Monday, December 23, 2013

ADP Sponsors 2014 BCP “Are You Smarter than a BCP Fifth Grader?”

Thank you to Automatic Data Processing (ADP) for supporting BCP's Are You SmarterThan a BCP 5th Grader? fundraising gala on Friday, April 25, 2014 with a $500 sponsorship. ADP has been a proud, continued sponsor of BCP.

About ADP
ADP, one of the world's largest providers of business outsourcing and human capital management solutions, serves more than 620,000 businesses of all types and sizes in more than 125 countries.

Baltimore Reads Book Bank Provides Books for BCP Schools

Earlier this month the Baltimore Reads Book Bank delivered over 900 free children's books to the BCP schools. City Springs Elementary/Middle School received 415 books; Hampstead Hill Academy received 360 books; and Wolfe Street Academy received 165 books. Students will get to keep the books.

This is the second school year that BCP schools are participating in a new program that helps build home libraries and encourages reading at home. We would like to thank Director of Book Bank Operations Mark Feiring for supporting our students.

For more information about the Book Bank visit:

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Why Our Kids Need a Safe Place to Play

“We really want to play football...” and baseball, soccer, and lacrosse.

This is a quote from a letter written by the children of City Springs Elementary/Middle School to their principal. These same children can be seen very early every morning playing the sport they love, but it breaks our hearts to see that their only option is to play on a blacktop playground.

Despite our best efforts to keep it clean, the City Springs playground is unsafe and littered with broken glass, discarded needles, and other debris. Play options are correspondingly limited. This prompted the children to present us one morning with a signed petition. Our goal is to get them what they requested, and what they deserve. Together we can transform this neglected park into a vibrant community athletic complex.

Our children need a safe place to play

  • City Springs students and students from neighboring schools need a safe place to exercise and play sports in order to improve health, school attendance and academic achievement
  • The athletic complex is critical to addressing the growing need for additional day school and after-school athletic opportunities.
The Community Athletic Complex will include:

  • A multi-purpose artificial turf field for football, baseball, soccer, and lacrosse;
  • Running/walking track;
  • Playground;
  • Fence with key-card access for community members;
  • A concession building, security camera system, field goal nets, and lighting.


The complex is part of a larger Scholar-Athlete School vision that will capitalize on the strength of
the coach/athlete mentoring relationship in order to change student attitudes about healthy living,
school attendance, and academic success.

How You Can Help
With the full support of Baltimore City Public Schools, to meet our mission, and transform our
neighborhood, we need to raise an additional $1 million to build the City Springs Community Athletic Complex.

To learn more and make a contribution visit or contact
BCP Executive Vice President Larry Schugam at 410-675-7000 x17 or

Friday, December 20, 2013

Legg Mason and the BSO Give BCP Students a Musical Treat

Image provided courtesy of the Baltimore Symphony
Orchestra and republished with the BSO’s permission
On December 6th, Legg Mason and the BSO treated 40 students and teachers from Wolfe Street Academy to a performance of The Snowman at the Meyerhoff. The BSO provided complementary tickets to Legg Mason's partner schools for this Midweek Education Concert and Legg Mason provided transportation.

The performance transported students to a winter wonderland come to life in a timeless story of a young boy's magical friendship with a snowman. As they traveled across the world together, students learned about the environmental impact of climate change.

The BSO Midweek Education Concerts provide an interactive experience for students in Pre-Kindergarten through sixth grade. Each concert features exciting orchestral works and explores key arts integrated themes. All concerts are aligned to meet state and national curriculum and common core and next generation standards.

On April 24th, 44 students and teachers from Hampstead Hill Academy will take in a performance of Mahler's Titan; part of the 2013-2014 Legg Mason Open Rehearsal Series. This series offers serious music students in middle, high school and college a “behind the scenes look” at a working BSO rehearsal.

Legg Mason is also providing transportation for this trip and another trip on February 5th for City Springs Elementary/Middle School. Students will enjoy America the Beautiful, a concert that explores geography and geology while showcasing the beauty of the American landscape.

We would like to thank Legg Mason and BSO for their generosity and commitment to providing outstanding cultural enrichment opportunities for City Schools students.

For more information about the BSO's education programs visit:

Wolfe Street Academy Hosts Raising a Reader Parent Workshop

On December 13th, Wolfe Street Academy hosted a Raising a Reader (RAR) workshop for 42 Pre-K and kindergarten parents. Attendees learned about the Raising a Reader early literacy and family engagement program; participated in story time; and made a craft project with their children. Pre-K Teacher Jennifer Ingersoll-Pintuck led the workshop.

Raising A Reader provides parents with training in how to develop the habit of sharing books with their children. More than 100 high quality books are rotated into each child’s home on a weekly basis for families to practice regular book sharing. Families are also connected to the local library in order to sustain book borrowing and sharing practices.

Funded by a grant from the United States Department of Education and other private partners, Raising A Reader and City Schools will have served over 12,000 children and families by December of 2013. 

This year both Wolfe Street Academy and City Springs Elementary/Middle School were selected to participate in Raising a Reader. This is Hampstead Hill Academy's second year in the program.

We would like to thank Raising A Reader, Baltimore City Public Schools, and the U.S. Department of Education for providing this wonderful opportunity for our students.
About Raising A Reader
Raising A Reader is a national non-profit organization offering local agencies an evidence-based early literacy and parent engagement program that has demonstrated it can improve the reading readiness skills of children birth to age eight.

For more information visit:

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stamp Act Webpage Designed by Hampstead HIll Academy Students

Check out this amazing webpage on The Stamp Act, designed by Hampstead Hill Academy 8th graders Anna Shafer, Simone Shafer, and Sara Florez from Amy Kosmer's class. The webpage was part of a class research project. Each group chose their own way to present the research information and this group designed the webpage themselves. The webpage includes a glossary, timeline, bibliography, essential questions, and a slideshow.

View the webpage at:

Monday, December 9, 2013

Winning is a Unique Feeling

HHA Lady Hornets Volleyball Team
with HHA Staff Memberson
By Sara Florez, 8th Grade Student, Hampstead Hill Academy
Reprinted with permission from the December 2013 Hampstead Hill Academy Newsletter

Winning is a unique feeling. It overwhelms you as a person and gives you feelings the body enjoys. You become happy. You feel unstoppable, capable and proud. Winning makes people feel joy, losing does the opposite.

This year, the Queen Bees or “Mighty Hornets” became more than just a team. They became a family. Throughout practice all of the team players got to know each other. We found our strengths, our weaknesses but most importantly developed a mutual love for volleyball. When the time came to put our skills to the test, we all wanted to make our school proud. We were ready, all of us. We were prepared for anything that could come at us, and we won our first game.

As a team, we became unstoppable and continued winning until we played Walter P. Carter Elementary/Middle School one afternoon. I don’t know what it was about that game that brought us down from the throne but those last minutes of the game, we all thought we might have a chance of winning, but our hopes tumbled down as we lost.

It was a moment none of us would ever forget. It would either break us, or make us stronger. Losing that game, made us want to win even more. It made us hungry for victory. Our coach made it clear we had to lose to win. This kept us humble.

We won our next game. The thrill was back. Days later however, we played City Springs Elementary/Middle School, our biggest rivals. We were defeated like never before. Shame filled our team when we lost the game best 2 out of 3 because we didn’t even score.

What was happening to the fierce hornets? Playoffs were the following Tuesday, and if we didn’t win, we wouldn’t make it to the finals. After practicing and getting our heads back in the game we actually won the playoffs!

City Springs vs. HHA was back. We weren’t giving up without a fight. The championship was a mix of silly mistakes, hope, teamwork and stress. We began losing the first two games. However, because it was the championships, the winners would be the best 3 out of 5. It wasn’t over. We couldn’t give up. Things were going well. We scored but they scored right back.

The third set was so close there was no way of telling who would really win. The team was not very optimistic, but we couldn’t let ourselves down. City Springs had 24 points and HHA had 16.

It WASN’T OVER. The pressure was too much. The last minutes of the third set were a bunch of screams and chanting, but it was our serve. I was up. I honestly didn’t think my serve would make much of a difference, but I wasn’t going to give up. I served like I always did… we scored! Again and again and again.

HHA was 2 points away! The closer we got to 25, the louder the screams became. We were tied 24-24. I smacked the ball and City Springs failed to serve it back. We had won!!! The game would continue and the hornets were again ready. All of us knew we had to be the best. We had to play to the best of our abilities.

As we won the fourth set and continued to the fifth, our goal began to get so close! I served the last ball of the whole game and the once strangers in a volleyball team realized how close we were when the last point was called. We were the champions! Holding the trophy felt amazing and to some of us it was unbelievable.

If I could give a bit of advice to anyone, I would tell them to never give up. Even in our toughest times, the Hornets stayed strong. A little bit of faith never hurts especially if the faith is in yourself. The bad times and the sad feelings we felt before don’t matter anymore because we are CHAMPIONS. We made it. Fingers crossed for a possible spring season and another unstoppable team.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Wolfe Street Students Take Virtual Field Trip to National Aquarium

Wolfe Street Academy 4th Graders Proudly Display their
National Council for International Visitors Gold Stars

Yesterday, fourth graders in Wolfe Street Academy's after-school program took a virtual field trip to the National Aquarium, courtesy of the U.S. Department of State, Google and the World Trade Center Institute.

Through Google's Virtual Field Trip program, students visited the National Aquarium's Animal Planet Australia exhibit and got an up-close look at a Monitor lizard, a Tawny Frogmouth and other animals.

National Aquarium educator Heather Doggett and General Curator Jack Cover fed bananas to giant Lungfish; explored the elements of a typical ecosystem found in the river gorges of Northern Australia; and fielded a variety of student questions. For many of the students, this was the first time they had ever visited the National Aquarium.

More than 200 representatives at a U.S. Department of State-sponsored workshop tuned in for this field trip to see how Google Hangouts might be used to facilitate virtual exchange opportunities for foreign professionals and leaders. These virtual exchanges would enhance the traditional exchanges offered through the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and other exchange programs,whose participants are hosted in local communities by organizations like the World Trade Center Institute (WTCI).

For over 20 years, WTCI’s Professional Exchanges Program department has designed and delivered exchange programs for foreign professionals from around the world. Topics cover a wide array of technical and educational subject areas. 

The Baltimore Curriculum Project has partnered with WTCI and the U.S. Department of State to host delegations of educators from a variety of countries including Vietnam, Brazil, Iraq, Egypt, and Mexico.
We would like to thank the following people for making this virtual field trip possible for our students:
  • Janine Branch, Manager, Professional Exchanges & Program Development, World Trade Center Institute
  • Nabila Chami, Social Media and PR Coordinator, National Aquarium
  • Diane Crow, Chief, Community Relations Branch, Office of International Visitors, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • Jack Cover, General Curator, National Aquarium
  • Heather Doggett, Educator, National Aquarium educator
  • Kate Hendrickson, Media Relations Manager, National Aquarium
  • Lisa Jiang, Head of Google+ Education, Google
  • Kathy Stroup, Director of Extended Student Services, Wolfe Street Academy.
  • Connor Swenson, Google+ Education & STEM, Google
About Connected Classrooms: the G+ Virtual Field Trips Program
Google's Connected Classrooms initiative enables students around the world to take “virtual field trips” to places they'd otherwise never be able to explore. Virtual Field Trips connects cultural institutions like museums, zoos and aquariums with schools and non-profits around the country via Google+ Hangouts On Air. Hangouts On Air allows institutions to share universal access to unique cultural and educational experiences regardless of geographical and financial restrictions.
For more information about Google's Virtual Field trips visit:

About the World Trade Center Institute
The World Trade Center Institute (WTCI) is the largest international business network of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic – a who’s who of the top global business executives in the region. At WTCI we strive to drive the growth of Maryland’s flourishing global business community. Today more than 2,500 Maryland firms benefit from WTCI’s global connections, events, and extensive international business services. WTCI was established in 1989. Financed jointly by area businesses and the State of Maryland, WTCI operates as a private, non-profit membership organization. For more information visit:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

HHA Sports

HHA Lady Hornets Soccer Team with HHA Staff Members

 By Alex Vasylyshyn, Hampstead Hill Academy Sports Editor and 8th Grade Student
Reprinted with permission from the December 2013 Hampstead Hill Academy Newsletter

Girls’ Soccer 
The girls’ HHA Lady Hornets soccer team had a great season. It came to an end at the recent semi-finals. The team lost to Mount Washington with the score of 4-2. Two outstanding players, Kaila Grinspoon and Alexis Youngblood, each scored a goal for the Hornets. Everyone played a great game and ended the season well. We are looking forward to seeing them in action next year!

Girls’ Volleyball 
The champs are here! The girls had the best season! They finished first in the league, beating City Springs in a close, nail biting game and took home the trophy. Good job girls! We applaud their amazing season and wish them many more.

Boys’ Basketball 
The boys’ basketball team is making serious progress. They are playing hard and training hard. They are ready! Their season begins in December when they will begin a ten game run. They are eager to play and give it their all. “Bring it on!,” the team is ready.

Life as an Eighth Grader

By Simone Schafer, Eighth Grade Student, Hampstead Hill Academy
Reprinted with permission from the December 2013 Hampstead Hill Academy Newsletter

Being in eighth grade means that you have many responsibilities, including time management, being the oldest in school, and high school choice.

Time management is very important in the eighth grade. You should not commit to anything that you won’t have enough time to do. You need to put school first, and everything else next. This is extremely important because if you commit to too many activities you will not have enough time to put your best effort into each commitment. Your grades may also suffer. You may find yourself having to choose between two sports because practice times conflict, or between other extra-curricular activities that you enjoy because they don’t fit your busy schedule.

As an eighth grader you are the oldest in the school. This means you have more responsibility and more independence. Younger students look up to you, so you must set a good example with behavior and leadership. To set a good example you should conduct yourself with integrity and be very respectful to everyone.

During the eighth grade, you are going to have to pick which high school you want to attend.  During the high school choice time, which is from October through December, everyone should go to a lot of open houses to see what the schools are like. Students should also attend preview days and they should shadow at many different schools to see what the school is like during the regular school day.

To get accepted to the school of your choice, you need to work hard in school now. Selective high schools look for students with excellent grades in Middle School. Many of the schools use composite test scores to determine whether or not a student gets in. Other schools have separate applications you must complete to attend. Overall it is a lot of work and can be stressful to eighth graders, especially when they want a particular school.

As you can see, time management, being the oldest, and high school choice are all very important things you face during the eighth grade year.