Wednesday, February 29, 2012

McGraw-Hill Sponsors BCP Fundraising Gala

Thank you to McGraw-Hill School Education Group for supporting BCP's Are You Smarter Than a BCP 5th Grader? fundraising gala on April 20, 2012 with a $500 sponsorship.

McGraw-Hill has also been a a generous sponsor for BCP's Professional Development Conferences.

About McGraw-Hill Education

McGraw-Hill Education is a leading global provider of educational materials, information and solutions for the Pre-K through 12th grade, Assessment, Higher Education and Professional markets.

Friday, February 24, 2012

City Springs Student Participates in United Nations Panel

On February 28, 2012 City Spring School seventh grader Percy Holland will participate as a panelist in the Commission on the Status of Women’s Girl-Boy Dialogue on Economic Empowerment for Girls and Boys at the United Nations.

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), dedicated exclusively to the promotion of gender equality and the advancement of women.

The fifty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will include representatives from Member States, UN entities, and NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) from all regions of the world will attend the session.

Men of Strength Club

The trip is being sponsored by the Men of Strength (MOST) Club at City Springs, of which Percy is a member. MOST Club is a violence prevention program for mobilizing young men to prevent sexual and dating violence. The club provides young men with a structured and supportive space to build individualized definitions of masculinity that promote healthy relationships.

For more information about MOST Club visit:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sir Speedy Supports BCP Fundraising Gala

Thank you to Sir Speedy Printing and Marketing Services of Linthicum, Maryland for being the print and design sponsor for BCP's Are You Smarter than a BCP 5th Grader? Fundraising Gala on April 20, 2012. Sir Speedy is donating the design and printing of the invitations and event signage.

In January 2012 Sir Speedy facilitated a donation of 2,000 book bags for BCP students from Travel Advantage Network.

About Sir Speedy
Sir Speedy offers advanced technologies that help customers reach their customers more effectively including high speed black and white copying, color copying, full color offset printing, promotional items, and integrated direct marketing campaigns.

For more information visit:

Friday, February 17, 2012

RCM and D Supports BCP Fundraising Gala

Thank you to RCM&D for supporting BCP's Are You Smarter than a BCP 5th Grader? Fundraising Gala on April 20, 2012 with a $500 sponsorship. RCM&D is an independent insurance, risk management and employee benefits consulting firm.

About RCM&D Corporate Responsibility

Responsibility in and to the communities we serve is central to our core values and corporate culture. At RCM&D, we recognize that we are more than just a collection of people, but rather we have a unique opportunity to be an encouraging force within the communities we serve. Equally, these same communities guide us in our foundational thinking of our greater responsibility beyond our everyday work.

Whether you see our staff working in community soup kitchens, building homes for the homeless or donating an immeasurable number of hours to community boards and organizations, we take our engagement as serious stewards of the world around us. Each year, this engagement is shaped through the RCM&D Regatta, the firm’s pinnacle event in its community service calendar. Since 1994, the Regatta has served as the collaboration and celebration of our commitment to being a truly responsible and responsive organization.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

IWIF Supports BCP Fundraising Gala

Thank you to IWIF for sponsoring BCP's "Are You Smarter than a BCP 5th Grader?" Fundraising Gala on April 20, 2012 with a $500 sponsorship. IWIF also recently sponsored BCP's 2011 Leading Minds Forum.

IWIF provides volunteers, assistance and leadership. The IWIF & You Charitable Program, created in 2000, weaves together four components that enable employees to reach out to their favorite charities in several ways.

They include: grants, matching donations, collections, and volunteer hours. The program objectives are to ensure that funds and support remain consistent with the company’s values and goals, and provide on- going opportunities for employees to donate their time.

For more information visit:

Restorative Practices Event at Hampstead Hill Academy

Principals from across the city observed restorative circles in several
Hampstead Hill Academy classrooms, including Teacher Debbie Lastner's. (above)

Thank you to Hampstead Hill Academy and the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) for an inspiring introduction to Restorative Practices this morning for over 40 Baltimore City Schools principals and teachers! Attendees visited classrooms and participated in restorative circles.

Baltimore Curriculum Project President Muriel Berkeley, Hampstead Hill Academy Principal Matthew Hornbeck and City Springs Middle/Elementary School Principal Rhonda Richetta delivered wonderful presentations on their experience implementing this positive approach to building school culture.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

BCP Quiz Show Fundraiser with CEO Alonso and Mayor Rawlings-Blake

On Friday, April 20, 2012 the Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) will host Are You Smarter Than a BCP 5th Grader? - a fundraiser to empower neighborhood schools with the tools they need to help every child succeed.

The event will feature a quiz show with BCP students competing against Baltimore City Schools CEO Andres Alonso, Houston Texans Wide Receiver Bryant Johnson and Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Attendees will also enjoy dinner, drinks, a silent auction, and live music by Tony Berry & New Money.

For more information and tickets visit:

Legg Mason Supports BCP Fundraising Gala

Thank you to Legg Mason for sponsoring BCP's "Are You Smarter than a BCP 5th Grader" Fundraising Gala on April 20, 2012 with a $1,000 sponsorship.

Legg Mason been a committed partner for many years, supporting Hamsptead Hill's recent Early Learning Wing Renovation and the Audubon Explorers program for Hampstead Hill students.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Purpose of Public Education

By Larry Schugam, Executive Vice President, Baltimore Curriculum Project

The purpose of public education should be to increase the amount of love in the world.

I often hear teachers say that “students won’t care what you know until they know that you care.”

In my education I had some teachers who seemed to care, but the overall impression was that education was a weeding-out process. The system was mainly fear-based – if you don’t pass these tests, you won’t get into a good college and you’ll wind up in the gutter.

Kids should know that the reason we require them to spend so much time in school is because we love them and want them to have the knowledge, tools, and assets they need to live healthy, fulfilling, connected lives full of joy and love.

There is a lot of talk now about kids being prepared for the workforce, and this is critical, but the people who recently crashed our economy and defrauded millions were very well-educated and prepared for the workforce; however, I imagine that their capacity to love and consider the needs of the millions they defrauded may have been sub-par.

We need restorative schools that restore everyone involved – students, teachers, parents, administrators, and operators. An environment where people embrace the ideal that "it is better to be kind.”

We all come with some kind of baggage and wounds. Schools should be places of healing, where people learn to communicate and work together. Where challenges and discord are viewed not as as excuses to lambast people behind their backs; but as opportunities to grow spiritually. Where we all get the healing we need to love and respect one another.

One of my teachers always says “Learn to love your relatives. You don’t have to like them, but you have to love them, which can be hard because some of them are such $%&*!”

I'll end with the following excerpt from an NPR interview with Cornel West:
COX: Why, thank you. I appreciate the compliment. Let's begin with this, Cornel, if we might. You talk a lot about the lack of love. You say there is a lack of available love in black America. What do you mean by that?

Prof. WEST: Well, I think it's true in the society as a whole. We have a market-driven society so obsessed with buying and selling and obsessed with power and pleasure and property, it doesn't leave a whole lot of time for non-market values and non-market activity so that love and trust and justice, concern for the poor, that's being pushed to the margins, and you can see it.

You can see it in terms of the obsession on Wall Street with not just profits but greed, more profit, more profit. You see it in our television culture that's obsessed with superficial spectacle. You see it even in our educational systems, where the market model becomes central. It's a matter of just gaining a skill or gaining access to a job to live in some vanilla suburb, as opposed to becoming a critical citizen concerned with public interest and common good.

It's a spiritual malnutrition tied to a moral constipation, where people have a sense of what's right and what's good. It's just stuck, and they can't get it out because there's too much greed. There's too much obsession with reputation and addiction to narrow conceptions of success.

And when I talk about love, I'm talking about something that's great, though, brother. I'm talking about something that will sustain you. It's like an Aretha Franklin song, brother, or a Coltrane solo or Beethoven symphony, something that grabs you to the gut and gives you a sense of what it is to be human.

That's what we're more and more lacking, and it's very sad. It's a sign of a decline of an empire, my brother.

Read the full interview at:

Wolfe Street Academy Workforce Tutors Students

Every day last September, as we eased in the school year and started the after school program, 5th grader Mario would ask “when’s my tutor coming back?”

Mario’s tutor, Linnea Zimmerman, is a student at the The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who has been meeting with Mario on a weekly basis since he was in 3rd grade, to help him with reading and math skills.

Linnea is a member of The Wolfe Street Academy (WSA) Workforce, a volunteer program run by students at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine since 2006. The program has grown every year since then, and now includes volunteers from The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and The Johns Hopkins Department of Biomedical Engineering as well.

Mario has a strong connection with Linnea , and in the time he has been working with her he has improved academically to a point where he is ready to successfully graduate both from elementary school, and from the tutoring program.

This school year, 35 Wolfe Street Academy children are receiving individual weekly tutoring services, mostly from graduate students with the Wolfe Street Academy Workforce. Fourteen of the tutors have tutored at WSA for two years or more.

Deborah Apple, a 3rd grade teacher who is actively involved in the program, has noticed the value of having seasoned tutors returning for a second year or more.

“It is wonderful to have so many second year tutors at WSA this year. The relationships they build with students and academic support they provide are invaluable for both struggling students and their teachers,” said Ms. Apple.

Many of those second year tutors are medical students, and in a few weeks they will be moving on to the next phase in their own education – hospital rotations and studying for their Board exams!

The current group of graduate student leaders have taken action to both retain volunteers and make sure they have the skills necessary to help young tutees overcome challenges.

In spring 2011, when she assumed leadership of the program, Sara Fuhrhop began a recruitment campaign to immediately replace those second year medical students who had started their rotations.

“The second year medical students have truly enjoyed working with the students at Wolfe Street Academy," said Ms. Fuhrhop.

"As future physicians, we must be effective teachers and altruistic partners with our patients. Our experiences as tutors at WSA have reaffirmed these values and have taught us so much about how to embody these qualities in our future careers."

Recently, tutors Paul Gilbert and Julia Thorn organized a panel discussion about ADHD and education, which included WSA special educator Katrina Kickbush, a psychologist from The Baltimore Lab School and a child psychiatrist from Hopkins Hospital.

They discussed the difficulties that kids, teachers and tutors face in educating children with ADHD and other special needs.

The efforts are paying off! Last year, NWEA testing showed that children in individual tutoring, all of whom have a history of struggling academically, grew academically at an equal rate with their peers who did not have a history of difficulties.

We would like to thank the students from The Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health and Bioengineering for supporting our students. We will be recognizing all of our tutors with two or more years of tutoring at our Family Night on February 15th.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

New Early Literacy Book by BCP Coach Susan Lattimore

BCP Academic Coach Susan Lattimore and Charlene Iannone-Campbell have written a new book on early literacy entitled Lift-Off for Early Literacy: Directed Reading Opportunities for Struggling Students.

Created by teachers for teachers, this activity-based curriculum is based on Project Early ID, a successful pilot program that's been improving reading outcomes in Baltimore public schools since 2005. Expertly organizing their lessons into one hands-on, step-by-step guide, the authors give teachers, SLPs, and paraprofessionals eleven complete units of small-group instruction.

Congratulations to Susan on her new book!

For more information visit:

Active Learning Strategies Workshop with Susan Lattimore

On Thursday, January 26, 2012 BCP Academic Coach Susan Lattimore presented a well-received workshop on Active Learning Strategies, as part of BCP's 2012 Winter Professional Development Conference.

Susan would like to recognize the following people who helped her tremendously, preparing and carrying out the session: Rosemary Byron and Maura Farrall from Wolfe Street Academy; Hayat Pacquette and Evangeline Lozada from Collington Square School of the Arts; and Charleye Dyer, a retired Baltimore City vision mobility specialist.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Chicage Tribune Features Restorative Practices at City Springs School

An article in the Chicago Tribune on February 2, 2012 explores the implementation of Restorative Practices at City Springs School. BCP brought Restorative Practices to its four neighborhood charter schools in 2007 with support from Open Society Institute-Baltimore, the Goldsmith Family Foundation, and the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP)

Read the article at:,0,249104.column

Urbanite Features City Springs and Collington Square

An article about empathy in the February 2012 edition of Urbanite Magazine features two of BCP's four neighborhood charter schools: City Springs School and Collington Square School. The article covers Koli Tengella's Theater Arts Program at Collington Square School and the implementation of Restorative Practices at City Springs School.

In 2007 BCP implemented Restorative Practices at City Springs, Collington Square, Hampstead Hill Academy and Wolfe Street Academy, with the generous support of grants from Open Society Institute-Baltimore and the Goldsmith Family Foundation.

Both Koli Tengella and Tonya Featherston, BCP's former Director of Restorative Practices, received OSI fellowships to work with BCP schools.

Read the article at: