the Smithsonian to Singapore.

We would like to thank Dorfman Museum Figures and Ms. Gnadt for their support.

For more information about Dorfman Museum Figures visit: http://www.museumfigures.com

To learn more about the Wolfe Street After-School Art Program contact Program Director Nancy Jagelka at njagelka@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

BCP Schools Selected for MissionSpring Fundraising Training

Two BCP Schools, City Springs School and Wolfe Street Academy, have been selected to participate in the inaugural class of MissionSpring, a yearlong, professional fundraising training academy being offered to Baltimore City’s charter, transformation, and innovation schools.

The program is sponsored by Supporting Public Schools of Choice, a project of the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers, and led by Sangha Solutions and Jump Start Growth, Inc.

MissionSpring provides participating schools with the tools, knowledge, and confidence they need to build and sustain an individual giving program.

The inaugural class of MissionSpring (2012) includes the following schools: Baltimore Community High School, Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy, City Neighbors Foundation, City Springs School, Midtown Academy, Patterson Park Public Charter School, Southwest Baltimore Charter School, and Wolfe Street Academy.

We would like to thank Supporting Public Schools of Choice, Sangha Solutions, and Jump Start Growth, Inc. for making this opportunity available to our schools.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hampstead Hill Academy January 2012 Newsletter

Check out Hampstead Hill Academy's January 2012 Newsletter at: http://bitly.com/hhanews0112

Support Audubon with an Evening at Bistro RX

Support the Patterson Park Audubon Center by dining at Bistro Rx on Thursday, January 26th between 4:00pm and 9:00 p.m. A portion of dinner and drink sales will be donated to Audubon's urban environmental education programs. Be sure to mention Audubon to your server.

Bistro Rx, located at the intersection of North Linwood Avenue and East Baltimore Street, is a Patterson Park neighborhood restaurant serving outstanding food and delicious wines.

Patterson Park Audubon Center has provided Hampstead Hill Academy students with environmental education programming for several years. Each year Legg Mason contributes a generous matching grant to make this possible.

About Patterson Park Audubon Center
Patterson Park Audubon Center is part of Audubon Maryland-DC and has been actively involved in this Baltimore community since 2002, providing education programming with schools, recreation centers, and after school programs in Patterson Park. The education staff also provides public programs, including bird walks, Tiny Tot programs, Active Audubon! and family and adult programs in the Park for the community. We serve five of the elementary schools around Patterson Park, two after-school programs, as well as eight Baltimore City high schools. Several of these programs we offer in English and in Spanish.

Thank You to Hampstead Hill Partners

We would like to thank the following partners for supporting Hampstead Hill Academy:
  • Melissa Thompson, General Manager at LensCrafters and the staff of LensCrafters for inviting five Hampstead Hill Academy students to their Hometown Event. The students received a free screening, eye examination and glasses.

  • The residents of Indecco Senior Apartments for their donation of hats, scarves and gloves for our kindergarten students.

  • The Bryan Family for donating miscellaneous items to the school.

  • The Edwards Family for a cash donation of $100 to the students of HHA.

  • All of the parents who have volunteered in various areas of the building: Ruth Pruitt, Ms. Jill, Ms. Peterson, Jeanne Pasko, Julie Bryan, Trish Gnibus, Jessica Smith, Kristina Bachman, Justin Pruitt, Maryana Romanyuk, Michele Franklin, Mr. Jillson and Dominique Zeltzman.

  • The parents who volunteered to chaperone field trips and who donated gently used uniforms.

Legg Mason Visits Hampstead Hill Academy

Tom Hirschmann and Joe Larocque Read to HHA Students

On December 15, 2011 Legg Mason Managing Director Joe Larocque and Head of U.S. Sales Tom Hirschmann visited Hampstead Hill Academy to read to students in Mrs. Kaminaris and Mrs. Smith's kindergarten class.

They read the 20th Anniversary edition of Jan Brett's The Mitten and gave each student a copy of the book, a hat and a pair of mittens. The students were delighted with the story and excited to wear their new hats and mittens.

We would like to thank Mr. Larocque, Mr. Hirschmann and Legg Mason for their generosity and continuing support.

BCP/Hampstead Hill Academy to Host Restorative Practices Event

The Baltimore Curriculum Project and its four neighborhood charter schools value Restorative Practices and the power of positive relationships to improve student achievement.

Over the last four years, the staff at Hampstead Hill Academy (HHA) has conducted thousands of restorative circles designed to build community and minimize bullying and negative behaviors.

In February, the Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) and HHA will host Baltimore City Public Schools CAO Dr. Sonja Brookins-Santelises, Network Officer Jonathan Brice and dozens of principals as they visit classrooms, observe students participating in circles and learn about Restorative Practices.

City Springs Students Visit Walters Art Museum

Over the past few weeks groups of City Springs School students have had the wonderful opportunity to visit and learn about the art at The Walters Art Museum. City Springs Art Teacher Kasey Trudgeon shares her impressions about the visits below.
Although I was told by both docents of Ms. Hagemann's class how much fun they had with our students, it was wonderful to hear them say, as the door was shutting behind me, "what a wonderful group of students" they really are.

I overheard the students and the docents having intellectual conversations about Ancient Greece and Greek mythology, and, at one point, a group of students and their docent were actually quietly dancing through the museum to the Greek celebration music their docent was playing for them.

The artistic ability, creativity, and imagination of the students in Ms. Roberts' class were all duly noted by the studio art teacher at the Walters. These students attended the "Telling Stories Through Art" exhibit, and during their studio visit, created 3-D artwork that told a story of its own by using the different story elements.

The Academy [Middle Grades Students] also contributed to the reputation of City Springs when they attended. A docent for a group of seventh grade boys said that their group knew more than any other group she had ever given a tour to; while a docent for a group of eighth grade girls noted what a wonderful group we had representing our school.

Many of our students cannot wait to go back on their own to visit the rest of the museum!
We would like to thank The Walters Art Museum for welcoming our students. Not only did our students gain relevant information for what they are learning in class; but they also gained an invaluable experience in their very own city.

About The Walters Art Museum
The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland is internationally renowned for its collection of art, which was amassed substantially by two men, William and Henry Walters, and eventually bequeathed to the City of Baltimore. The collection presents an overview of world art from pre-dynastic Egypt to 20th-century Europe, and counts among its many treasures Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi; medieval ivories and Old Master paintings; Art Deco jewelry and 19th-century European and American masterpieces.

For more information visit: http://thewalters.org

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Travel Advantage Network Donates 2,000 Book Bags to BCP Students

Local Company's Charitable Efforts Support the Baltimore Curriculum Project

MILLERSVILLE, Md., Jan. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Travel Advantage Network (TAN), a wholesale vacation accommodations program, donated 2,000 book bags to a network of Baltimore City schools affiliated with the Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP). Wolfe Street Academy, a Baltimore City public charter school and BCP member, was able to equip its entire student population of pre-kindergarten through 5th grade students with the TAN sling book bags. The remainder of the bags went to other BCP-affiliated schools. Chief development officer and vice president of the Baltimore Curriculum Project, Larry Schugam, personally delivered the bags to the students.

"We are incredibly grateful for TAN's donation of book bags for our four neighborhood charter schools which include City Springs School, Collington Square School of the Arts, Hampstead Hill Academy and Wolfe Street Academy. Gifts like these make a big difference in the lives of our students," stated Larry Schugam, chief development officer and vice president of the Baltimore Curriculum Project.

The Baltimore Curriculum Project is a nonprofit organization that endows four neighborhood charter schools in East Baltimore. Its mission is to develop, implement, and advocate for an innovative, sustainable, and replicable education model that improves student outcomes. A vital goal of the organization is to help raise standards and opportunities for disadvantaged youth and Baltimore City schools.

TAN has been dedicated to charitable giving since its inception. Brad Callahan, TAN president, has cultivated a culture of giving at Travel Advantage Network that includes a commitment to monthly charitable events. Each month an employee chooses a charity to sponsor and donations are raised during that month through various fundraising activities such as raffles, silent auctions, pay-to-wear-jeans days, and other fun events to get TAN team members to contribute. In 2011, TAN raised more than $12,000 for various local and national charities. For information about Travel Advantage Network and its charitable efforts, please visit PlanWithTAN.com or the Travel Advantage Network Charity Blog.

Since 1992, TAN, a wholesale priced vacation accommodations program, has helped families and individuals create lifelong vacation memories. TAN is the proud recipient of the Better Business Bureau of Maryland's prestigious Torch Award for exemplifying high business standards and professional integrity, as well as the Maryland Chamber of Commerce's Philanthropy in Business Award for outstanding and innovative commitment to local and national charities. TAN is a recipient of SmartCEO Magazine's 2008 and 2009 Future 50 Award, recognizing the fastest growing companies in the greater Baltimore area. For more information, please visit PlanWithTAN.com.

Media Contact:
Shayna Iglesias
Travel Advantage Network
Phone: 800.223.0088 x 259

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/545593#ixzz1jA9nDfUE

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

BCP and Restorative Practices Transform Schools & Neighborhoods

Restorative Circle at City Springs School

In the fall of 2005 Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) President Muriel Berkeley attended a workshop at the Maryland Charter School Network Conference that sparked a wholesale transformation of school culture at BCP's four neighborhood charter schools: City Springs School, Collington Square School of the Arts, Hampstead Hill Academy, and Wolfe Street Academy .

The workshop, led by Tonya Featherston, explored Restorative Practices (RP), a school-culture building approach that promotes positive relationships over punishment.

"RP was just what we were looking for to improve our school climates," said Dr. Berkeley.

Restorative Practices uses restorative circles and conferences to help students with conflict resolution; teaching them vital skills that will help them succeed in college, career, and life. In addition to addressing misbehavior, Restorative Practices develops life skills and channels students into productive discussions of issues that concern them.

"RP has been critical to helping our schools become safe havens for learning. Fourteen years ago, before BCP became involved, City Springs was extremely chaotic. Kids didn't stay in class or even in the building, but did as they pleased," said BCP President Muriel Berkeley.

"When BCP came on board, students learned new rules; rewards were put in place for following the rules; and everything improved. Several years later, BCP staff realized that students behaved only if the adults were watching. Students hadn't internalized the behavior. Then we heard about RP: a way to teach kids how their actions affected their classroom, their school and their neighborhood."

In 2006 BCP implemented RP at City Springs School, Collington Square School and Hampstead Hill Academy with the support of a $42,000 grant from the Open Society Institute - Baltimore and two $20,000 grants from The Goldsmith Family Foundation .

The International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) provided training for all teachers and administrators. That same year BCP brought on OSI Fellow Tonya Featherston to oversee the RP implementation.

"High-poverty schools tend to face more challenges than higher-income schools; but most schools don't have the time to seek out additional support," said BCP Executive Vice President Larry Schugam.

"That's why BCP works with schools to identify and implement effective education strategies like Restorative Practices, Direct Instruction, and CHAMPS."

The impact of Restorative Practices has been impressive

"When BCP brought Restorative Practices training to City Springs School six years ago, many teachers were a bit skeptical about what impact this school-wide approach to discipline would have on student behavior. It seemed almost too simple to address our challenges," said City Springs School Principal Rhonda Richetta.

"To say we have experienced remarkable results is an understatement: in just one year, suspensions plummeted from 86 to 9!"

What the Students Say

"I like Restorative Practices because it clears stuff off your mind and keeps you from fighting. If you fight with someone you can talk it out," said City Springs fourth grader Antonio Wilson.

"If you're stressed you can talk it out and talk about your feelings. Restorative Practices helps you get to know your classmates better," said City Springs fourth grader Kenyon Park.

"When people are going through stuff at home, you get ideas on how to cope with family members," said City Springs seventh grader Sherie Turnage.

Beyond the School

The influence of Restorative Practices continues to grow at BCP's four schools and beyond. Dr. Berkeley and Principal Richetta were featured speakers at the 2011 IIRP Summer Symposium; Hampstead Hill Academy Principal Matt Hornbeck recently hired a full-time Restorative Practices expert to take their school to the next level; and City Springs School is in year two of a school-wide RP implementation that will etch the process thoroughly into the school's culture.

"For many students there is one set of rules in the school and another set of rules in the neighborhood," said Principal Richetta.

Last spring City Springs provided Restorative Practices training for families of students living in Perkins Homes Public Housing. Afterwards, the training was the "talk of the courts."

"Our vision extends to helping create a Restorative Zone that encompasses the school and the entire neighborhood," said Principal Richetta.

This may sound like a fantasy; but it is a reality in Hull, England where IIRP is bringing Restorative Practices training to the City's 23,000 professionals and volunteers who work with children and young people.

"Just imagine if we could bring Restorative Practices to all of East Baltimore!" said Dr. Berkeley.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Restorative Practices at City Springs School

Photographer Matt Roth's Photoblog features some beautiful photos of Restorative Practices in action at City Springs School.

BCP implemented Restorative Practices (RP) at City Springs School, Collington Square School of the Arts, and Hampstead Hill Academy in 2006 with the generous support of grants from the Open Society Institute-Baltimore and the Goldsmith Family Foundation.

The project was led by BCP's former Director of RP, OSI Fellow Tonya Featherston. In 2007 BCP implemented RP at Wolfe Street Academy. The International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) has provided training for all of our schools.

Read more about the success of RP on the Matt Roth Photography website: http://mattrothphoto.com/blog/2012/01/baltimore-dc-photographer/education-week-safety-restorative-practices/

Monday, January 2, 2012

City Springs wants to turn dilapidated schoolyard into sports complex

The community recently opened a football field, but school wants place for kids to play

By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun
4:43 PM EST, January 2, 2012

Most mornings, students arrive early at City Springs Elementary/Middle School to throw a football around on the blacktop. They love the game, but it is hard to play in the raggedy yard behind the school.

The students of the school had a plan back in 2007. A group wrote a letter and gathered signatures, then handed it to the principal at a morning assembly.

"The complex outside has many things wrong with it," they wrote. "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]."

The principal listened and so did the adults in the community. From the students' vision has come a new regulation-size football field dedicated recently that will serve as a place for sports teams in the neighborhood. Built with a $100,000 grant from the NFL to Living Classrooms Foundation and $135,000 from the city's Department of Recreation and Parks, the field also was supported by the Ravens.

But the football field was built a block away from City Springs because the school grounds were not large enough to accommodate a 100-yard playing field. And because the field is fenced, the students don't have access to it every morning.

Six schools, including a high school, Freedom Academy, are nearby and have teams that need a field. City Springs has an intramural flag football team, as well as a soccer and basketball team for its middle-schoolers.

"I feel good about the field that has been given to the community, but I get out of my car every day and I look at that field [at the school], and it looks the same as it did four years ago," said the principal, Rhonda Richetta. "I feel I have let the kids down."

The space behind the school is large enough to hold everything the students in 2007 imagined as well as a track for running, according to Larry Schugam, the executive vice president and chief development officer for the Baltimore Curriculum Project, which operates City Springs as a charter school.

Schugam developed a master plan for the area several years ago, and he said he and Richetta are hoping to reconvene the committee that worked on the football field to build a sports complex behind City Springs. Schugam said they hope to raise more money — he estimates the cost at between $500,000 and $800,000 — to provide good facilities.

The school could reach out to the community and local businesses, as well as the NFL Local Initiatives Support Coalition Grassroots Program, which provided funding for the first field. Schugam said the new field would be 80 yards long rather than 100 yards, but still provide plenty of space for elementary and middle-school students.

City Springs students are particularly interested in sports, Richetta said, and at times she has considered whether the school should have a particular focus on athletics.

"There is a lot of talent at City Springs, and we are not tapping into it. It is tragic," she said.

Right now the school, with about 600 students, can devote little time to athletics. Every student takes physical education for one 45-minute period a week. In addition, students can go outside once a week during lunch to play on the blacktop. Richetta said the grassy field with a few trees behind the school is off-limits to her students because it is scattered with broken glass, trash and needles discarded by drug users. Only on the days that she goes out with her gloves to clean up the area can her students play there.

If the students' dream is realized, Schugam said, the area will be fenced. Parents and other residents are interested in the project, and he said the school would have no trouble finding responsible adults in the neighborhood who would be willing to open the area for the community. But first, there's a lot of money to raise.


Copyright © 2012, The Baltimore Sun