BCP October 2017 Newsletter
City Springs Featured on Ellen DeGeneres Show
When a group of eighth grade students at City Springs Elementary/Middle launched a fundraiser to help Hurricane Harvey victims in early September, they never expected their efforts to spark a chain of events that would lead to an appearance on the Ellen Show.
The students' Bmore4Houston fundraiser raised $3,000, which will be donated to the American Red Cross.
On the first day of the new school year, City Springs teachers
Sonja Hughes and Wyatt Oroke held a conversation with students about what was happening in Houston. The students were inspired to help out.
"As a class we discussed what was happening in Houston with Hurricane Harvey," said Ms. Hughes. "The students had all sorts of questions regarding Harvey. For instance, how did it get the name Harvey. After our class discussion several students wanted to know how they could help the people of Houston. That's when our class kicked into gear. The students formulated a plan as to what they wanted to do for Houston and the rest you know is history."
"It became a completely student-led project," said Mr. Oroke. "They created all the posters. They set the goals for fundraising. They decided to donate to the American Red Cross."
"We wake up every day and we can walk downstairs and go to our kitchens, go in our refrigerator, and get something to drink." said Aliyah, a City Springs student. "In Houston, you can't walk downstairs and go in your refrigerator and get something to drink. And we wanted to help others."
When Baltimore City Public Schools learned of the students' altruism, they produced a video about the fundraiser (below).
Then, City Councilman Zeke Cohen visited City Springs to recognize the students for their good work
on September 28, 2017
. Councilman Cohen brought the local media, including the Baltimore Sun, WBAL-TV 11, and CBS Baltimore.
The story went viral after New York Times Education Reporter Erica L. Green shared WBAL-TV's coverage on Twitter.
"I was contacted by the Ellen DeGeneres Show, but I was sworn to secrecy. I could not tell anyone that we were actually going be on the show!" said Principal Richetta.
"Mr. Oroke went out to the Ellen Show thinking he was going to be an audience member. They surprised him and actually had him on the show. They showed a video clip of our school. They also surprised Mr. Oroke by having students from City Springs live from our cafeteria on the show."
Mr. Oroke was clearly overwhelmed by the opportunity to sit with Ellen and share his students' story. As if that wasn't enough, The Ellen Show presented the students with a $25,000 check from Shutterfly to support the school.
During the segment Mr. Oroke shared some of the challenges his students face and the students shared their dreams for the future.
"There are neighborhoods within Baltimore that have been under-resourced and under-served for centuries based on political decisions made, be it segregated housing or redlining certain neighborhoods, and so what that has led to is that our students come from the highest poverty rates out of any school in Baltimore City, " said Mr. Oroke.
"Baltimore has a lot of people with big dreams. I want to graduate college so that I can change a lot of things," said 8th grader Chantelle.
"Our principal, our school staff, all our teachers really love our students and having them function from that strong place of love has meant that our students get a lot of support on a daily basis," said Mr. Oroke.
"If you fill your classroom with love today, you're going to fill the world with love tomorrow."
Help Send Ms. Hughes' and Mr. Oroke's Students on College Field Trips
The Baltimore Curriculum Project has launched a crowdfunding campaign to send Ms. Hughes' and Mr. Oroke's students and their peers on college field trips.
Donate online at
Baltimore Curriculum Project
c/o City Springs College Trips
2707 E. Fayette Street
Baltimore, MD 21224
Please write "City Springs College Trips" in the memo line.
Frederick Elementary's New Walking School Bus Program
Over the past year and a half, the Baltimore Curriculum Project has engaged with Frederick Elementary and Samuel F.B. Morse community members through a variety of strategies including community meetings, meet the principal events, one-on-one meetings, school tours, information sessions, door knocking, e-communications, phone calls, social media and surveys in prepa
ration for the opening of the new Frederick Elementary.
The top concern expressed by families has been how their children would travel safely to and from school. In response, the
Baltimore Curriculum Project
developed the Walking School Bus program.
Read more about the Walking School Bus Program at:
Community Partners Make Govans Great!
Govans Elementary has a wealth of community partners that help make the school great including Strong City Baltimore, Loyola University Maryland, and The Church of Redeemer, to name a few. This month we would like to highlight two of our newest partners.
Belvedere Square Market
Belvedere Square Market has provided a free table for Govans Elementary at their Summer Concert Series for the past two summers. Last spring, students were afforded a special Behind-the-Scenes tour of several Belvedere Square businesses. On Sunday, October 29th from 1pm-4pm, Govans will participate in Belvedere Square's "Trick-or-Treat Through the Square."
All proceeds from the costume contest will benefit
Govans Elementary School
. Govans will also participate in the "Trunk or Treat" candy giveaway.
MADD FLAVA Entertainment's Attendance Matters Challenge
MADD FLAVA Entertainment and Govans Elementary launched the Attendance Matters Challenge in September to promote perfect attendance.
Students with perfect attendance for the month are entered into a drawing for tickets to shows, concerts, movies, and other events. Parents who attend Parent/Teacher Organization meetings are also entered into ticket drawings.
In September, students with perfect attendance were entered into a drawing to win Disney on Ice tickets or WWE tickets.
"We all know how important it is to be present so we are partnering with schools to give incentives for coming to school everyday!" said Rod Stevens (Rod Madd Flava), CEO & Founder of Madd Flava Entertainment.
"The kids were so excited for their prizes! We appreciate everyone's support in the community for helping our kids have a successful school year. Thank you all, especially Mrs. Murphy of Govans Elementary!"
BCP and Govans Elementary would like to thank Mr. Stevens for supporting our students.
EY Connect Day at Hampstead Hill Academy
Hampstead Hill Academy
would like to thank
Ernst & Young
(EY) for hosting an EY Connect Day at Hampstead Hill Academy on October 6, 2017.
EY Connect Day provides an annual opportunity for EY employees to join with colleagues for a day of community service and celebration.
The day started off with a video presentation about EY during the weekly Leaders Go Places Community Circle, which includes over 200 middle grades students.
After the presentation the eight volunteers visited different classrooms to talk about their work at EY. During the rest of the day, the volunteers helped teachers with a variety activities from reading with students to accompanying them on a nature exploration experience in Patterson Park.
Here is what the teachers had to say about their EY volunteers:
My EY volunteer was so helpful! Ms. Megan helped me grade a portion of students' beginning-of-year science diagnostic; set up a new homework filing system; file homework, grade Language lessons; and set up my October bulletin board. All told, she saved me at least a full day's worth of work that I'd normally have done after school and on the weekends. Please tell her and EY thank you and that they are (literally) welcome back in my 5th grade science room any time!" - Maryrose Hembd, Fifth Grader Teacher
My volunteer helped during snack time (opening snacks); helped students at their seat doing independent work; and helped us at the park keep kids in the general space where I wanted them. It was really nice having someone helping helping students cross Eastern Avenue and it gave students another person to talk to about what they saw, heard, smelled, and touched in the park! Thanks. -
Morgan Klenk, PreK Teacher
My volunteers helped edit Middle School students' High School Choice projects and helped younger students with book selection. - Sonya Kannam, Librarian
My volunteer listened to my students read. This activity helped my student's improve their fluency in reading! - Marybeth Smith, First Grade Teacher
My volunteer Ana was awesome! She helped me hang art work on my bulletin boards and sort through ceramic art pieces. - Jacy Butcher, Art Teacher
BCP and Hampstead Hill Academy would like to thank Carlton Edwards, Christopher Fessler, Ana Grigore, Megan Holston, Meghan Lynch, Toks Oyelola, Jillian Ruskey, Jenn Blois Vitelkites, and Ally Yawman for supporting Hampstead Hill Academy!
Special thanks to Katie A. Thompson (Senior Consultant, Advisory Services, EY) and Baltimore Curriculum Project Board Member Jenn Blois Vitelkites (Executive Director, Assurance Services, EY) for making the EY Connect Day at Hampstead Hill Academy possible.
Wolfe Street Academy and the Community Support Each Other
Below are a few shining examples of how Wolfe Street Academy and the community support each other:
Fourth grade students at Wolfe Street Academy would like to pack 50 homeless care bags. They need $500 to purchase the supplies to pack the bags. They are raffling this beautiful beaded "best of Baltimore" necklace and bracelet! $2 per ticket, 3 for $5, and an arms length for $20. For more information call (410) 396-9140.
Wolfe Street Academy will also be hosting a yard
sale on October 28th from 11:30-2:30pm at 245 South Wolfe Street. P
lease come out and support the next generation that's trying to make a difference.
New WSA/UFPIA Green TeamI
Wolfe Street Academy would like to introduce the brand new WSA/Upper Fells Point Improvement Association (UFPIA) Green Team. The team will meet weekly to help beautify the neighborhood.
UFPIA has maintained a partnership with Wolfe Street Academy since 2002. Over the years, the Association has supported the school in a variety of ways including: creating and staffing the school library; volunteering at the annual "Wolfest" street festival; holding an annual winter clothing drive; and organizing the annual Teacher Wish List educational materials drive.
Thank You for Supporting BUDL
The Wolfe Street Debate Team would like to thank everyone who supported their recent fundraiser to enable the team to participate in the Baltimore Urban Debate League. They exceeded their goal of $2,500 in just two weeks and the girls attended their first Baltimore Urban Debate League event on October 21, 2017.
Debate Team Coach Katie Miller organized the successful fundraiser.
"When I first visited Wolfe Street Academy shortly after moving to Baltimore, I immediately knew that it was just a little magical: Wolfe Street is a school with true community spirit, committed teachers, and motivated students," writes Ms. Miller.
"I have been working with their afterschool programming for two years, and this year, Wolfe Street asked me to coach their very first 3rd to 5th grade debate team. Having never participated in a debate myself, I, of course, enthusiastically agreed."