Friday, April 28, 2017

Students of the Week 4-24-17

Favorite radio station: WAMO 
Favorite type of music: Unsure!
Favorite Music Artist/Singer: Michael Jackson
Favorite Song: Speed Demon
If you were to write a song, what would it be about? My family
Would your song be fast or slow? Slow
Would your song be happy or sad? Happy
What would the title of your song be? I love my family


Favorite radio station: 96.1
Favorite type of music: pop & rap
Favorite Music Artist/Singer: JI Machine
Favorite Song: Down to the Bone
If you were to write a song, what would it be about? life
Would your song be fast or slow? fast
Would your song be happy or sad? happy
What would the title of your song be? All About Life

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Our Public Source Field Trip

Hello blog followers, we are pleased to present to you our fantastic field trip to local non-profit newsroom agency, Public Source. Public source values itself on taking a community based approach to news reporting, with an emphasis on data analysis. 

Public Source came to visit our center a couple weeks ago to film a mini-doc series on black girlhood, featuring one of our 5th graders Keliyah! You can watch her video here:

The staff at Public Source opened their doors to us this Monday, as we walked the couple short blocks over to them on Warrington Avenue. They were all extremely courteous and open to our student's many questions about what it means to work in a newsroom. Our students were excited to learn about journalism and the many other multi-faceted jobs and aspects to running such a publishing organization. 

Our students felt much like journalists themselves as they rotated around the small, but busy facility, asking the staff about what they do and their journey's to arrive there. Pubic Source has been in Allentown for less than a year, and their staff come from a variety of perspectives. 

Positions that our kids were able to explore in this trip included but were not limited to- editors of the written and graphic variety, journalists, their intern, photographer, and their executive director. They were also exposed to concepts like data and ways to present it, such as in a map of shootings across the city, and new technology to display video across 360 degrees. 

See some video one of our student's put together during our tour below:

We want to thank our friends at Public Source for sharing their work and time with us, and the meaningful conversations! Reporting that uplifts and focuses on the voices of local communities is important and needed, and was very rewarding for our students to learn about.

In service, 


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sensational Students of the Week- 4-17-17

Favorite radio station: Disney
Favorite type of music: 679
Favorite Music Artist/Singer: Beyonce
Favorite Song: 679 trap queen
If you were to write a song, what would it be about? trap queen
Would your song be fast or slow? slow
Would your song be happy or sad? happy
What would the title of your song be? trap queen


Favorite radio station: 21 Savage
Favorite type of music: rap songs
Favorite Music Artist/Singer: 21 Savage
Favorite Song: No hearts
If you were to write a song, what would it be about? 21 savage or Nickey
Would your song be fast or slow? fast & slow
Would your song be happy or sad? happy
What would the title of your song be? No hearts

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Riding Bikes with Venture Outdoors

We are excited to share with you our first biking adventure of the year (thanks to Venture Outdoors)!  Before we began, we headed up the hill to one of our favorite spots, Grandview Park!  Shane tried on Mr. Ken's sunglasses; lookin' fresh!

When we arrived to the park, the students helped set up the obstacle course.  They loved getting creative with cones and oars! Before riding bikes it was a must to review bike safety.  Helmets should be worn while sitting on a bike, even if you aren't riding.  Our friends at Venture Outdoors gave each student a helmet.  Shane and Edwin posed for a picture before we got started =)

Then it was time to ride!  Since we had two bikes, our four students took turns. Setting up the obstacle course was a great opportunity to enhance our team work.

We are proud of Edwin for getting on a bike for a crash course in riding.  He did a great job listening to Mr. Ken's directions and can't wait for his next chance to ride.  Great job, Edwin!

Stay tuned for more fun with Venture Outdoors, including our summer camp this July and August!

Opt Outside!
- Anna

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Photographic Journey with Mr. Haggerty!

Hello, blogger enthusiasts- as you know, we involve our students with much civic and community involvement. This week, we were lucky to have the opportunity to learn some local history from an expert.

Ryan Haggerty, a professional photographer, videographer and Digital Media Producer at Work Hard PGH came to visit our center this past Wednesday. The class began with a slideshow of a collection of photographs encapsulating this area of Pittsburgh. Our students were thrilled to see pictures representing their very own neighborhoods, here in the Hilltop, from different eras in time. They were challenged to guess which areas of town they were being shown!

After some history and background, our students learned some basic map skills. Being able to follow a map and decipher local landmarks will be important for our next visit with Mr. Haggerty!

Stay tuned to see what comes next!

Keep exploring, 


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Night at the Opera!

At the end of March, a group of our staff and students were privileged to attend Turandot, the Opera, through Opera Connections- which connects local families and their children to this brilliant art form!

Before our big trip, Marilyn Eagin was kind enough to visit us during our Family Fun Night to give us some background on this fascinating story.

Students and their families were accompanied by our Education Coordinator, Maggie Negrete, to the classic tale of Turandot- an Italian story written in three parts. In this story, the ill-fated Prince Calaf has the misfortune of falling in love with the disinterested princess Turandot. He must solve three riddles to win her affections and hand in marriage, but will she be receptive to his devotion?

Since Turandot is set in China, we introduced our young friends to the Chinese art of Opera in Beijing, or Peking Opera! This highly expressive and stylistic form of Opera involves symbolic masks. We had so much fun exploring these masks and creating some of our own! 

Our students felt very inspired after their Opera excursion, even those who did not attend. The dramatic arts seem to have a ripple effect in such a way. We encourage all who have the opportunity to engage in local art and culture, you may be surprised by what you find! 

Onto the next act, 


Monday, April 10, 2017

Chemical Reactions with Balloons!

Ms. Anna's room focused on chemical reactions for this science lesson!  It involved baking soda vinegar, a 2 liter bottle, and a balloon.  Can you guess what happened?!  Keep reading to find out!

 Before we dived into the wacky world of science we had to explore new vocabulary words.  In this experiment, understanding the difference between a chemical reaction versus a physical reaction was crucial. 

Our reactants in this experiment were baking soda and vinegar.  I asked the students, "What do you think will happen when we combine these reactants?  Is it a physical or chemical change"?  Some said it will fizz, others said it will explode!  This experiment was a chemical change due to the forming of a new substance between our reactants; carbon dioxide.  After writing our hypotheses, we decided to test it out.

One thing our students love to do is help out the teachers; especially when it involves science.  Shane filled our 2 liter bottle with about 3 C vinegar.  We decided to add more to see if we could get a bigger chemical reaction.  Zechariah then scooped about 1/4 C baking soda into a balloon while I held it open and stretched it over the mouth of the bottle, being careful not to let any spill into our vinegar.  

Then it was time for the big reveal!

After viewing our chemical reaction, the students suggested we go outside to see what would happen when the balloon is removed, but not before we took a cool group selfie in our green playce!

Azare flipped the bottle upside down and back again to see how strong the elasticity was.  The other students watched excitedly, unsure if it was about to pop!

Stay tuned for more sensational science lessons!

Full S.T.E.A.M. ahead!
- Anna


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