Saturday, November 29, 2014

City Springs Community Fitness Program Kickoff

By Abby Baldwin, Child First Community School Coordinator at City Springs EMS

On October 28th seven City Springs EMS mothers joined Mrs. Baldwin and Coach McGee for the first Community Workout on the new track. Coach McGee worked with all of the women on setting fitness goals, developing group fitness accountability, and led the team through a whole body workout!

The women are warriors and had an excellent time coming together with Coach McGee to work on their own physical fitness. The program will take place every Tuesday and Thursday evening during school session from 4:30pm - 5:30pm on the track. Everyone is welcome!

We would like to thank Baltimore City Schools, the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens, Senator Nathaniel McFadden, Senator Bill Ferguson, Legg Mason, and everyone else who supported the construction of the City Springs Community Athletic Complex, which allows us to provide outstanding health and fitness programs like the Community Workout.

We would also like to thank CareFirst for bringing an array of health and fitness programming to City Springs such as the American Heart Association's Teaching Gardens program and Girls on the Run.

Gathering of Champions at City Springs EMS

By Abby Baldwin, Child First Community School Coordinator at City Springs EMS

On Tuesday October 28th City Springs EMS hosted a breakfast for all the positive male role models in our students lives. The "Gathering of Champions" was presented by Johnny C. Carrington Jr. Consulting Services.

Mr. Carrington provided encouragement for all of the positive male role models saying,
"Women are obviously important in our lives, we wouldn't be here without them. But have you ever seen the joy that comes over a child's face when Dad stops by a classroom unannounced? It's like a spark of light that goes off for them, they get filled with pride!"
Over 17 male family members attended the breakfast. We would like to thank Mr. Carrington for providing this wonderful opportu
nity for City Springs.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

City Springs Student Meets First Lady Michelle Obama

Yesterday, City Spring EMS Student Chelsea Gilmer and Principal Rhonda Richetta met First Lady Michelle Obama at a rally in Baltimore's War Memorial Building.  Principal Richetta talks about this once-in-a-lifetime experience below:
Chelsea and I had an amazing time! Chelsea had an experience that she will not only remember for the rest of her life, but one that inspired her in a HUGE way. She heard very moving speeches from not only Michelle Obama, but from a very long list of local politicians.
We were standing right up front, and when Michelle Obama started moving through the crowd, she reached out to shake my hand and I asked her to talk to Chelsea. 
She grabbed Chelsea's face in her hands and said "everything we do is for you." 
I selected Chelsea to attend because she is interested in public speaking (she is one of our top debaters) and wants to be a lawyer and a State's Attorney when she grows up. 
As we were walking back to school, Chelsea looked up to the sky and said, "that was great! I am so inspired!"  I think it was about equal to how much I was inspired at that moment by Chelsea.  She was right, it was great! 
I want to thank City Springs teachers Patrick Cero and Zachary Carey for having a conversation with Chelsea about what it means to be a republican vs. a democrat.  She listened intently to every person's speech and identified the key things they said that were characteristic of a democrat. 
It was awesome for me to witness her applying the learning she had just experienced from a conversation with two teachers.  Kudos, Mr. Cero and Mr. Carey! 
In addition to the First Lady, speakers at the rally included Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, Governor Martin O’Malley, Senator Barbara Mikulski, Senator Ben Cardin, Congressman Elijah Cummings, Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, Congressman John Sarbanes, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Baltimore City Council President Jack Young.

We would like to thank Brooke Lierman for providing tickets to the rally.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Kyle Garrison Prepares Kids for Success On and Off the Court

In addition to working as a paraeducator at City Springs Elementary/Middle School and coaching the City Springs basketball team, Kyle Garrison serves as Director of the Baltimore Lil Dribblers Basketball League (LDBL).

LDBL, which was founded by Rob Moore in Wilmington, Delaware, prepares boys and girls ages 3-12 for success on and off the court. The program teaches basketball skills, science, and reading comprehension.

"During a recent door-knocking event in Douglass Homes, one of the Grandmas we met asked us to let Coach Garrison know how much they appreciate his support for the community," said BCP Executive Vice President Larry Schugam.

"Every week last summer Coach Garrison spent time in the neighborhood teaching kids to play basketball."

We would like to thank Coach Garrison for everything he does for our students at City Springs.

For more information about the Baltimore LDBL visit:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

BCP Schools Rally for Community Schools

City Springs Elementary/Middle School and Wolfe Street Academy joined hundreds of Baltimore area teachers, parents, and students in a rally for Community Schools at City Hall on October 21st. 

Baltimore Guide Covers "Cure for the Common Core" Forum

Photo by Stephen Babcock

The Baltimore Guide recently featured BCP's Leading Minds Forum - "The Cure for the Common Core" - at Loyola University Maryland on October 8, 2014. The event was organized by BCP and the Loyola University Maryland School of Education. Sponsors included Baltimore's Child, Congressional Bank, Heaven 600, Chesapeake Employers Insurance, McGraw-Hill Education, and MECU of Baltimore Inc.

We would like to thank the Baltimore Guide and Stephen Babcock for the wonderful article:

For a trio of education experts who addressed a forum at Loyola University Maryland last week, the debate over the Common Core standards comes down to jelly beans and tree frogs. 
In a recent study, students presented with a passage on jelly beans were able to easily comprehend it. Next, they were given a passage on tree frogs. Many of the same students struggled. 
The difference, according to Dr. Lisa Hansel of the Core Knowledge Foundation, was not necessarily the students’ reading abilities. Instead, it was the knowledge base they brought to the passage. 
“The only kids who could understand the passage on tree frogs were the ones who, somewhere in their young lives, had learned about tree frogs,” Hansel said. 
With the introduction of the Common Core standards in classrooms across the country this school year, debate in the education community has been centered around the difficulty of the tests that assess the students’ adherence to the standards, and the way the grades on those exams reflect on the teachers and schools. 
But the three panelists who spoke at Loyola University last week sought to address not the tests themselves, but what the students learn in the run-up to those tests. Titled “The Cure for the Common Core,” the speaking event was sponsored by the Baltimore Curriculum Project charter school network, which, in the southeast operates Wolfe Street Academy, Hampstead Hill Academy and City Springs Elementary/Middle School.

Read the full article at:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

BCP President Laura Doherty Delivers Guest Keynote at 40th Annual National Direct Instruction Conference

BCP President Laura Doherty delivered the guest keynote address at the 40th Annual National Direct Instruction Conference this past July in Eugene, Oregon. This video includes Laura's keynote and the opening keynote by Zig Engelmann, the creator of Direct Instruction.

The National Direct Instruction Conference was founded in 1974 by Engelmann-Becker Corporation. Siegfried “Zig” Engelmann, Wes Becker, and other Direct Instruction authors wanted to create an event that would provide access to quality training for educators that otherwise might not receive training at all. That first year, 90 educators from mostly the Northwest gathered at Sheldon High School in Eugene. For the next several years, the conference continued to be housed in various high school buildings around Eugene. Attendance grew to about 200.

In 1981, two key events took place. The Association for Direct Instruction (ADI) was founded and the city of Eugene built a conference center adjacent to the Hilton Hotel in the downtown area. Along with moving the conference to a professional facility, the conference expanded from four to five days and a greater variety of sessions were incorporated. Over the decades, attendance has reached as many as 750 participants literally from around the world.

Last year, the Association for Direct Instruction ceased operations and this 40th Anniversary marks the first year of management of the conference by the National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI).

The National Direct Instruction Conference and Institutes is the largest and longest running DI specific training, and remains true to its traditions:The most comprehensive offering of Direct Instruction training and information available—anywhere!

For more information about the National Institute for Direct Instruction visit:

BCP Does Cha Cha Slide at CFC Kick-Off

BCP's Larry Schugam does Cha Cha Slide
with SSA's CFC Coordinators
Tobi Morris and Larry Schugam had a wonderful time representing the Baltimore Curriculum Project at yesterday's Social Security Administration Combined Federal Campaign Kick-Off Ceremony and Charity Fair.

The event included a welcome by Stacy Rodgers (Senior Advisor, SSA Office of the Commissioner), remarks by Carolyn W. Colvin (Acting Commissioner of Social Security), and a keynote by Col. Jeremy Martin (Commandant, United States Defense Information School at Fort Meade, MD).

Col. Martin, who also serves as the Chesapeake Bay Area CFC Chair, praised federal employees for their generosity and resiliency. Last year, despite government furloughs and a complete government shutdown, the Chesapeake Bay Area Campaign raised over six million dollars for CFC charities. This was the third highest total of all CFC regions in the United States.

The Charity Fair featured a host of nonprofit organizations, a raffle, karaoke, line dancing, and nachos.

"This was by far the most fun I've ever had at a charity campaign kick-off!" said Mr. Schugam.

"Where else can you get to talk with nice people about your nonprofit's work and do the Cha-Cha Slide."

We would like to thank the Social Security Administration and the Chesapeake Bay Area CFC for including the Baltimore Curriculum Project in their kick-off.

If you would like to donate to the Baltimore Curriculum Project through the CFC, our code is 26288.

About the Combined Federal Campaign

The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is the only authorized solicitation of Federal employees in their workplace on behalf of approved charitable organizations. The CFC coordinates the fund-raising effort of various charitable organizations so that the federal donor would only be solicited once, annually, in the workplace and have the opportunity to make charitable contributions through payroll deduction.

Federal employees continue to make the CFC the largest and most successful workplace philanthropic fundraiser in the world.

To learn more visit:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

What Do We Think We Know About Homework?

*That it encourages good work habits?
*That it increases achievement?
*That it keeps kids out of trouble?
*That it signals a good school and good teaching?
* Parents expect it?
*The school district expects it?

What Does The Research Tell Us? 

“Research on homework practices is an inexact science given the many variables including definitions of homework, socio-economic demographics, amount and type of home support, and standardized versus classroom assessments results to name but a few.” [1].

“The research has produced mixed results so far” is what The Center for Public Education tells us in a 2007 article entitled What Research Says About the Value of Homework: At a Glance. [2]

If we pay attention to the critics of homework, such as Alfie Kohn in his aggressive and polemical “The Homework Myth”, we would abandon homework immediately. His view is that homework is positively damaging and antithetical to good educational practice. [3]

However, the research suggests we should be careful about adopting an “either for it or against it”
attitude.  Here is what we know:

  • The link between homework and achievement is unproven: it varies across ages, grade levels, prior achievement, social conditions and amounts
  • Older students appear to show more consistent benefits: this may be related to the lower level of study habits in younger students.
  • Income levels often dictate homework success: this is in some ways obvious but easy to forget. Parents with college educations, good incomes, stable family life, good home conditions and time are better able to encourage good homework habits.
  • Special education students need greater levels of supervision, monitoring, and more preparation so that the tasks are appropriate.
  • Homework might well have more benefit in non-academic spheres: developing responsibility, study habits, reliability and consistency, for example, may all be positive side-effects.
  • More time might equal worse results!
  • Homework completion is more important than the volume assigned in the first place. Teachers often do not adequately plan for the time it will take to complete a homework assignment.
  • After school programs show little evidence of directly improving academic results but they may improve the work habits of students and that can indirectly have an impact on achievement.
  • Parent involvement impact is uncertain.
  • The purpose for which homework is given seems, at present, to have little impact on achievement. Many teacher sue homework to extend a lesson; some use it to add a new piece to the learning, some to reinforce what happened in class.

One overall conclusion that is less research based and more experience based is that teachers spend too little time planning for homework, assessing it and thinking about how to incorporate it into daily and longer term goals. This might lead us to ask whether teachers really do believe in the efficacy of homework or whether assignment homework is one of those parts of education practice that we do because it was done in the past. It seems clear form the murky nature of the research results that we could benefit from doing much more school based assessment of the benefits of homework, how it is constructed and planned, and how it is factored into the overall achievement of students across grade levels.

Some things to think about:

  1. How do we provide homework assignments that are meaningful? Do we know why we assign anything at all in the first place?
  2. What kind of school-based research would be helpful?
  3. What do we need to hear from parents about homework?
  4. Do we have ways to analyze what works and what does not?
  5. Do we have any evidence that homework improves either achievement or work habits?

Jon McGill
October 2014


  1. Herrig, Richard W. "Homework Research Gives Insight to Improving Teaching Practice," McGraw-Hill Education Glencoe Math White Papers,
  2. "What research says about the value of homework: At a glance," (2007 February)
  3. Kohn, Alfie. (2006) "The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing," Da Capo Press,

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Long Shadow

In 1982, Johns Hopkins University researchers Karl Alexander, Linda Olson and Doris Entwisle began tracking nearly 800 children from Baltimore, all of whom were entering first grade.  The overall focus, but not exclusively, was on children who were living in poverty.  The children were tracked for more than twenty years: they went through school, job searches, and many started families. The group was diverse but there was one thing, it seems, they had in common: all of them were affected one way or another by the chances they were offered in first grade, by the quality of education, by the circumstances that often were beyond the control or influence of schools.

What the research helped uncover was, to some extent, unremarkable, perhaps even predictable: more than half of the sample, for example, stayed poor if that’s where they started.  Those who had more middle, even upper class benefits, tended to do well. Few of the poor moved into middle class brackets, while even fewer of the better off fell into poverty. One of the really staggering statistics was that which highlighted the opportunities for poor children to graduate from college: only 4% of the sample actually got that far! In the meantime, by age 28, 45% of the better off subjects had their college degree.

The disparity on racial grounds was great: while 89% of white high school dropouts were working by age 22, only 40% of their black counterparts were in that category. When it came to gender equity, it seems that both black and white women earned less than white men.  However, in household income, white women did much better, not least because they were married or partnered with income earning men. Black women were much less likely to have access to stable relationships.  The teen birth rates among black and white women were roughly similar, and of course that dispels the mythology of teen pregnancy as an issue mainly for black women.

White men from better off circumstances had higher drug abuse issues than black men.  One area that was surprising was the close proximity of arrests and convictions, 41% for working class white men and 49% for black men from the same category.  According to the JHU newsletter HUB, one reason that white males can overcome this stigma more easily is that they have access to social networks not open to black males.

One of the long-prevailing platforms on which “American exceptionalism”” has stood for decades, even centuries, is that of “pulling oneself up by the bootstraps”, the notion that anyone can get anywhere in America.  While there are plenty of rags to riches stories to help solidify that belie, in the end, The Long Shadow tells us that social and economic mobility are far less frequent than we might like to think. Upward mobility, like racial equality, may be more myth than substance, more wishful thinking than actuality.

Karl Alexander will be at the Enoch Pratt Central Library on October 6th, at 6:30 P.M. to discuss his research. The Long Shadow was published by Russell Sage in April 2014.

Jon McGill

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Orioles and Living Classrooms Treat HHA Students to ALDS Game

We would like to thank the Baltimore Orioles and Living Classrooms Foundation for providing 150 tickets to Hampstead Hill Academy students for the American League Division Series at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

The Baltimore Orioles are inviting at-risk children to attend Games 1 and 2 of the American League Division Series through a program called the OriolesREACH Knothole Gang. Nearly 1,400 children will be experiencing the excitement of Postseason baseball from Sections 96 and 98 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, courtesy of the Orioles.

The OriolesREACH Knothole Gang pays homage to the International League Baltimore Orioles’ decision in 1930 to allow kids to see games at the old Oriole Park for free. The children were allowed in at no charge as part of a group dubbed the “Knothole Gang,” created when team management relented after years of children sneaking in (or “hooking in”) to the ballpark by tunneling under or climbing over the fence to watch games.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Orioles to Host Nearly 1,400 At-Risk Children During American League Division Series Games 1 and 2

“OriolesREACH Knothole Gang” gives kids a chance to experience Postseason baseball; Orioles also auctioning off front row tickets to ALDS Games 1 & 2 for charity

The Orioles are inviting at-risk children to attend Games 1 and 2 of the American League Division Series through a program called the OriolesREACH Knothole Gang. Nearly 1,400 children will be experiencing the excitement of Postseason baseball from Sections 96 and 98 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, courtesy of the Orioles.

Additionally, in an effort to raise funds for these non-profit groups, the Orioles are auctioning off several pairs of front row, field box tickets to ALDS Game 1 and ALDS Game 2. Fans are encouraged to visit until Tuesday, September 30 at 8:00 p.m. (for Game 1) and Wednesday, October 1 at 8:00 p.m. (for Game 2) to place their bids.

The OriolesREACH Knothole Gang pays homage to the International League Baltimore Orioles’ decision in 1930 to allow kids to see games at the old Oriole Park for free. The children were allowed in at no charge as part of a group dubbed the “Knothole Gang,” created when team management relented after years of children sneaking in (or “hooking in”) to the ballpark by tunneling under or climbing over the fence to watch games.

We would like to thank the Orioles for providing 100 tickets for City Springs Elementary/Middle School students and for auctioning off 2 front row, field box tickets to ALDS Game 1 to benefit City Springs EMS/Baltimore Curriculum Project.

Friday, September 26, 2014

B-More Engaged Volunteers Help Govans Elementary

A dedicated group of volunteers from B-More Engaged helped Govans Elementary get ready for the new school year by painting classrooms on Saturday August 2nd.

B-More Engaged is a young professional volunteer group that brings together eager volunteers in the Baltimore area with a variety of non-profits. The group originated in August 2011 and has about 650 volunteers

"We are young professionals looking to give back to our city!" said Jennifer Le, Event Organizer for B-More Engaged.

We would like to thank Jennifer for helping to schedule the event and all of the volunteers who participated: Craig (Founder of B-More Engaged and the Event Host), Courtney, Laurie, Stacey, Farah, Becky, Joan, Jose, Lee, Jessica, and Aidan.

For more information about B-More Engaged visit:

Sunday, September 14, 2014

City Springs Community Athletic Complex: A Dream Fulfilled

A dream that has been seven years in-the-making will be fulfilled this fall with the grand opening of the City Spring Community Athletic Complex.

The dream 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 (formerly 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 this design in hand, Living Classrooms took the lead to meet with Recreation 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
After City Springs Field opened in 2011, the school and BCP turned their attention to developing 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 2011.

In the park next to City Springs School the swing set still had no swings; the basketball courts still had only one basket; and the concrete was still broken. As Principal Richetta gazed at the park, all she saw was potential.

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

A Stroke of Luck/Fate?
On December 28, 2011 Larry Schugam sent out a press release describing the unfulfilled vision of a City Springs Community Athletic Complex.

It was a slow news day and Liz Bowie at The Baltimore Sun picked up the story. She interviewed Schugam and Principal Richetta and published an article that set off a miraculous chain of events.

A week after the Sun published the story, Maryland State Senator Nathaniel McFadden called Principal Richetta and told her that he had a $50,000 donation for the athletic complex from an anonymous donor. He just needed to know who to make the check out to.

Senator McFadden credited long-time community activist Irona Pope with motivating him to support the project.

“Ms. Pope worked tirelessly to empower the families of East Baltimore,” said Senator McFadden.

“Before she passed in 2009, she told me to take care of City Springs School. When I read Liz Bowie’s article about City Springs in The Sun a few weeks ago, her words came back to me.”

Ms. Pope worked for Baltimore City Public Schools for 36 years - 34 as a parent liaison. She was one of six parents who found the money and lobbied to build City Springs EMS. Her many accomplishments included helping 44 people move out of Perkins Homes Public Housing and into their own homes; working with residents to found a food co-op; and running a weekly peer mediation group for City Springs students.

City Schools Supports Project
Inspired by the unexpected donation, Principal Richetta and BCP redoubled their efforts to make the athletic complex a reality.

At the January 2012 Baltimore City School Board meeting Principal Richetta, BCP Founder Muriel Berkeley, and BCP Director of Academic Affairs Jon McGill announced the news of the $50,000 donation and the plans to build the athletic complex.

Former CEO Andres Alonso responded that the school and BCP should not have to complete the project by themselves and committed support from City Schools.

Principal Richetta and BCP assembled a new planning team with Anirban Basu, Michael Beatty, Muriel Berkeley, Laura Doherty, Joe Ehrmann, Senator Bill Ferguson, Andy Frankel, Sarah Landon, Blaine Lipski, Jon Manekin, Senator Nathaniel McFadden, Jon McGill, Heather Mitchell, and Michael Ricketts.

Blaine Lipski spearheaded the efforts around design and construction.

“We couldn’t have done this without Blaine and the support of City Schools,” said Principal Richetta.
City Springs hired fundraising consultant Vince Connelly to conduct a capital campaign feasibility study. After identifying potential donors, the team set to work raising money.

“Our collective efforts have brought a much needed resource to the City Springs community, which will promote better health and increase the sense of community for surrounding residents,” said BCP President Laura Doherty.

Legg Mason Supports Project
On March 28, 2013 Legg Mason hosted a fundraiser at the Legg Mason Tower in Harbor East to support the athletic complex.

Featured speakers included U.S. Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Coach for America Founder Joe Ehrmann, Legg Mason CEO Joe Sullivan, and City Springs students Ronald Wingate and Breyana Wade. WMAR-TV sports anchor Keith Mills served as MC.

Attendees also enjoyed a performance by the City Springs Steppers and the premier of a video about the City Springs Community Athletic Complex.

The video, which was produced by Principal Richetta, Andrew DeVos, and Sonya Hughes, can be viewed at

Legg Mason provided $5,000 in underwriting for the event and an additional $10,000 grant to support the athletic complex. Auburn Bell, Joe Sullivan, Jen Byers, Kristin Kosmides, Kelly Spilman, Mark Fetting. and Georgie Smith were integral to making this event possible.

Legg Mason has been a faithful partner with BCP for over eight years. Last school year they provided a $30,000 grant for the BCP schools and sponsored student trips to the BSO, the Hippodrome, and Junior Achievement’s BizTown.

State and NFL Grants for Project
August 2013 was a great month for the project. The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program awarded BCP a $200,000 field grant and the Maryland General Assembly awarded BCP a $55,000 grant.
Senator Bill Ferguson, Delegate Luke Clippinger, Delegate Peter A. Hammen, and Delegate Brian K. McHale sponsored the State grant.

The Baltimore Ravens supported the grant from the NFL Foundation Grassroots Program, a partnership between the National Football League Foundation, which provides funding for the Program, and LISC, which provides technical assistance and manages the Program.
Special thanks to Ray Herman, Development Research Associate at Johns Hopkins University, for volunteering to help write the NFL grant application.

The Day is Almost Here!
The grand opening of the City Springs Athletic Complex will take place on September 15th at 11:00am. Special guests will include Ravens President Dick Cass, Poe, and a variety of local officials.

Thank You
We would like to thank everyone who supported the project:
Andres Alonso, Kevin Atkinson, Baltimore Ravens, Anirban Basu, Beatty Development Group, Michael Beatty, Auburn Bell, Stephanie Beran, Muriel Berkeley, Giovanna Blatterman, Liz Bowie, Jennifer Byers, Glenn Campbell and Ms. Melissa Dowling, Michael Carter, Dick Cass, Congressional Bank, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Heather Darney, Andrew DeVos, Chris Doherty, Laura Doherty, Tisha Edwards, Barney Ehrmann, Joe Ehrmann, Matthew Facchine, Senator Bill Ferguson, Mark Fetting, Kwame Flaherty, Andy Frank, Ryan Galloway, Sharon Bailey and Jay Gede, Josie Giorgilli, Michelle Gordon, John Gress, Sharone Henderson, George and Betsy Hess, Richard and Margaret Conn Himelfarb, Stephen J. Homza, Talib Horne, Sonya Hughes, Nadine Jackson, Kristin Kosmides, Councilman Jim Kraft, Kevin and Nancy Lanagan, Sarah Landon, Joe and Megan LaRocque, Legg Mason, Blaine Lipski, LISC, Little Italy Bocce Rollers Association of Baltimore, Al Maddox Jr., Jon Manekin, Larry Matlack, Rachel Y. Mazyck, Senator Nathaniel McFadden, Erin McVay, Jon McGill, Thomas C. Merchant, Keith Mills, Heather Mitchell, Nationwide Professional Services, NFL Foundation, Michael and Cristina Niccolini, Dave Pennington, Anne Perkins, Alison Perkins-Cohen, H. Canfield Pitts, Brian Pope, Irona Pope, Lucy Price, Principal Rhonda L. Richetta, Michael Ricketts, Santoni’s, Larry Schugam, Kinji Scott, Beverly Smith, Kelly Spilman, Starbucks, Jeanette Stewart, Joseph A. and Suzanne E. Sullivan, T. R. Klein & Company, Lindsay Thompson, Time Printers, Gary Tuggle, Geoffrey Ultsch, United Way of Central Maryland, Tom Valente, Venable Foundation, The Verve Partnership, Thiru Vignarajah, Breyana Wade, and Ronald Windgate.

A dream fulfilled...
I cannot stop smiling when I look at our beautiful athletic complex, especially when it has kids playing on it,” said Principal Richetta.

“It is worth far more than every minute of time and every dollar that was spent to make it happen.  Our kids are ecstatic!  They deserve a place like this.  The purple turf exemplifies their specialness, and for the City Springs’ community, purple is not a color it’s an attitude.  As of late, my attitude is one of extreme gratitude for all the people who came together to make this dream a reality.  I hope those who contributed in any way are aware of how much joy they have brought to a community, and the difference it will make in so many lives.”

Monday, September 1, 2014

Door-Knocking Day in City Springs Neighborhoods

City Springs EMS Principal Rhonda Richetta (right) talks about
the new Every Student, Every Day! Attendance Initiative

On Friday, August 15th City Springs Elementary/Middle School and Child First Authority held a Door-Knocking Event in the Perkins Homes and Douglass Homes communities.

Over 35 staff members from City Springs, Child First and the Baltimore Curriculum Project canvassed the neighborhood to remind families that school started on August 18th, a week before other City Schools. City Springs adopted a modified schedule a few years ago, which allows for extra instruction during intersessions and reduces summer learning loss.

Families were very receptive to the visits and many expressed their fondness for the teachers at City Springs.

"At one point we stumbled upon a group of City Springs families having a picnic outside the Douglass Homes Learning Lab," said BCP Executive VP Larry Schugam.

"One of the grandmas asked us to tell City Springs Paraeducator Kyle Garrison how much they appreciate his support for the community. She said that every day this summer he played basketball with the kids in Douglass Homes."

The door-knocking event, which was organized by Principal Rhonda Richetta and Child First Community School Coordinator Abby Baldwin, launched the school's new "Every Student, Every Day!" attendance initiative.

As part of this effort to have every child, every day in school, staff members will make home visits when students are absent. The school will help parents who are having difficulty getting their children to school every day.

Principal Richetta and Abby Baldwin will actively solicit input from parents on the best ways to communicate the importance of regular attendance to all families. In order to further engage parents in the initiative, Principal Richetta will make herself available to chat with parents every Friday morning.

"We believe that we can teach all children, but we cannot teach them if they are not in school," said Principal Richetta.

Friday, August 8, 2014

BCP Schools Take Top Honors in Baltimore Urban Debate League

City Springs Debaters tngaged in
a mock debate at the Baltimore Education
Coalition's 2014 Gubernatorial Forum on
Education in Baltimore City

Once again City Springs Elementary/Middle School and Hampstead Hill Academy have taken top honors in the Baltimore Urban Debate League (BUDL)!

The BUDL Championship Trophy has moved from City Springs EMS, which took first place in the overall 2012-2013 season, to Hampstead Hill Academy, which took first place this past season.

City Springs Principal Rhonda Richetta remarked that she was sad to see the trophy go, but glad it was moving to another BCP school.

As no small consolation the Coach of the Year of the Trophy, which was awarded to Megan Miskowski in May, now resides at City Springs. Megan and Gerald Loiacono coach the City Springs Debate Team.

In March City Springs Debaters were featured in the Baltimore Education Coalition's 2014 Gubernatorial Forum on Education in Baltimore City. Devin Bradford, Mashae Green, and Ronald Wingate engaged in a mock debate on education issues.

View a video of the mock debate at:

Congratulations to all of the students on their outstanding achievement. Thank you to BUDL for supporting our students!

The complete BUDL results for City Springs and HHA are below:

CITY SPRINGS ELEMENTARY/MIDDLE SCHOOL RESULTSCoach of the Year - Megan Miskowski, City Springs EMS

2014 Championship

Elementary Speaker
2nd - Ronald Wingate

Elementary Team
2nd - Ronald Wingate and Devin Bradford (undefeated)

Middle School Speaker
1st - Kaye Marie Lumayog
10th - Chelsea Gilmer

Middle School Team 
3rd - Darren Meredith and Kaye Marie Lumayog
5th - Chelsea Gilmer and Mashae Green

Overall 2013-2014 Season Awards Elementary Speaker
7th - Devin Bradford
9th - Ronald Wingate

Elementary Team
7th - Devin Bradford and Ronald Wingate

Middle School Novice Division Speaker
6th - Keyshawn Debose

Middle School Novice Division Team
3rd - Chelsea Gilmer and Mashae Green
5th - Daijaine Stewart and Keyshawn Debose

Middle School Varsity Division Speaker
1st - Mashae Green7th - Chelsea Gilmer9th - Kaye Marie Lumayog10th - Jordin Matthews

Middle School Varsity Division Team
6th - Kaye Marie Lumayog and Jordin Matthews

2013-2014 Season School Results
1st - Hampstead Hill Academy 2nd - Green School of Baltimore3rd - Francis Scott Key EMS4th - City Springs EMS5th - AFYA Public Charter School

1st Place
Elementary Teams
3rd: Madiba Burks Magara and Tuleh Jennings5th: Bianca Storto and Alden EdwardsElementary Individuals4th: Madiba Burks Magara10th: Bianca StortoMiddle School Teams
2nd: Aaron Sutton and Sara Florez
6th: Cindy Ibarra and Anthony Sanchez
Middle School Individuals
5th: Aaron Sutton
8th: Sara Florez
9th: Cindy Ibarra
About BUDLThe Baltimore Urban Debate League is dedicated to improving educational and life outcomes for disadvantaged students in Baltimore’s under resourced public schools. By creating learning opportunities through competitive debate and professional development with teachers to bring the benefits of debate inside the city’s classrooms, we support and inform the educational reform and revitalization efforts now underway in our district. Through the motivation and thrill of competitive debate we improve self esteem, increase academic achievement, improve graduation rates and access to higher education. For young people of promise, for their schools and their communities, we provide a new vision, hope and opportunity.In May BUDL was recognized as the 2014 National Urban Debate League of the Year.

For more information visit:

Monday, August 4, 2014

Vicky Jennings Presents Workshop on Restorative Practices at City Springs

Vicky Jennings, an Academic Coach at City Springs Elementary/Middle School, presented a workshop today on Restorative Practices at City Springs at The Family League of Baltimore City. This workshop was part of the Family League's 2014 Summer Training Institute for Community School Coordinators.

Two BCP Schools, City Springs and Hampstead Hill Academy, are recognized as model Restorative Practices schools by Baltimore City Public Schools.

In 2006 BCP implemented Restorative Practices at City Springs, 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 Restorative Practices implementation.

There are currently eleven Baltimore City Schools implementing Restorative Practices, with more on the way.

Read more about Restorative Practices at:

Saturday, August 2, 2014

BCP Partner NBS is Now Summit Business Technologies

 Longtime BCP partner and IT provider NBS has joined together with Light Industries and Network to form a new company, Summit Business Technologies, offering an expanded lineup of technologies and IT expertise to help small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) operate with better efficiency and simplicity. NBS has provided outstanding IT support for BCP for several years and has sponsored Are You Smarter than a BCP 5th Grader? since its inception.

The new company was developed for the expansion of business technology services, IT consulting and implementation for SMBs across the mid-Atlantic region. It offers clients the strategic convenience and simplicity of having related technology solutions from one reliable resource in the areas of managed IT services, network services and consulting, unified communications, web services, analytics, mobile applications and software development. The new leadership team composed of executives from each of the joining companies will be led by partners Mike Cohn and Gary Grabowski, who have an energizing vision for the newly launched company.

Summit Business Technologies is a Maryland-based full-service IT consulting firm that helps companies leverage a wide spectrum of technologies to improve business operations. Their solutions provide organizations with a full range of network and cloud capabilities, data security, website services, analytics, mobile and application development, hosted and on premise VoIP phone solutions, video conferencing, technology upgrades and training. Bringing together over 37 years of experience, Summit Business
Technologies’ foundation is built upon accomplished technology companies in the Greater 
Baltimore region. For more information, please visit or call (410) 987-

Monday, July 28, 2014

Chessie Jam Supports the Baltimore Curriculum Project

We would like to thank Chessie Jam for supporting the Baltimore Curriculum Project! Enter the promo code BCP when you purchase tickets for the Chessie Jam Children's Music Fest on Saturday Oct 4, 2014 at Pier Six Pavilion and Chessie Jam will donate $5 to the Baltimore Curriculum Project for every ticket purchased.

Chessie Jam features Biz Markie of Yo Gabba Gabba, Justin Roberts, RECESS MONKEY, Father Goose, Milkshake, and Lalabibi.

Kids will also enjoy free face painting, photobooths, moonbounce, tie-dying, food and more.

Purchase tickets at:

(Don't forget to enter the promo code BCP)

BCP Participates in Live Baltimore Homebuying Event

BCP was pleased to represent Govans Elementary School at Live Baltimore's City Living Starts Here event on Saturday, July 26th at Govans Presbyterian Church.

Approximately seventy participants had a chance to take a narrated walking tour of homes in the Belvedere area, speak with trusted real estate professionals and community organizations, and get local perspectives from neighborhood associations and neighbors to help with their homebuying decisions..

BCP Director of Academic Affairs Jon McGill and BCP Executive Vice President Larry Schugam spoke with numerous families and individuals about the wonderful education Govans Elementary provides for neighborhood children and how the school will continue to serve the neighborhood zone after it becomes a BCP charter school in School Year 15/16.

The vendor fair included representatives from Baltimore Housing, Belvedere Improvement Association, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty, Buyer's Edge, Healthy Neighborhoods, Lake Evesham Community Association, M&T Bank, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, MECU of Baltimore, PNC Mortgage, Uplands by Bozzuto Homes, and other businesses and organizations.

We would like to thank Live Baltimore for including Govans Elementary and the Baltimore Curriculum Project in this event.

For more information about Live Baltimore visit:

BCP Kicks of 2014 Summer Training Institute for New Teachers

This morning BCP Director of Academic Affairs Jon McGill kicked off BCP's 2014 Summer Training Institute for new and returning teachers. Twenty-five teachers from City Springs Elementary/Middle School, Hampstead Hill Academy, and Wolfe Street Academy will participate in the week-long training, which focuses on classroom management. Jon introduced the BCP staff and BCP President Laura Doherty gave a presentation about the BCP Schools.

Most educators agree that classroom management is one of the biggest challenges facing new teachers. BCP Schools use CHAMPS, a program of Safe & Civil Schools that helps teachers to design (or fine tune) a proactive and positive classroom management plan that will overtly teach students how to behave responsibly.

Training will be provided by BCP Academic Coaches Brenda Kahn and Marvelyn Johnson and BCP Director of Student Support Services Jeff Krick.

BCP's Summer Training Institute is part of BCP's comprehensive Professional Development (PD) program, which includes PD Conferences, in-class coaching, and the Novice Teacher Think Tank. For more information about PD at BCP, please contact Larry Schugam at 410-675-7000 x17 or

Monday, July 21, 2014

City Springs Students Attend Lardarius Webb Football Camp

Students from City Springs Elementary/Middle School joined roughly 400 children at the Lardarius Webb Football Camp on Saturday July 19th at Towson University.

Participants spent the day honing their football skills under the expert instruction of Lardarius Webb, former Ravens safety Ed Reed and Penn State safety Adrian Amos. City Springs Educational Associate Donnell Spedden and Coach Tavon McGee accompanied the students on the trip.

City Springs Principal Rhonda Richetta stopped by to see her students hard at work.

"You can't imagine what it's like for our students to spend time with Lardarius Webb and Ed Reed," said Principal Richetta.

The Lardarius Webb Foundation hosts several events each year to raise funds to provide aid to underprivileged children and their families. The primary purpose of the foundation is to keep young men and women off the streets and out of trouble, by giving them the knowledge, confidence, and support to achieve any positive goals they set.

NSA Marketing organizes several events for the Lardarius Webb Foundation throughout the year. In June, NSA provided 80 discounted tickets for BCP teachers and staff to attend Lardarius Webb's 5th Annual Charity Softball game.

The football camp was sponsored by Under Armour, Buffalo Wild Wings, Adventure Dental, Vision & Orthodontics, Maryland National Guard, NY Fitness, Office Furniture Loft, I-9 Sports, and Kohls.

We would like to thank Lardarius Webb, the Lardarius Webb Foundation, and NSA Marketing for making this wonderful opportunity available for our students.

For more information about the Lardarius Webb Foundation visit:

For more information on NSA Marketing visit:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Thank You to Michael Barron for Printer Donation

We would like to thank Michael Barron for donating a brand-new HP Officejet Pro laser printer worth $800 to Govans Elementary School.

Michael is an IT Project Manager at Constellation Energy. He won the printer in a recent charity golf putting contest at the Constellation offices. Michael said that since he entered the contest to support a charity, he wanted to donate the printer to support a worthy cause.

A friend suggested that Michael donate the printer to Govans Elementary after reading about the May break-in, where thieves stole $7,000 in cash and equipment from the school.

Since then an outpouring of generosity from people like Michael has raised over $10,000 for the school.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wolfe Trap Teaching Artist Diane Macklin Brings the Arts to City Springs

A City Springs student sports his caterpillar headband, which
was inspired by Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

This school year Wolf Trap Teaching Artist Diane Macklin brought the arts to City Springs students through a Wolf Trap Literacy Residency.

The 16-week program, made possible by the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts and Young Audiences of Maryland, engaged six City Springs teachers in a highly collaborative and creative partnership to improve student literacy. Participating teachers included Mindy Cipriano, Doe Kim Corcoran, Mallory Davis, Dottie Glewwe, Nicole LeFrancois, and Kiera Jones.

Diane Macklin is an acclaimed storyteller, actress, and educator who has delighted audiences for over 15 years, sharing tales through a dynamic style seasoned with rhythm, sounds, and movement, engaging listeners of all ages.

"We absolutely loved having Ms.Diane come to our school," said Mallory Davis.

Diane provided professional development for teachers while helping the students learn through active participation. Classroom experiences focused on performing arts-based strategies that teachers could use to foster young children’s learning and development.

During the last session of the residency students made caterpillar headbands and acted out the life cycle of a butterfly, as described in the popular children's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

"The kids looked forward to Ms. Diane coming into our class every week," said Ms. Davis.

"They still talked about her after the residency was over. I think my students will always remember Ms. Diane."

We would like to thank Ms. Maclkin, the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning, and Young Audiences of Maryland for providing this wonderful opportunity for our students and teachers.

About the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning and Young Audiences of Maryland
The Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts is an internationally respected program that provides innovative arts-based teaching strategies and services to early childhood teachers, caregivers, parents, and their children from 0 to 5 through the disciplines of drama, music, and movement.

As the Maryland sponsor of the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Young Audiences expands access to arts experiences for Maryland’s youngest students during the critical early learning years. Each program offers professional development to build teachers’ skills and confidence in arts integration techniques so that the arts remain a strong part of their lessons after the residency ends.

For more information about the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning visit:

For more information about Young Audiences of Maryland visit:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

HHA Students Visit Junior Achievement's BizTown Courtesy of Legg Mason

On June 5th, fifth grade students from Hampstead Hill Academy visited Junior Achievement (JA) of Central Maryland's BizTown site in Owings Mills, courtesy of Legg Mason.

In January Legg Mason offered to send students from BCP's schools to BizTown, a 10,000 square foot "city," complete with its own micro-economy, for a day.

Students spent the day role playing what a typical day in the life of an adult may be like. Responsibilities included operating a healthcare center, conducting bank business, serving as Mayor, and more.

As business owners, students were required to use teamwork, critical thinking and decision making skills to ensure that their businesses were able to turn a profit for the day.

As citizens, students had to consider giving back to their community and learned to balance their own personal finances.

Teachers from Hampstead Hill Academy and volunteers from ADP, Business Volunteers Maryland, KatzAbosch, and One Main Financial assisted students throughout the day.

"The energy of the students at BizTown was palpable," said BCP Executive Vice President Larry Schugam.

"Students were fully engaged in running their city. I even had the honor of meeting BizTown's Mayor, who took time out of her busy schedule for a photo op."

Preparing for the Big Day

Preparations for the big day began months ago. Using the JA curriculum, teachers taught students about financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.

Students gained practical knowledge about how an economy works and their role as producers and consumers. Students also interviewed for jobs available in the "city," elected a mayor, worked in teams to create a business plan, and learned about personal financial responsibility as citizens of JA BizTown.

Thank You

We would like to thank Junior Achievement and Legg Mason for providing this wonderful opportunity for our students. Special thanks to the HHA teachers and volunteers from ADP, Business Volunteers Maryland, KatzAbosch, and One Main Financial for helping to make this day a grand success!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

BUDL Wins National Award/City Springs Student Attends Ceremony

On May 22, 2014 the Afterschool Alliance honored the Baltimore Urban Debate League (BUDL) with the 2014 MetLife Foundation Afterschool Innovator Award.

BUDL CEO Pamela Block Brier and City Springs Elementary/Middle School seventh grade student Darren Meredith accepted the award on behalf of the program at the “Breakfast of  Champions,” a gala event in Washington, D.C. featuring Members of Congress and national Afterschool Alliance champions.

Darren has participated in BUDL for four years. Megan Miskowski and Gerald Loiacono coach the City Springs Debate Team and in May Megan was named BUDL Coach of the Year.

Only five afterschool programs in the country were recognized for using innovative approaches to help middle school students succeed in the programs, school and life. The Afterschool Innovator Award includes $10,000 for BUDL to expand its work.

Over the last 15 years the Baltimore Urban Debate League has served thousands of Baltimore City students and trained and engaged hundreds of teachers. This year alone BUDL served over 500 students across 30 elementary, middle and high schools.

The program helps students learn to present an argument using evidence, evaluate the merit and credibility of evidence, respond clearly to questions raised about that argument, and listen to and learn from others.

BUDL's newest partnership supports BCPS schools and teachers in their common core aligned "It's Debatable" program, which provides professional development to teachers in schools across the City to learn to use debate and argumentation based teaching strategies in classrooms in every discipline.

The “Breakfast of Champions” is part of the 13th annual Afterschool for All Challenge, sponsored  by the Afterschool Alliance, which brings together hundreds of educators, parents, afterschool leaders and advocates from around the country for a series of events and meetings with Members of Congress.

Following the "Breakfast", Darren and other participants from 46 states met with senators and representatives, including Senator Ben Cardin, to talk about the many ways afterschool programs support children, families, school and communities, and to urge them to support the Afterschool for America's Children Act.

We would like to thank BUDL for supporting our students and the Afterschool Alliance for recognizing BUDL's oustanding work!

For more information about the Baltimore Urban Debate League visit:

About the Afterschool Alliance
The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to
ensure that all children and youth have access to quality afterschool programs. More
information is available at

Darren in Front of the U.S. Capitol

Darren and U.S. Senator Ben Cardin

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hampstead Hill Academy Students Attend Peter and the Starcatcher

On May 11, 2014 twenty students and teachers from Hampstead Hill Academy joined thirty students and teachers from Dr. Rayner Browne Elementary/Middle School for a performance of Peter and the Starcatcher at  the Hippodrome Theater.

This opportunity was made possible by Legg Mason, which sponsors the Hippodrome Foundation's “Bringing Enchanted Tales to Life” program. "Bring Enchanted Tales to Life" introduces the arts to fourth, fifth and sixth grade students from seven Baltimore City and County Schools.

Students study the concept of fairytales, and then Hippodrome Foundation staff help the students to write and illustrate a class fairytale, which is published as a hardcover book.

We would like to thank Legg Mason and the Hippodrome Foundation for providing this wonderful opportunity for our students.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

OriolesREACH Program Hosts HHA Students

Students from Hampstead Hill Academy were recognized during a recent field trip to an Orioles baseball game sponsored by the OriolesREACH Program.

Each season, OriolesREACH hosts thousands of underprivileged youth as part of the Gameday Experience Program. Group members receive game tickets, concessions vouchers, an Orioles t-shirt, a cap and transportation to and from the game. Tickets are provided courtesy of Orioles players.

For more than 50 years, the Baltimore Orioles have worked hard to give back to the local community, becoming involved in a variety of area programs and initiatives. Through OriolesREACH, the team seeks opportunities to reach out to their neighbors and help their fans improve their daily lives. In addition to partnering with existing charities and organizations, the Orioles have also established a collection of initiatives.

We would like to thank the Baltimore Orioles for supporting our students.

Learn more about OriolesREACH at:

Friday, May 23, 2014

City Springs Students Attend BSO Midweek Education Concert

On May 8, 2014 fourth and fifth graders from City Springs Elementary/Middle School attended a concert by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) entitled America the Beautiful.

The BSO provided complementary tickets to Legg Mason's partner schools for this Midweek Education Concert and Legg Mason provided transportation.

The concert explored the breadth, wealth and diversity of the American landscape as iconic orchestral works depicted some of the world’s most beautiful places. Students experienced the Grand Canyon through selections from Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite and images from National Geographic.

The program also featured Maryland’s 2013 Poetry Out Loud state champion Blessed Sheriff, American songs Oh Susanna and Boatman’s Dance with bass-baritone Robert Cantrell, Ellington’s Riba from The River and a sing-along to America the Beautiful.

Performers included Ken Lam (conductor), Marquita Lister (narrator), and David Elbert (narrator).

Earlier this school year the BSO and Legg Mason treated students from Wolfe Street Academy to a performance of The Snowman and students from Hampstead Hill Academy to an open rehearsal of Mahler's Titan - part of the 2013-2014 Legg Mason Open Rehearsal Series.

We would like to thank Legg Mason and the 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:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

City Springs IT Coordinator Andrew Devos Gives Workshop on "Baltimorization"

By Jeff Krick, BCP Director of Student Support Services

At last week's City Springs Elementary/Middle School staff meeting attendees were lucky to have City Springs Information Technology Coordinator Andrew DeVos share his doctoral research on the historical forces that have shaped Baltimore and many other American cities.

His presentation, Understanding Baltimore: Urban Life, Race, Class and the City: Past and Present, focused on aspects of structural racism and how those restrictions coupled with economic change have concentrated poverty in particular areas of our cities.

Mr. Devos presented a framework to understand "Baltimorization" as the product of segregation, suburbanization, deindustrialization, and mass incarceration. His engaging presentation was followed by group discussions.

Andrew DeVos is a PhD candidate in the Language, Literacy & Culture program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). In addition to working at City Springs EMS, he teaches classes at UMBC in the Media and Communication Studies, American Studies, and Africana Studies departments on a seasonal basis.

Friday, May 9, 2014

BCP Expands Tennis League in East Baltimore

This spring approximately 150 third through fifth graders from five East Baltimore public schools are enjoying the game of tennis thanks to the Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP), US Tennis Association (USTA), and the Baltimore Ravens. 

Under the leadership of League Coordinator Mallory Shore, the BCP/USTA Spring Tennis League runs for eight weeks in April and May. Students practice at their individual schools on Tuesdays and meet in Patterson Park for match play on Thursdays.

Participating schools include City Springs Elementary/Middle School, Hampstead Hill Academy, The Commodore John Rodgers School, Patterson Park Public Charter School, and Wolfe Street Academy,

In July the Ravens Foundation awarded BCP a 2013 Play 60 Grant of $3,700 to support the league. Recently, USTA Maryland awarded BCP a Community Grant of five dozen tennis balls, thirty rackets, and two nets, mostly for The Commodore John Rodgers School.

The BCP/USTA Spring Tennis League started in 2012 as a four-week league serving approximately 60 students from five schools.

"The plan is to continue to expand the tennis league to include other schools within the district," said Mallory Shore.

"Every year we will involve more students in the league. This will continue to promote a healthy lifestyle of fitness and team sports."

We would like to thank the Baltimore Ravens, USTA Maryland, USTA/Mid-Atlantic, Mallory Shore, Lynn Gertzog (Director of Community Outreach, Development and Communications, USTA Maryland), Alex Chan (Maryland Tennis Service Representative, USTA Mid-Atlantic Section), and the following coaches for making this league possible:
  • Claire Brackman, Head Coach, Wolfe Street Academy
  • Sarah D'Orlando, Head Coach, Hampstead Hill Academy
  • Janet Pinkett, Head Coach, Patterson Park Public Charter School
  • Tyrese Rice, Head Coach, The Commodore John Rogers School 
  • Alexis Wetzel, Head Coach, City Springs Elementary/Middle School
About USTA Maryland

USTA Maryland’s mission is to promote the growth and development of tennis in Maryland as a healthy lifetime sport available to all regardless of age and ability. USTA Maryland fosters an inclusive tennis environment and greater diversity throughout the sport.

USTA Maryland is a District of the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, which is one of the 17 regional governing bodies of the United States Tennis Association. The Section also includes the District of Columbia, and state of Virginia, except for the city of Bristol, and certain counties of West Virginia. USTA Maryland is a recognized district the United States Tennis Association.

About the Ravens Foundation

The Baltimore Ravens 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.

For the eighth-consecutive year, the Foundation is executing the Ravens PLAY 60 Grant, which provides funding of up to $5,000 to qualifying nonprofit organizations that create and/or continue programs or projects promoting physical fitness and nutrition education.

The grant program continues the Foundation’s commitment to increasing physical activity among area youth and seeks to encourage healthy youth activities.