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.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ethiopian Education Director Visits Hampstead Hill Academy

(left to right) Larry Schugam, Michelle Chen,
Reed Fendrick, Solomon Shiferaw, and Matt Hornbeck

On March 5, 2014, the Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) and Hampstead Hill Academy hosted a visit with Solomon Shiferaw, Director of Education Management Information Systems, Planning and Resource Mobilization for the Ethiopian Ministry of Education.

Mr. Shiferaw was invited to the United States under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program. He was accompanied by Michelle Chen (USAID Education Office, Ethiopia) and Reed Fendrick (English Language Officer, U.S. Department of State).

Mr. Shiferaw traveled to Maryland on a program entitled “Education in the U.S.: A Project for Ethiopia” in order to gain insight into the education system and its management at various levels, with a main focus on primary school administration.

The U.S. Department of State arranged the visit to introduce Mr. Shiferaw to BCP’s objectives and mission as well as BCP’s efforts to incorporate student-focused learning and utilize information technology in the classroom.

Mr. Shiferaw was also interested in learning about BCP’s initiatives to promote ethics, tolerance, and citizenship to disadvantaged youth and their families by means of on-going education and professional development for staff.

Hampstead Hill Academy Principal Matt Hornbeck and BCP Executive Vice President Larry Schugam gave Mr. Shiferaw a tour of the school and spoke with him about:
  1. Initiatives to successfully develop education management and what it takes to enhance the learning process and raise student testing scores;
  2. How Hampstead Hill Academy is effectively taking advantage of funding in order to become a distinguished school;
  3. BCP’s process of converting underperforming, high poverty schools into high-performing charter schools; and 
  4. How BCP helps its charter schools design curricula and set standards for civic education.
We would like to thank Mr. Shiferaw, Ms. Chen, and Mr. Fendrick for visiting Hampstead Hill Academy. Special thanks to the U.S. Department of State, the World Trade Center Institute, and Janine Branch (Manager, Professional Exchanges Program and Program Development, World Trade Center Institute) for arranging this visit.

About the International Visitor Leadership Program

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts. Professional meetings reflect the participants’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States. Learn more at:
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.

WTCI strives 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, international visitors program and extensive global business services. In addition, WTCI serves as the World Bank Group’s Private Sector Liaison Officer (PSLO) for the region, enabling local firms to access opportunities in developing counties.

WTCI was established in 1989. Financed jointly by area businesses and the State of Maryland, WTCI operates as a private, non-profit membership organization. Learn more at:

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.

Chef Cindy Wolf Visits City Springs Elementary/Middle School

On Friday April 25, 2014, Chef Cindy Wolf visited with first, third, sixth, and seventh graders at City Springs Elementary/Middle School as part of the school's Career Fridays speakers series.

Chef Wolf is Executive Chef and Co-owner of Charleston Restaurant and co-owner of several other popular Baltimore restaurants including: Bin 604, Bin 201, Pazo, Cinghale, and Petit Louis Bistro.

The Career Fridays series was created by City Springs School Counselor Krista Wible in order to expose students to a variety of careers.

"At City Springs, we believe that all students have talents and can learn through a variety of instructional experiences," said Ms. Wible.

"As such, on Fridays students meet with professionals to discuss their career path."

Chef Wolf spoke about her restaurants and their themes; the love she puts into making her favorite dishes; the path she took to get where she is today; the responsibilities involved in owning so many restaurants; and much more.

She has offered to give the students a behind-the-scenes tour of Charleston Restaurant. She also plans to return to City Springs to lead some cooking demonstrations.

"Chef Wolf was a great inspiration to the children she spoke with at City Springs Elementary/Middle School," said Ms. Wible.

"Her passion and love for food was felt by the students and encouraged them to follow their future aspirations."

We would like to thank Chef Wolf for visiting with our students.

About Chef Cindy Wolf

A 2006, 2008 and 2014 James Beard Foundation finalist for Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic, Chef Wolf's cuisine is backed by French fundamentals and grounded in preparations that emphasize the natural flavors of the very finest regional products.

Charleston is an American Academy of Hospitality Sciences Five-Star Diamond award recipient, a Forbes Four-Star award recipient, and AAA Four Star Diamond Award recipient. The restaurant is recognized by Zagat for best food and service and has been rated the #1 restaurant in Baltimore by Baltimore magazine year over year.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Wolf has received notices in Food Arts, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, The New York Times, The Washington Times and The Washington Post. She has appeared in cooking segments on major local, national and cable television stations.

Wolf is business partners with Tony Foreman in their other restaurants which can be accessed through