Local education from the perspective of citizens and students
Tallmadge Middle School students splash into the Philippines with guest speaker
(Editor's note: the following article is provided by a group of student community reporters from Tallmadge Middle School as part of the Akron International Friendship's Know Your World, Know Your Community project, which explores local and global diversity with area sixth-graders. On March 19, the students were visited by University of Akron Graduate student Leandro Venturia, an international student from the Philippines. While at the school he talked about life in the Philippines and shared facts about the country. After the presentation the TMS student reporters asked Leandro a few questions.)
If I were to visit the Philippines, what sites would I want to make sure not to miss?
Manila Bay, because it has what many say is the most beautiful and perfect sunset in the world. Also, I recommend the many beaches. There are white and black sand beaches and with over 7,000 separate islands that make up the Philippines, you have plenty of choices.
What do you miss about the Philippines?
I miss the warm tropical weather.
Ohio Distance and Electronic Learning Academy (OHDELA) students were busy this winter improving their math skills and raising funds for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
OHDELA's National Junior Honor Society hosted a Math-A-Thon for students in kindergarten through eighth grade during January and February. The students who participated got sponsors in anticipation of completing a math "funbook" specific to the student's grade level. Once they completed the math "funbook," they collected their donations with prizes awarded to the top three fundraisers.
According to Jaeda Dancy, OHDELA student support coordinator, the school's goal was to raise $1,000 and the final amount raised was $3,869.
The University of Akron will host two interactive summer camps designed to give teenage girls a glimpse at engineering professions and a head start on a possible career path.
SEE UA! camp, which takes place June 9 - June 14, immerses high school-age girls in biomedical, civil, chemical, electrical, and mechanical engineering. Students will work as teammates on design projects such as programming an LED display to function similarly to an LED scoreboard. Campers live in campus residence halls where UA upper-class engineering students serve as residence assistants. A day camp option also is available.
(Editor's note: the following article is provided by a group of student community reporters from Tallmadge Middle School as part of the Akron International Friendship's Know Your World, Know Your Community project, which explores local and global diversity with area sixth-graders. This report is a profile of visitors from the Ukraine, including Viktoriya Viktorivna Baltser, Vitaliy Mykolayovych Kravchuk, and Viktor Oleksiyovych Kvasov.)
What is it like to attend school in the Ukraine for students our age (6th grade)?
School is about the same with the same type of classes. Students attend school Monday through Friday. The day begins at 9 a.m. with a 45-minute long break that follows morning classes. For lunch you can either bring your own lunch or there is a buffet to choose from. The day ends at 1 or 2 p.m.
What type of government do you have? What do you like about this type of government?
They have similar laws in the Ukraine. There are 450 representatives in their parliamentary democratic government. Like the United States, their laws apply throughout the country.
(Editor's note: the following article is provided by a group of student community reporters as part of the Akron International Friendship's Know Your World, Know Your Community project, which explores local and global diversity with area sixth-graders. This report is a profile of Maysam Sodagari, from Iran, and was researched and written by student reporters from Tallmadge Middle School.)
How is school in Iran similar and different to school in the United States?
In Iran 7:30 a.m. is when my school day starts. Five hours later at 12:30 p.m. my day is over. I liked school because I was smart, even though we spent the whole day listening to teachers with occasional breaks between lectures. There was also one school for boys and one for girls.
What sports are played in Iran?
Soccer and wrestling are the main sports played. I have attended a couple of national soccer games myself.
What is your favorite food here in America?
In many ways, our culture is one of enlightenment and sophistication, but our behavior and beliefs regarding race still tether some of us back to an insidious past. Whether it’s in the workplace, in public or through social media, race-related challenges are alive and well.
Throughout the first half of February, The University of Akron will offer a way for students and community members to discuss race-related issues in a constructive forum that includes keynote speakers, face-to-face conversations, a film festival and a kiosk where users can literally see themselves in someone else’s skin.
“Rethinking Race: Black, White and Beyond” takes place from Feb. 1 through 15, and offers dozens of opportunities for the community to participate in a vital conversation about an issue that is as old as our country. The event also offers a number of different angles – whether academic, historical or artistic – from a number of different vantage points.
The University of Akron's "Pay it Forward" service-learning/philanthropy project – funded by United Way of Summit County – was used in the Legal Minefields of Entrepreneurism, a class offered jointly for students in Akron's law school and MBA school.
Six student groups competed for the $2,000 grant. The student group who delivered the best presentation (advocating for the nonprofit they represent) won the grant. Judging the student projects were Judge Eve Belfance, Paul Perantinides (attorney), and Roger Read (philanthropist).
After hearing all the presentations, the judges made the difficult decision to award the $2,000 to Child Guidance and Family Solutions, a United Way affiliated agency. This team was led by School of Law students Lewis Bennett, Christian Gruner-Vazquez, Kenneth Bailey, and CBA student Kelly Loebick-Frasella. The winning team highlighted Child Guidance's "sandplay therapy" room at their new building.
They came, they saw and they ate. Parents, families and community members were out in big numbers to enjoy themselves and become politically educated at Pancake Day at Buchtel High School CLRC (Community Learning Resource Center) on Saturday. The event was open to the public as many community organizations and several political candidates came out to engage the citizens.
Among the VIP's were Vernon Sykes, (D) House of Representatives 44th district since 2007, Senator Tom Sawyer (D) who represents the 28th Senate District, judge Elinore Marsh Stormer, mayor Don Plusquellic, and City Council President Marco Sommerville. Several issues on this year's ballot were discussed such as Summit County Issue no. 73 is a 2.25 million renewal of a levy that cost homeowners of $100K or more about $69 a year, and is not a new tax. The tax provides 60 percent of Summit County Children's Services operating funds. Akron Municipal ballot issue 3 brings a six year old proposal that was rejected by voters, increasing the terms of ward council members from two to four years.
North Akron Life Skills will present a Back to School Bash this Thursday, offering a free festival for the community.
The Oct. 4 celebration takes place noon to 3 p.m. at 1458 Brittain Road in Akron, and includes free food and drinks, raffles for gift cards and other prizes, as well as a sticky wall and video game truck. Additionally, DJ Smoov will provide entertainment.
"We are inviting all students, their families, and anyone else in the community to come and participate – free of charge," said Steve Garton, administrator of Life Skills Center of North Akron. "We are trying to build connections to our neighborhoods and be more active than we have ever been in our community."
A recent youth violence forum at Buchtel High School began with video clips from a popular website that featured young people in various stages of fighting. And the images were met with laughs and cheers from the students, which spoke volumes about the role that the media plays in glorifying teen violence.
But by the end of the event, the students' raucous behavior transitioned to polite applause, as the panelists pointed out just how detrimental media depictions are to them, especially urban youth.
"There are executives basing shows off of our misery and our issues," said Dr. Zachery Williams, an associate professor of history at The University of Akron and one of the guests of the Youth Violence Forum, hosted by Keepers of the Art. While media like TV shows and websites make money off of these violent images, the profits are typically not funneled back into the community, said Williams, who added that urban youth are getting the worst part of this deal. "Instead of laughing at (our problems), we have to face them and deal with them, because they won't go away."
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