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April 24, 2014

Mayor’s initiative targets youth violence, curfew By Krisha Hines With all the violence happening around the city, Indianapolis seems like it’s in a constant state of war. In order to fight the growing amount of crimes being committed by young people, Mayor Greg Ballard has introduced a Youth Violence Initiative called “Your Life Matters.” The initiative is aimed toward helping reduce “black on black” violence and will rely not only on police but community and faith-based leaders to help turned troubled youth on the right path. The goal of the plan is to promote mentorships, jobs, and after school activities to keep youth off the streets, help youth who already have criminal backgrounds find employment, and to help parents who are struggling with troubled teens. Some partners who have agreed to support the initiative include: Youthbuild Indy, Youthworks Indy and Youth Employment Services.

Many parts of the plan are programs the city has had in place for a while which makes some students wary of whether or not the program will work. Also being considered is a change in the curfew from 1 a.m. to 11 p.m. for those 17 and under. “I’m not involved in the violence, but it makes us look bad as a city. It is a problem because there is a death like every day and the violence feels constant,” junior Callie Moore said. Some do feel the violence is a problem but like most outside of campus, they’re not sure what to do about it. “The violence is a problem, but I don’t know what to do about it,” Shanteria Davis said. The violence in the city hits closer to home for other Tech students, such as Andrew Pitts. “It makes me sad that I can’t go out and do what I want because my mom’s paranoid something will happen.”

Titan’s Table food pantry fills needs of area families By Brittany Reedy Arsenal Technical High School has recently constructed the opening of a food pantry - Titan’s Table. The idea was sparked from the school pantry located at Harshman Middle School. Social workers thought the idea would be potentially beneficial for Tech families. Titan’s Table has been open for more than two months. The opening went very well and administrators are looking forward to the growth of the organization. “Our goal for the pantry is to eventually increase the number of families we serve. Currently, we are open once per month; however, as the pantry grows attention, we could possibly open it two days per month,” Tech social worker Marijane Wilkerson said. The pantry is currently available for the families of Arsenal Tech students, who have been referred through the school’s social workers. “We are currently working on details to increase efficiency and improve outreach to our families,” Wilkerson said.

Logo by Krisha Hines

#RealTitans WearPink When plans to show support for breast cancer patients backfired, Tech’s boys basketball team and Cannon Multimedia joined forces to turn the penalty into postive action by collecting nearly $570 for cancer research. Following tthe Regional Championship win March 15, Cannon Multimedia spearheaded the #RealTitiansWearPink campaign. The Titans were penalized by the IHSAA in the final game of the Regional at Southport High School for wearing pink uniforms to support a player’s mother who was diagnosed with cancer. The team received a delay of game technical foul at the beginning of the contest against Pike. After the game, the players donned their pink uniforms for the trophy and net-cutting celebration. The following week, Athletic Director Victor Bush and Coach Jason Delaney asked that, instead of a pep rally, students donate money to wear pink to the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research. The Jimmy V Foundation funnels100 percent of the funds straight to cancer research. With the help of students, teachers, administrators and the community, the #RealTitansWearPink presented Delaney with $570 designated for the Jimmy V Foundation. The V Foundation was started by ESPN and the former North Carolina State University basketball coach Jimmy Valvano, who became an ESPN analyst and died of cancer at 46, two months after his iconic speech at the ESPY awards in 1993.

The pantry does accept donated non-perishable items from students or community groups. Administrators are hopeful that the pantry can be utilized as a connection with Tech families in need, as well as with other community services. Students help on pantry delivery days, unloading and organizing items. Any donations or services are greatly appreciated and would help with building a strong foundation for Titan’s Table.

ATHS Penny Drive raises $300 for Riley Hospital By Dennis Bacon The New Tech Student Government’s Penny Drive raised $300 for the Children at Riley Hospital the last week of February and the first week of March. Students were able to donate any coin or dollar bill to receive, or take away, points. Pennies were a positive one point; silver coins were worth the coin’s face value multiplied by negative 100 along with dollar bills. Each class had its own bucket and points. Senior class won with 14,508 points, followed by the freshman class with 4,836 points, the junior

class with 6,046 points and lastly the sophomore class with 7,242 points. Students involved with the penny drive were overwhelmed with the results. “The results from the penny drive were surprising to me. I think turning it into a competition was a very good idea,” said Syx Russell, New Tech Student Government member. New Tech Academic Dean Scott Defreese, a daily supporter of the Penny Drive for Riley, was also impressed by the results. “The results were excellent, you guys did a great job,” Defreese said. Students who donated a dollar or more received a free Riley wristband to show their support.

(Clockwise from top:) Vedrana Stanarevic (left) and Korrie Warren (far right) of Cannon Multimedia present Titan player Justin Parker and Coach Jason Delaney with the donations collected from the #RealTitansWearPink campaign the week before the Semi-state game March 22; second period students in Donna Griffn’s class show their support of the fundraising campaign, from Taday Tyson, V’Shanell Ballard, Yoreya Warren, Raymond Mahan, Tracey Daniels, Mrs. Griffin; Vedrana Stanarevic, left and Diamonique Brookins, right, also presented the boys basketball team a banner signed by all the donors (center left).

New Law to provide more charter school options By Korrie Warren House Bill 1321, recently signed into law, will allow IPS to expand its Innovation Network pilot program to provide IPS families with a wide range of high-performing public school options, all under the IPS umbrella. Under HB 1321, IPS can convert a persistently low-performing school into an Innovation School with the same autonomy as a charter school, according to the IPS website. The bill authorizes IPS to contract with a nonprofit school management team to operate an IPS school that has received a D or an F grade for three consecutive years. The reconstituted school would serve the same students, but would have complete autonomy to hire its own teaching staff and

implement innovative strategies to improve student academic achievement, including extending the school day or the school year. The bill will also allow IPS to lease unused classroom space and provide other services to any charter school that meets the district’s standards and agrees to become an IPS school for purposes of funding and accountability. Under HB 1321, IPS will be able to boost enrollment, reduce overhead, and free up dollars for the classroom through innovative collaborations with new and existing charter schools that agree to become part of the IPS school district. IPS supports HB 1321 because it will provide the district with innovative tools to improve academic achievement, increase student enrollment, and provide families with a greater range of choices to meet

their child’s educational needs, IPS Organizational Strategist Le Boler said in an email. It’s no secret that IPS is facing some harsh realities. There are pockets of academic success within the district, however, last year 38 of IPS’s 65 schools received a D or an F grade from the state. Four IPS schools have been taken over by the state. Enrollment has dropped by more than 12,000 students over the past decade as more than 30 new charter schools opened within Indianapolis. As a result of this steep enrollment decline, IPS has eliminated teacher positions almost every year. HB 1321 provides IPS an opportunity to have greater control of charter growth while positively influencing student enrollment as students in iNetwork schools will remain IPS students. The explosive

growth of charter schools within IPS shows no sign of slowing down even though population growth remains relatively flat. Declining property tax revenues threaten IPS’s ability to provide transportation and maintain its buildings. Meanwhile, foundations and private donors are contributing millions of dollars to build and operate new charter schools within IPS boundaries at the same time that many IPS schools greatly underutilized, Boler said in explaining the reasoning behind the district’s support for HB 1321. “These challenges are daunting, but they are not insurmountable if IPS is given the flexibility to survive and thrive by forging the types of innovative collaborations and partnerships under HB 1321,” Boler said in an email.

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