Last Friday, third graders from Ms. Larson's 3rd grade class went to the home of poet Langston Hughes. They stood on the steps of the building on 127th Street, and recited his poem, "Mother to Son." Click here to see the students' video.
Mother to Son
by Langston Hughes
Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor--
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now--
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
The Storefront's Artist in Residence / Art Teacher Matthias Leutrum is going to be showing new works at the A.P.E. Ltd. Gallery in Northampton, MA later this month. The exhibition, entitled Roofing Tar Paintings, will be on display from April 9-28. This is Mr. Leutrum's second exhibition at the gallery, and it's the same gallery which featured Storefront student artists last spring.
The inspiration to create the paintings came to Mr. Leutrum by surplus roofing tar and plywood that was left by a contractor at his studio. "I decided to spackle the tar onto the rugged surface of the plywood and go at it with brushes and paint."
Mr. Leutrum has been teaching at the Storefront for almost 15 years. We are so fortunate to have such a talented artist as part of our school family.
On Thursday, March 14, 2013, the Men's and Women's Mentoring Groups of The Children's Storefront held The Student Art Exhibit and Cocktail Reception, generously hosted by Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliff, LLP. The evening featured photos and paintings created by seventh and eighth graders, under the direction of Artist in Residence Matthias Leutrum. Women's Mentoring leaders are Penny Owen, Amanda Low and Donna Cephas. Michael Williams and Maurice Lucas lead the Men's Mentors.
Penny Owen was honored for her tireless work for the Storefront Mentoring Program, which offers experiences that inspire our students to succeed in their lives outside the school. Student artists were also on hand to describe the inspiration and creative processes for their works, which were sold to benefit the school. We are grateful to our trustees, administration, faculty, parents, and patrons who came out to support our young people's creativity.
Student artists with Artist in Residence Matthias Leutrum, Head of School Wendy Reynoso and Assistant Head of School Michael Williams.
Student with his painting.
Honoree Penny Owen, Michael Williams and students.
Trustee Elsie Aidinoff with student.
Alumnus Roman Lawson visited the Storefront yesterday. After graduating in 2007, he went on to the Eagle Academy for Young Men in the Bronx. He is currently attending Howard University, majoring in Legal Communications.
"It's a pre-law track, without having to be in political science. I wanted to be in communications for networking reasons," Lawson said.
He credits the Storefront for preparing him for higher education. "A lot of things I learned here, books I read, it still carries over. I didn't realize how rigorous the classwork was here until after I left."
For current Storefront students, he has this advice: "Pay attention to what teachers are telling you. And read as much as you can!"
Roman Lawson is very appreciative of the educational foundation that the Storefront provided. He's set to graduate from Howard in 2016.
The Storefront recently received a generous donation from a parent. She went around to everyone in her office and asked for a contribution, however small, to help out our school. We're so fortunate to have such a kind and thoughtful parent in our community.
Also, we received a donation from a neighbor on 129th Street. He said, "This is a thank you for putting up holiday lights. It makes our block nicer and makes it fun for kids who live on our block." Shout out to Alex Castro and his staff for making our block more merry at holidaytime.
As part of the Annual Morgan Stanley Black History Month Event, volunteers from the company visited the Storefront yesterday to assist with an afterschool activity focusing on African-Americans in History. Second and third grade students, with help from the volunteers, researched important African-Americans from sports, entertainment, science, literature and politics. The students then wrote about and drew pictures of these figures, so vital to our American chronology. Morgan Stanley also generously provided pizza and drinks. Thanks to Cluster 1 Leader Ms. Schmidt for organizing the activity, and the help of assistant kindergarten teacher Ms. Hansen.
Storefront 5th and 7th graders in Mr. Brenner's math class created terrific board games. The students were assigned to create a game that included a minimum of 40 relevant math problems, build and decorate the board, and include typed rules/directions/instructions. Some students worked with a partner and some created a game on their own, but they all did a great job!
Seventh and eighth grade Language Enrichment classes have just finished reading Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah. They discussed the advent of colonialism in Africa and its impact on contemporary African politics.
Storefront Alumni Houreidja Tall visited the class to make a presentation about the recent insurgency in Mali led by Islamic fundamentalists.
Houreidja graduated from the Storefront in 2007. She went on to Dalton for high school, and she is currently attending Eugene Lang/The New School. She is pictured here with her brothers Hella (8th grade) and Ibnou (7th grade).
Our second graders have been learning about Twitter. They've been creating 'tweets' and posting them up on the wall outside the classroom. The project allows our students the freedom to express themselves without having to worry about 'proper' sentences. Also, it gives them an outlet to post thoughts about things they are learning, what is happening in school, or anything else they find important to share.
Lead by Humanities Teacher Candace Cardwell, our 6th graders have been studying gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt. Each student was assigned an Egyptian God or Goddess to research. They used "key questions" to guide their research. The study concluded with each student giving an oral presentation, complete with visual aids.