KIPP NEW JERSEY STANDS WITH OUR
FAMILY SPRING 2020
HISTORY IN THE MAKING STEP INSIDE KIPP HIGH SCHOOL
A MAGAZINE BY AND FOR THE KIPP NEW JERSEY COMMUNITY
welcome TO THE SPRING EDITION OF
Dear Families, We release this issue in a truly unprecedented time for our world. While we work to keep members of our team and family safe from a pandemic, we stand in awe of the multitude of ways in which our community has come together to learn, grow, and find joy in the small things. Even as we practice social distancing—we feel more united than ever in spirit—and more grateful to our families for all they do to support their child’s learning. As we tackle the pressing challenges of the present—we remain committed to a future in which all children in Camden can access educational opportunities. We are thrilled to be opening our KIPP High School this year and to bring new life to the former Sumner School, a historic building in the Camden community. You’ll learn a little more about our new high school in this edition on page 6. We hope this edition of TEAM and Family Magazine—a collaboration that represents the perspectives of our students, families, and staff—is an informative (and enjoyable!) distraction during the age of social distancing. In this issue, you will find:
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
In these difficult times, we remain committed to our students’ mental health. Step inside our efforts to support not only the physical but mental health of our students on page 8.
From Newark to Camden, you’ll see how our student artists are honing their photographic and artistic skills. Check out their work on page 13.
Helping our students understand the importance of giving back to their communities is so important. Discover how our community supports each other—both before and after the COVID-19 outbreak—on page 14.
As always, thank you for our partnership together on your child’s educational journey. Please reach out to us with any questions you might have about how to support your child’s learning this summer. Best, Drew Martin Executive Director, KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy
in this issue LETTER FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 02
KIPP NEW JERSEY'S STUDENT-ARTISTS SHINE 13
SCHOOL UPDATES 04
KIPP NEW JERSEY STANDS WITH OUR COMMUNITIES 14
HISTORY IN THE MAKING 06 MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS 08
READ, BABY, READ 18
STEM LEARNERS ARE PREPARING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF THE 21ST CENTURY 10
COMMUNITY RESOURCES 22
ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT 20
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL! @KIPPCooperNorcrossAcademy
TEAM & FAMILY CONTRIBUTORS A special thank you to the KIPP parents, families, teachers, and staff for partnering with us and contributing to this issue. RESOURCES Visit kippnj.org/school-resources for student handbooks and more information about your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s school. COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS? email@example.com ABOUT KIPP NJ The aim of KIPP New Jersey is to create a network of schools in Camden and Newark, New Jersey, that instill in their students the desire and ability to succeed in college, in order to change the world. 3
KIPP UPPER ROSEVILLE ACADEMY KURA is focused on engaging families as they work to lay a strong foundation as our newest elementary school. Families participated in numerous events such as family workshops at Saturday School, "Camping @KURA", the Black History Month Hair Show, and our quarterly award ceremonies.
KIPP NEWARK COLLEGIATE ACADEMY KIPP NCA had our biggest celebration of the school year in February during our student-led African Diaspora Assembly— some of you may have seen it featured on Good Morning America! Our Panther Pride continues to exude as families and school staff support one another during this time.
KIPP NEWARK LAB HIGH SCHOOL The first-ever boys and girls basketball seasons wrapped up in March at KIPP Newark Lab High School. We are extremely proud of our student athletes for their hard work and successes!
KIPP NEWARK COMMUNITY PREP The 1st Annual Living Wax Museum was a family favorite this past February at Newark Community Prep. Dressed as musicians, philanthropists, inventors, and civil rights activists, students brought a varied representation of influential African-American trailblazers to life.
KIPP RISE ACADEMY KIPP Rise students celebrated Black History Month with community partners like NJIT Office of Diversity, Ekkquinox Steel Band, and student-led clubs like Rise's Artist & Performers. Students engaged in assemblies, Diaspora Day, and even a live wax museum where students dressed like icons from the black community and explained their impact to friends of the school.
KIPP SPARK ACADEMY
MA DR ST
KIPP LIFE ACADEMY At KIPP Life Academy, we celebrate scholars who bring their best effort every day! In February, scholars with perfect attendance had a glitter art party in the library and weekly recognition celebrations in their classrooms.
ER BL VD
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We at KIPP SPARK are grateful for how our staff has stepped up to support remote learning efforts— especially via our Facebook and Instagram pages. We're so excited to be celebrating 10 years of work in the downtown Newark area and we're hopeful to continue with many more!
KIPP SEEK ACADEMY In February, KIPP Seek Academy scholars celebrated Black History Month with our annual Living Wax Museum! It was an incredible celebration that allowed visitors to learn from our students as they role-played icons like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Michelle Obama, and Maya Angelou to a captive audience.
KIPP THRIVE ACADEMY
KIPP TEAM ACADEMY In February, KIPP TEAM Academy students celebrated Black History Month with an evening showcase highlighting the 2010-2019 "Decade of Black Excellence” with a performance that was entirely student-led! It was a great opportunity to see students highlighting key figures of the last decade in their own words.
KIPP BOLD ACADEMY Students at KIPP BOLD Academy participate in learning opportunities both inside and outside the classroom. Students have learned from leading scientists at NJIT, had fellowship with alumni at Howard University, skated, visited Baltimore, explored museums, and much, much more!
The value of the month for our school in March was “Engage with the World.” At KIPP THRIVE, engaging with the world involves inspiring others, seeking knowledge, learning about impact, and valuing differences. Even as we face unprecedented challenges, we remain committed to teaching KIPPsters to mentor their peers and build community.
L O O H SC S E T A D P U AV E RIV
KIPP LANNING SQUARE PRIMARY
I-30 KIPP LANNING SQUARE MIDDLE
M RAI EPH
Our building might be closed, but KIPP Whittier Middle School is excited to celebrate the accomplishments of our founding class of 8th graders this coming June! We can’t wait to watch the bright futures of our founding students unfold!
KIPP WHITTIER MIDDLE
FERR Y AV
We missed our Camden KIPPsters so much—our teachers organized a “social distancing parade” in April to say hello and drive by their homes! When times get hard—our commitment to our students only grows.
D ST SOUTH 2 N
KIPP Lanning Square Primary has continued to add additional enrichment offerings to our after school program. This year, students participating in the program had the opportunity to take enrichment classes such as Ball with Purpose, Ford Corps, Musical Motion, drumming, soccer, cultural appreciation, yoga, mindfulness, step, and more.
HISTORY IN THE
MAKING STEP INSIDE KIPP HI G H SC HO O L
n August 2020, over 200 students will make history when they enter our first high school in Camden—KIPP High School—as founding students. If all goes as planned, this won’t be the first time these students make history. “Our school’s vision is clear. We’re here to help develop Camden’s citizen-leaders of tomorrow,” said Stu Warshawer, the school’s founding principal. “We want to prepare our graduates not only for college and career, but also to challenge injustices and improve the lives of others,” he added. That’s a big promise for any high school to make—especially one in its first year. But Warshawer and his growing staff are ready to deliver on that promise through a rigorous curriculum, student leadership opportunities, and a commitment to offer meaningful work experiences to students through internships and technical education.
Among KIPP parents in Camden, there’s a palpable feeling of excitement that their child can remain in a KIPP classroom after completing 8th grade. One of those parents is KIPP Whittier Middle mom Rosalyn Goodwater. Her son Basir is in the eighth grade. When Ms. Goodwater learned the news, she said her family was “overjoyed.” “Now I know he can continue to thrive in a supportive environment that will make sure he’s set up for success. As a parent, this is a weight lifted off my shoulders,” said Mrs. Goodwater. KIPP High School, located on the former Charles Sumner Elementary School campus, will undergo many changes between now and when Basir and his classmates walk through its doors. The school is currently being updated to feature a new playing field, a full production kitchen, and all of the technology our students will need to be successful.
KIPP Lanning Square Middle’s cheerleaders celebrate the groundbreaking of KIPP High School
We want to prepare our graduates not only for college and career, but also to challenge injustices and improve the lives of others. ST U WA RSH AWER Founding Principal
Want to know what all the hype is about? Here are the top 10 reasons to get excited about KIPP High School: ATHLETI CS From Football to Track and Field, we’ll offer students a variety of opportunities to stay healthy and compete as athletes. COLLEGE P R EPA RATI ON We will have advanced placement (AP) classes starting junior year, and a curriculum that satisfies all NJ state requirements for graduation. Our KIPP Through College team is in place to help students identify and apply to colleges that will support their goals. CA R EER R EA DY Through internships and partnerships with businesses, hospitals, and universities in Camden, our students will be prepared to pursue their passions. THE LEA DER S OF TOMOR ROW We care about our student voices—and cultivating leaders is a big deal for us. That’s why students can participate in student council and student-led organizations and assemblies. SCHOOL P R I DE We’re the Camden Warriors and we have school pride. We’ll show it through pep rallies, special events, competitions and more. I NTER ESTED I N THE A RTS Through elective and extracurricular programming, students will have the chance to pursue their passion for visual arts and music. FR EEDOM High school isn’t middle school. Our school design reflects that, allowing students to take on an increasing amount of both freedom and responsibility, from hallway transitions and uniforms, to course selection. LEA DER S HI P KIPP High School will benefit from the leadership of Stu Warshawer, who brings over a decade of experience in fostering student growth, as both a teacher and school leader. FUN We know when it’s time to buckle down and get serious. But at our school, we also know how to turn up and have fun with one another.
KIPP High School Principal Stu Warshawer with students Izanee Bryant and Kevin Pellot.
WE STA ND FOR COMMUNI TY Our school isn’t just a place to receive a diploma. Our core value is Ubuntu, meaning “I am who I am because of who we are.” Our vision is for our students to gain the skills and confidence they need to pursue their passions in life.
Mental Health Matters How KIPP New Jersey is Breaking the Stigma, Providing Support, and Lifting Up Students and Families
tarting in September, KIPP Whittier Middle social worker Taylor Wegmann knew that supporting the success of one student would take a village. The student had just transferred to KIPP Whittier—and was just starting middle school. The transition was rough—she struggled to make friends and had trouble expressing her frustrations. Knowing the student would require more support, Wegmann worked with her colleagues to set up an Individualized Education Plan for the student, which had been proposed—but never implemented —at her previous school. According to Wegmann, parental involvement is key to kick starting the services that can make a difference for a student. “Sometimes when we bring up the idea of services, parents assume that maybe this is happening because they couldn’t solve the problem at home, or they’re doing the wrong thing as a parent—but in 2020, lots of students need support during childhood. Social media especially has magnified a lot of these challenges,” said Wegmann. With the help of the student’s parents and community resources, she received counseling and other support, both at home and at school. “That made all the difference,” said Wegmann. “We worked with her on healthier ways to express her feelings towards her peers and strategies
she could use if she felt overwhelmed,” she continued. The results? “The difference in her outlook from September to March has been like night and day,” said Wegmann. “Receiving support at home and at school was critical. She now has the ability to reflect and articulate the things that used to be hard for her—and state how she’s improved. She’s so much more confident now,” added Wegmann.
Support always needs to span the scope of a child’s world. TAY LO R W EG MA N N KIPP Whittier Middle Social Worker
The story highlights KIPP New Jersey’s whole-team, strategic approach to supporting social emotional health in our schools. Wegmann and her team train teachers to identify students who may need additional counseling support—and reach out to her and the schools’ social work team when appropriate. Counseling is provided based on clinical assessments of students and can be provided to students with or without an IEP.
At KIPP Whittier Middle, any student can join the school’s gender and age specific groups that provide a safe space for them to speak about topics ranging from a death in the family to social difficulties. “These meetings allow for healthier emotional expression because we’re creating a culture around sharing what’s happening in our lives. We’re building that as a skill in our students,” said Wegmann. KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy’s Director of Wraparound Services Joe Hejlek has worked to ensure Camden families have the resources they need to ensure their children’s mental health. One of these initiatives is a partnership with the Center for Family Services, which provides three social workers based full time out of our schools. These dedicated social workers work in tandem with school social workers to support families experiencing hardships. “They do a little bit of everything— connecting families with resources, working with families in their homes to overcome challenges, providing counseling for certain students, and working with school staff to make sure students' needs are met,” said Hejlek. The commitment to mental health doesn’t just include providing counseling sessions for students who need it—it extends to all classrooms, including younger students. KIPP Lanning Square Primary has implemented a social emotional
learning video curriculum called "Move This World" that helps students develop self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship management, and decision-making skills. The curriculum provides interactive video exercises that teach kids “emogers,” which are strategies for how to do everything from share their feelings to resolve peer conflict. KIPP Lanning Square Primary school leader in residence Brittany Goodman has helped spearhead the initiative in the school’s classrooms and train teachers on these competencies. “Studies show that greater social emotional competence can improve academic achievement, social skills, attitudes towards school, and reduce stress,” said Goodman. “These videos are helping students and teachers develop a common language for describing their emotions,” she added. As Coronavirus (COVID-19) resulted in unprecedented closures at KIPP Cooper Norcross schools, social workers stepped up to the plate to continue providing services to their students in creative ways. “We are keeping in touch via phone calls and having scheduled check-ins with kids and their parents. We are also staying connected to community providers to continue the collaborative care model that we have implemented,” said Wegmann.
DID YOU KNOW? of youth ages 13-18 live with a mental health condition
Information from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Visit NAMI.org for more info.
of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24
of youth have an anxiety disorder
The average delay between onset of symptoms and intervention is
If you recognize any of these behaviors in your child, you may want to have a conversation with your school's social worker: • Excessive worrying or fear • Feeling excessively sad or low • Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
• Avoiding friends and social activities • Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy • Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
Here’s how you can support your child’s social emotional development— especially in these uncertain times—and learn to recognize when they might need more support. Group/Individual Counseling: Students who join group or individual counseling do so as part of their Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) which can include a behavioral intervention plan. These counseling sessions offer students opportunities for reflection and the chance to acquire skills and strategies that will help them develop socially and academically. Short Term Individual Counseling: Counseling for students experiencing a difficult time who may need to touch base with a social worker regularly to feel set up for long term success in school. Crisis Intervention Support: When families or students report experiencing a crisis, our social workers partner with families to find solutions that support student well-being and kickstart the services they need to succeed. Referrals to Community Services: For more complex situations where parents report that students are struggling outside of school, KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy will refer you to care options. Programs That Promote Positive School Culture: Many schools offer programming that includes wellness days, social emotional learning curriculum, and clubs or groups that provide students with a safe space to speak with their peers about their challenges and celebrate successes. Parent Engagement and Staﬀ Development: KIPP New Jersey teachers receive training from school social workers on identifying and addressing worrying behaviors they may encounter in the classroom. COVID-19 Support: We are currently offering grief counseling training to teachers, tele-counseling services, and access to a Google Wellness Classroom which includes guided meditation, breathing exercises and other resources. 9
A New Generation of STEM Learners Prepare to Solve 21st Century Problems
ashion websites and Fortnite apps. Load-pushing robots and model solar homes. A technology-equipped running vest and a toy designed especially for children with cerebral palsy. Are these the latest innovations from an engineering design firm? Or perhaps a Ph.D. project undertaken by a research fellow? Nope. These are the creations of KIPP New Jersey students from Camden to Newark, who are taking advantage like never before of opportunities to engage in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning, inside and outside the classroom. In Camden, KIPP Lanning Square Middle science teacher Bryan Pawling has collaborated with principal Bridgit Cusato-Rosa to introduce new STEM initiatives and equipment each year.
I always stress that math and ELA are huge, but I want our kids to realize that STEM is really at the forefront now—and our kids should be competitive in those fields, too. BRYA N PAW L I N G KIPP Lanning Square Middle Science Teacher
KIPP Lanning Square Middle partnered with Project Lead the Way to introduce the App Creators curriculum which allows students to create their own apps. “The app I designed was fun to create—but also a little bit stressful. I learned to have patience,
even if something doesn’t work the first time. It taught me to make mistakes and learn from them,” said Cheryska Scanes, an eighth-grader who designed an app that generated random fashion outfits for users for different types of events. KIPP Lanning Square Middle students have the opportunity to take one additional STEM elective per day, in addition to their standard science class. Nearby at KIPP Whittier Middle, science teacher Ryan Weaver proves that KIPP New Jersey students have a natural curiosity for STEM. Weaver keeps a running list of science questions from students on his classroom board on topics that range from dry ice to outer space. “At the end of class, if we have time, I help students answer the questions, or encourage them to research it themselves and share their answer. I want them to do the heavy lifting of the research,” said Weaver. Weaver and his science teammates at KIPP Whittier Middle foster this natural curiosity through the Amplify curriculum that KIPP New Jersey has adopted across all our schools in Newark and Camden. Amplify encourages students to look at solving a single problem through different lenses. “During our unit on water scarcity, we used a fictional island that had difficulty accessing water,” said Weaver. Students then had to problem-solve through role play as food scientists, engineers, and archaeologists to understand the problem and design solutions in their assigned role,” said Weaver. 11
Meanwhile, in Newark, students at KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy are diving into the study of robotics, thanks in part to a grant from Amazon to start a FIRST Robotics team. The team started this fall with a team of 9 students, many of whom were also enrolled in AP Computer Science Principles. They use Code.org curriculum to acquire coding skills and spent their afternoons designing and programming their robots to perform the actions required for the FIRST Robotics competitions they entered this year. We caught up with the NCA Panther Robotics team at South Orange Middle School as they competed in their final— and most competitive—FIRST Robotics competition in February. Fatima Aliamer recalled the team’s early days of assembling their robot. “You start off with the basic supplies—so day one, we counted out the raw materials and labeled them. And then we asked, “Ok, what do we do now?” “This is what we do now!” said Aliamer, gesturing to the gymnasium where the Panther Robotics team was about to kick off their second match of the day. For Aliamer, the challenges make the end result all the more rewarding. “It’s really satisfying to work with your hands and tackle a problem—to fix something. There was one day I was having trouble getting one of the robot components to work. And I was really frustrated about it. But then the next day, I came in and realized I plugged it in backwards! But I feel like the frustration makes the actual solution so much more satisfying,” she said. Participation in FIRST Robotics isn’t just about battling other bots—it’s about cooperation. The goal is to build a robot capable of performing a series of actions in the bot arena that includes dragging, pushing, and pulling blocks to specific areas and parking your robot in a specific spot. More advanced robots also have the ability to stack the blocks. Throughout a tournament, students compete in pairs with other teams and are expected to find robots that have compatible skills and forge mutually beneficial alliances. “Students get a truly hands on problemsolving experience,” said KIPP NCA 12
computer science department lead Harold Brown, who coached the team along with Katie Ibeh this year. “You have to act like a true engineer, keeping a notebook of your process that you present to the judges,” added Brown.
Start to finish, students own the whole process— if they fail, they need to try something different. It’s a full problem-solving experience for students.
Like Figueroa and Scanes, many KIPP New Jersey students discover their love for STEM in middle school. KIPP BOLD Academy also received funds from the Amazon/ FIRST grant to implement new STEM initiatives. Sarah Elbery leads the science department at KIPP BOLD Academy, and in partnership with BOLD’s STEM Assistant Principal, Lauren Alcena, is making STEM a priority this year, investing in both teachers and students. Elbery and Alcena have introduced Hour of Code and brought teachers in the building together to have students participate in coding activities in one hour during the school day. At KIPP New Jersey’s newest high school, KIPP Newark Lab High School, STEM activities are taking center stage as the high school carries out its vision of instilling “design thinking” in students as a framework for solving problems. Beginning in 9th grade, students enroll in a Design Elective, where they learn some of the basic tenets of design thinking and engage in several design projects and challenges.
Stevensky, Anthony, and Luis practice driving their robot at a FIRST robotics competition in February.
Panther Robotics team member Luis Figueroa’s love of engineering started in middle school at KIPP TEAM Academy. “My fifth grade teacher Ms. Sigler introduced us to coding through Hour of Code—and I realized I was pretty good at it. When I heard there was going to be robotics at NCA, I joined immediately,” said Figueroa, who says that to this day he still receives advice from Ms. Sigler on coding and other projects.
Teacher-in-Residence Amna Rahman teaches engineering and design at the school—switching careers from an engineering design firm to enter the classroom. Her students have designed a doll for children with cerebral palsy, and designed and tested houses with different levels of insulation and exteriors to test how well they retained warmth under a lightbulb that acted as the sun. “My students design everything they make considering their budget, whether or not their materials are eco-friendly, and using drafting paper to design their ideas at scale,” said Rahman. That real-world thinking is what KIPP New Jersey’s STEM curriculum is helping foster in students, with the goal of preparing them to tackle jobs—even the ones that don’t exist yet. “If we can offer kids something that sets them apart, then they have a better chance at being at the forefront of what’s to come, even if it doesn’t exist yet,” said Brown. “We can instill in them a passion that will lead them to creating these amazing careers. I want them to be in the room, making decisions. I want them to have every opportunity,” he said.
KIPP New Jersey’s Student-Artists Shine!
hese students at KIPP BOLD Academy have been enrolled in a Film and Photography elective for the past school year—and already, they’re showing great promise as artists, according to their elective teacher, John Paxton Jr.
“Since the fall, students have worked on lighting, framing, proper angles, exposure and so much more. They shoot on DSLR’s, but they do it in manual mode so they learn how to control the settings,” said Paxton. “It’s incredible to watch my students progress—one student even worked in film—shooting and directing her own zombie movie. Right now, the photography elective is where to be,” he added. KIPP BOLD Academy eighth grader Hassana Jackson agrees. “For These lions were based on students' study of Middle Eastern art and mosaics. All KIPP Lanning Square Primary students in grades 2 through 4 created a paper mosaic to make a school wide wall—just like they would have done in the ancient Middle East!
me, film and photography is the best way to show others the beauty I see. I take photos of things that capture my eye because they’re significant and beautiful—a little different from the mainstream. I film concepts that I believe people would enjoy and connect with. Film and photography is important to me because I get to express myself without saying much,” said Jackson. In Camden, students in KIPP Lanning Square Primary’s art class dove head first into oil pastels, learning how paint moves and creating wall murals. “We like to connect our art projects to broader learning topics like the natural world, so students can explore their creativity while learning something new,” said KIPP Lanning Square Primary art teacher Michelle Jones. Student photographers Albert Lopez & Jordyn Conaway from KIPP BOLD Academy
By Wynter Stokely, KIPP BOLD Academy 8th grader One of our KIPP Lanning Square Primary second grade students painted this piece, a copy of the famous painting, Funeral Procession by renowned African American painter Ellis Wilson.
A portrait of KIPP BOLD Academy 5th grader Taylor Lovelace, by 5th grader Noelani Bunion
Our second through fourth grade scholars painted turtles as part of their focus on the environment and sea creatures. The students learned how to use oil pastels!
KIPP New Jersey Stands With Our Communities WE’VE ALWAYS BEEN CO M M I TT ED TO SU P P O RTI N G OUR T EA M A ND FAMILY—AND I T’S N EV ER B EEN SO I MPO RTA N T.
hen Coronavirus (COVID-19) arrived in the U.S late this January, our community came together immediately to help each other stay healthy—and continue learning.
But even before COVID-19, our schools have shared a commitment to giving back to communities in Camden and Newark. Learn more below about how our students and teachers joined together this school year to impact change in their neighborhoods—and how we continued to work together to support student learning and health in the wake of COVID-19. From checking in on academic mastery through FaceTime calls with their teachers, to hosting canned food drives—our scholars are learning first-hand the importance of working together when times get hard.
KIPP Whittier Middle’s Girl Scout Troop worked hard to support several great organizations with the guidance of math teacher Mercedes Telly! • In the fall of 2019, the girls attended the Greater Philly Breast Cancer Walk that took place right in Camden at the Cooper River Park. (Photo at right) • On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, they visited St. John’s Baptist Church and helped other community members pack lunches for senior citizens and the homeless. (Photo below) • They created baby blankets for a February baby shower hosted at ‘The Neighborhood Center,’ a local women’s shelter. (Photo at left)
KIPP Lanning Square Middle School also supported our community in Camden… • ‘The Cadre,’ KIPP Lanning Square Middle’s student leadership committee, gathered toiletries and donated care packages to Joseph House, a local shelter. Each homeroom was assigned a product to bring and scholars collected them from each classroom daily—with a reward for the class that brought in the most supplies. Cadre members then created care packages which were driven directly to the shelter and distributed! • At a Saturday School in March, students completed a neighborhood cleanup. Each team was given a specific route and map of where to work—some scholars went to local parks and cleaned up litter and yard waste. Sixth graders worked with the Lanning Square West Residents Association to plant flowers at a local park! • Fifth grade scholars made homemade dog treats out of pumpkin and oats for the dogs at the Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center.
KIPP Seek Academy hosted a holiday coat drive last December
A M I RA A N D REWS Whittier Sixth-Grader
Seek Students receive haircuts at a local barbershop—while being read to by their teachers!
KIPP Seek Academy and KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy put Newark in the spotlight for community service this year. AT K IP P S E E K ACA D EMY. . . • First-grade teacher Christine Romanos wanted to bring together students and families to serve the community—and get to know each other at the same time. They organized a Thanksgiving food drive where teachers and students made sandwiches and collected canned goods. First-grade teacher Ms. Eason reached out to Newark-based chef Samad Phelps, who made soup and dessert. The canned goods, sandwiches, soup, and dessert were then distributed to anyone in need in the community. At Christmas, the school came together again to organize a coat drive to keep families warm through the winter. • The school established a ‘Snack Shack’ which sold snacks and drinks during dismissal on Wednesdays—with all proceeds used to pay off outstanding lunch balances from the Seek Academy community families! • Students received free haircuts at a local barbershop—while their teachers read them a book! The result was a love of reading—and lots of attention for a local business. AT K IP P NE WA RK CO L L EGIATE ACAD EMY… • Community service became a graduation requirement for students this year—a reflection of the fact that service is a part of our DNA as at KIPP NJ! Latoya Gadsden headed up a Saturday School service day event where students partnered with the American Jump Rope for Heart Foundation. Students jumped rope in their advisory for 10 minutes each day while learning about heart health—and at one Saturday school, students came together for a jump rope competition led by KIPP NCA’s student athlete leaders, a teacher vs. student volleyball game, and an award ceremony. “The event made me realize that students need to see that community service is not always a daunting experience—it can be fun and rewarding,” said Gadsden. 16
What I like about community service is helping the community and making a change in the world so we can make it a better place!
KIPP NCA students jump rope to raise awareness for heart health through the American Jump Rope for Heart Foundation!
A Thanksgiving feast for the community at KIPP Seek Academy!
KIPP Lanning Square Primary' teacher Ms. Nelms FaceTimes with a student after the school building closures.
KIPP SPARK Academy encouraged families to participate in a dance party via Instagram Live with DJ G Wiz (aka SPARK Assistant Principal Glenn Wright!).
Who said you can't learn math via Instagram? KIPP Upper Roseville Academy posted word problems for students and parents—and shared their responses via Stories.
Our students joined with KIPPsters across the country to keep their curiosity for science alive with challenges like this one!
When it became clear the COVID-19 was a serious threat to public health—KIPP NJ partnered with families to make sure our community was doing its part to flatten the curve—and keep students learning! In the first two weeks of remote learning, we deployed 5,000 laptops, more than 10,400 meals—and teachers spent over 8,000 hours on the phone coaching students. Our alumni were also impacted and many required alternative housing, laptops to continue online learning, transportation back home, books, and even food. Our KIPP Through College Team stepped up to provide our alumni what they needed to continue their journey to and through college.
KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy's Spanish Department connected with one another— and stood by our Spanish language-learners!
Here are some practical and creative social media highlights from our early adventures in remote learning.
#readbabyread: Grateful to teachers like Ms. Blommestein at KIPP SPARK Academy who performed Read-Alouds on Instagram to help our scholars stay avid readers while they learned remotely!
Clearly, our KIPP THRIVE Academy teachers missed these faces!
We distributed learning packets to hundreds of families—and needed some help from our staff! 17
Read, Baby, Read
B O OKS TO K E EP YOU R FA MI LY R E ADING A L L SU MMER! f you know KIPP New Jersey, you know we’re big on reading. We even track the number of words our students read— and many achieve ‘millionaire’ reader status by the end of the school year.
That love of reading doesn’t stop when summer break starts. Below, we’ve compiled reading recommendations from members of our team and family— including recommendations from our students! These picks for adults and children are sure to entertain and inspire. Enjoy!
STUDENT R ECOMMENDATI ON
You're All Kinds of Wonderful by Nancy Tillman Reviewer: Lindsey Abesh, Teacher School: KIPP Lanning Square Primary Review: Author and illustrator Nancy Tillman uses her talents to celebrate the uniqueness of every single child. Unlike most texts of its kind, Tilllman features a diverse cast of young children, including a child with a developmental disability. This beautiful picture book teaches all children to view their differences as strengths and encourages each individual to be proud of who they are. AD ULT R ECOMMENDATI ON
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid Reviewer: Chalandrea Fields, Teacher School: KIPP Lanning Square Primary Review: Set in Philadelphia, Such a Fun Age examines the aftermath of a racist incident that went viral on the internet from the perspective of the young black woman who was the victim and explores the intersectionality between race and class. This is a great read for anyone who has ever wondered how the people involved in similar incidents that go viral feel and react.
ST U DE NT RECO M MEN DATIO N
A DULT R ECOMMENDATI ON
New Kid by Jerry Craft
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng Reviewer: Julianne Barto, English Teacher School: KIPP Whittier Middle Review: This 2020 Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award winning graphic novel is a favorite among all Whittier students. It is a story that explores what it means to be new at a school where very few people share your race or are from your neighborhood.
The Last-Last-Day-Of-Summer by Lamar Giles Reviewer: Julianne Barto, English Teacher School: KIPP Whittier Middle Review: Giles provides readers with the ultimate summer story of two brothers who have to set aside their differences in order to save their town from mysterious creatures. This middle grade novel is a fun book for adventure seekers.
Reviewer: Nick Lisciandro, English Teacher School: KIPP Lanning Square Middle Review: Is there anything you wouldn't do for your child? This book explores this question and so much more in a way that will make you tell yourself, "just one more chapter." What starts out as a quiet story of an idyllic family renting a home to a mother and daughter soon turns into an expose of the lives and identities of every character. From a mother trying to do what is best for her daughter, to an isolated girl trapped in what seems like the perfect family, there is no identity that goes unbroached. Readers quickly learn that some secrets weigh more than others, and that identity is hard to capture if you don't know where to look. BONUS: Hulu recently adapted this novel into a mini-series starting Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon. 19
MONASIA GOODS KIPP Schools Attended: KIPP TEAM Academy KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy
College and Graduation Year: Virginia State University, Class of 2020
Major/Area of Study: Criminal Justice, Social Work minor
What academic or extracurricular passions do you have today that began during your time at KIPP NJ? KIPP NJ helped me become a leader â&#x20AC;&#x201D;I carried the lessons from my involvement with student life activities at KIPP NCA to Virginia State University, where I was a Resident Assistant and the Secretary of The T.R.U.E. Foundation Inc. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a mentoring organization on VSU campus.
TYRA E. ASBERRY
DAGE GIRAULT ALBERT
KIPP Schools Attended: KIPP TEAM Academy and KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy
KIPP Schools Attended:
College and Graduation Year: Ramapo College of New Jersey, Class of 2021
KIPP Rise Academy KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy
Major/Area of Study:
College and Graduation Year:
Psychology w/ Minor in Crime and Justice Studies
Lycoming College, Class of 2017
What did you learn at KIPP NJ that you still use today?
Major/Area of Study:
I learned that if we want to see change in our cities within our communities, we must be the change we want to see. This means that we need to do whatever is necessary to become the leaders who will make that same change in the community in the near future. This idea of "be the change" is what keeps me motivated in college and persevering through any obstacles that I face daily, because not only am I doing this for myself, but also to be an inspiration for the youth in Newark who are coming from the same community I came from.
KIPP NJ also models what it means to be in a community. My KTC counselor Ms. Arlea-Francois has been a great help during the Coronavirus outbreak. She has consistently checked in with me by texting me and emailing me offering remote support and resources to assist me.
What advice would you give to current KIPPSters in our schools? The advice I would give to KIPPsters is to make the most of the opportunities KIPP gives you because it could end up helping you in the long run. For example, with the support of the KTC Career Team, I interned for the KIPP Foundation in San Francisco, where I was a part of the Research and Evaluation team.
KIPP Schools Attended: KIPP TEAM Academy and KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy
College and Graduation Year: Seton Hall University, Class of 2021
Major/Area of Study: Nursing
What have you enjoyed the most about your college experience? My favorite part of college is independence. College gives everyone a lot of room to grow as a person without hand-holding. College teaches you which strategies help you to learn best and which strategies help you to effectively study. College also leaves room for recreational activities, which also gives you time and space to make friends and meet new people.
KIPP School Attended:
T’SHAWNA S. N. TECHEIRA
KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy
KIPP School Attended:
KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy
Lincoln Technical Institute, Class of 2020
Major/Area of Study:
Hudson County Community College
Major/Area of Study:
How has KIPP Through College and/or Career Persistence Team supported your success after graduation?
Legends Catering Company
How has KIPP Through College and/or Career Persistence Team supported your success after graduation?
Consistently meeting with me when I needed support with anything. When I was still at school I never needed to ask them for help—because they were always on top of it! KTC connected me with Finkle Trucking—and the program I attend at Lincoln Technical Institute.
After graduation, my go-to school was Culinary Institute of America, but I encountered a hard situation that made applying difficult. Then I remembered that I could rely on my counselor Ms. Extavour— she took her time and had so much patience with my situation and helped ensure that I could attend school in fall of 2018 at Hudson County Community College, which is where my journey to study culinary arts began!
TASHIR DAVION BYERS
In light of the COVID-19 crisis, we remind KIPP families that if they are in need of services or food, or have been in close contact with someone affected by COVID-19 they should call 856-295-1999. NJ Mental Health Cares has established a hotline for people dealing with anxiety related to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Call 1-866-202-HELP (4357) for free, confidential support. Calls will be answered from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week by live trained specialists. Have general COVID-19 questions? The NJ Poison Control Center and 211 have partnered with the State to provide information to the Public on COVID-19: Call: 2-1-1 Call (24/7): 1-800-962-1253 Text: NJCOVID to 898-211 Text: Your zip code to 898-211 for live text assistance 22
Camden Family Resources FAMILY S U P P O RT Promise Neighborhood Family Support Team @ KIPP Contact: Erin Kucinski | 609-315-8363, firstname.lastname@example.org Resources Available: Housing assistance, emergency assistance, mental health services, family counseling, support connecting families with resources
St. Joseph Carpenter Society
856-966-8117 | www.sjcscamden.org Resources Available: Home repairs, home buying counseling, homes for sale
JOB TRA I NI NG Hopeworks
877-569-0350 Kinship Navigator supports caregivers who have taken on the responsibility of caring for their relatives’ children.
808 Market St 3rd floor, Camden, NJ 08102 www.hopeworks.org Resources Available: Job training for teenagers and young adults in technology
FOOD Hope Mobile food distributions
LEGA L A I D South Jersey Legal Services
Philly Food Rescue food distributions
MENTA L HEA LTH PerformCare
Philabundance Food BackPack program
Center for Family Services
Take place the third Wednesday of every month from 8-11am in the KIPP Lanning Square gym Food available for all KIPP families and all residents of Cooper Plaza and Lanning Square Take place every Tuesday from 4:00-4:30 outside the KIPP Lanning Square main entrance “Rescued” food from grocery stores available for all KIPP and Head Start families Takes place the 4th Monday of the month at KIPP Lanning Square Bag of food sent home with all KIPP students. Begins March 2019.
H E A LT H Cooper Health Center @ KIPP Lanning Square
856-536-1511 Open every day from 9:00am-3:00pm Full-service health center, available to all KIPP and Head Start families Resources Available: Sick visits, well visits, physicals, immunizations, referrals to specialty care
Gracious Smiles Dentistry
609-744-1200 | email@example.com Full-service dentist every week at both KIPP Lanning Square and KIPP Whittier Resources Available: Dental check-ups, cavities/toothaches, advanced dental needs
H OUS I NG A ND H O M E SERVIC ES Catholic Charities Emergency
856-964-2010 | www.lsnj.org/sjls/ Resources Available: Legal services for non-criminal cases (evictions, housing, public benefits, etc.)
877-652-7624 | www.performcarenj.org State-wide system Resources Available: Phone interview with parent for immediate services, evaluations, psychiatric care, children’s mobile response programs 877-922-2377 | www.centerffs.org Various Locations Resources Available: Intensive family therapy; Individual, group and family counseling; Grief and traumatic loss counseling; Structured intervention for traumatized children, adolescents, and families; Teenage support groups
TRA NS P ORTATI ON S ERVI CES LogistiCare
866-527-9934 Resources Available: Free transportation to and from medical appointments for Medicaid participants
W I FI ACCESS Spectrum
Free wifi to students who are without it
Two month free internet package
856-342-4100 Resources Available: Housing assistance program, electric bill assistance, rental assistance programs, veteran housing services, matched savings program (for first-time home buyers), disaster response 23
Know someone interested in enrolling their child in a KIPP school in Camden? Tell them to call 856-295-2988 or visit KIPPNJ.org today!