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New York City
February 2002

We Honor African-Americans
Mike Jarvis:
St. John’s Basketball Coach
By M.C. Cohen
Mike Jarvis believes in education. Just listen in on one of his press conferences after a St. John’s basketball game. Win or lose, Jarvis never fails to mention that a basketball arena is just another type of classroom and that an educational experience just took place. (more)

In Memoriam:
Clarence G. Robinson, MD
By Herman Rosen, M.D.
I was fortunate to have been closely associated with Dr. Robinson for many years, working with him on many of his endeavors. I recall fondly spending time with him at New York Police Department events at Rodman’s Neck and seeing his delighted face at a surprise 75th birthday party his family planned for him. Dr. Robinson had a smile and a friendly hello for everyone and everyone responded in kind. (more)

Sylvia Woods: The Queen of Soul Food By Marylena Mantas
Growing up as an only child in Hemingway, South Carolina, Sylvia Woods, owner of the renowned Sylvia’s restaurant in Harlem, would break candy into several pieces and give it to the neighborhood children in exchange for playing with her. Her childish actions indicate that from early days, Sylvia possessed those qualities that later helped her pave the way to success: determination, business orientation and adoration for good company. (more)

Sheila Evans-Tranumn:
Associate Commissioner of Education
By Joan Baum, Ph.D.
An interview with Sheila Evans-Tranumn, Associate Commissioner for the New York State Education Department and a New Yorker with solid roots in the public school system, could not be more timely. The big word in her challenging professional life is “accountability” – the very “A” word Mayor Mike Bloomberg was invoking in his annual address on the state of the city on January 30th. “We must have mayoral accountability in education,” he said, adding that his interest is “not about power. (more)

Beverly Withers:
One Woman’s Journey To The Opera
By Marie Holmes
Beverly Withers, a soprano in the Metropolitan Opera Chorus, has been making music for as long as she can remember. She began taking piano lessons at the age of seven, and “practicing was always a delight.” Since the piano stood in the family living room, well within everyone’s earshot, Withers’ family often had to force her to stop practicing. “I actually remember the day that they had to peel me off the piano bench,” jokes Withers. Her love of music soon blossomed into what Withers herself describes as a “driving, relentless urge to sing.” (more)

Marian Wright Edelman: Children’s Advocate By Pola Rosen, Ed.D.
Growing up in a family of 12 foster children tended to by her nurturing mother and minister father, Marian had to care about children. Her role as child advocate par excellence for the past 25 years has finally culminated in the landmark comprehensive legislation Leave No Child Behind. Both New York senators are behind it as are 80 House co-sponsors. There is still much work to be done before passage. The bill focuses on childcare and health care. “There are 12 million children living in poverty and 80 percent live with working parents that have no child care. There is no reason for that in the richest nation in the world,” Wright avers forcefully. She adds, “Bush is using words but not putting the dollars behind the words.” (more)

Teachers Gather to Learn High-Tech Methods
at Thirteen/WNET National Teacher Training Institute
Approximately 225 educators from across New York City gathered at the Jamaica Learning Center/Auxiliary Services for High Schools Institute in Queens to turn stagnant two-dimensional lesson plans into fully engaging learning experiences with the click of a mouse or remote control. Adding the web and video to formulaic standards-based lessons is part of Thirteen/WNET NewYork’s National Teacher Training Institute (NTTI). The Institute aims to use methodology in a segmented, interactive way to engage students and create enthusiasm. Lessons on the flat pages of a book take on a whole new dimension when viewed on video or investigated on the Internet. (more)

US Poet Laureate Launches Project to Encourage Poetry in High Schools
US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, has launched Poetry 180, a new website designed to encourage the appreciation and enjoyment of poetry in high schools around the country. The site, www.loc.gov/poetry/180, is featured on the Library of Congress’s home page. The Poet Laureateship is an appointed office within the Library of Congress’s Scholarly Programs Office. (more)

From Horror to Hope By Matilda Raffa Cuomo
In the wake of September 11, the children of New York City need, more than ever, to gain an understanding of other children’s cultures. Structured mentoring programs, like Mentoring USA, provide an ideal opportunity for children to learn about diversity from their mentors. Mentoring USA has made a special offer to counsel all participants in its program on how to best deal with the tragedy, in part by using it as a platform upon which to discuss the importance of tolerance and peaceful resolution. (more)

Inside District 15 with Superintendent Carmen Fariña
“A District That Is Really Moving” By Marylena Mantas
On the first Tuesday of every month, parents and educators of Community School District 15 gather at local restaurants and dine together. The “dinner date” initiative, launched to support local businesses and the district’s public school system, which receives a percentage of the proceeds, has become possible after months of systematic meetings seeking to open the lines of communication among members of the district. (more)

Student Journalist
Private Profits, Public Lands:
Old-Growth Logging on National Forests
By Sera Bilezikyan
Only four percent of old-growth forests remain standing in the Northwestern United States. Old-growth trees are defined as being at least 32 inches in diameter, and ranging in age from 200 to 1000 years old. Despite the fact that many ancient forests are on public lands, these majestic trees are in immediate danger of being logged. (more)

It is Time to Reexamine the Responsibilities
of Supervisors & Administrators
By Jill Levy
“You’ve got mail!” or some other signal on the computer demands your immediate attention. An entire ream of paper lies at the foot of the fax machine. The mailman has left what appears to be his entire mailbag in your office. If you are lucky enough to have several phone lines, they have not stopped ringing since your arrival. Students, parents, teachers, and other staff members are lined up at your door competing for your undivided attention and the school day hasn’t even officially started. Welcome to the world of the principal and the assistant principal. (more)

AOL, Bank Street, UFT & NYU Help New Educators By Pola Rosen, Ed.D.
Judith Rizzo, Deputy Schools Chancellor, recently spoke at “The New Educator Support Team” (NEST) event, launched by a collaboration of AOL, the Bank Street College of Education, the UFT and New York University to ensure the success of new teachers. (more)

Teachers College Holds a Teach-In for Educators By Bruce Myint
New York public school teachers face tough challenges in the wake of the September 11th attacks. Their task: to help young people face the complicated issues surrounding 9/11 while promoting cross cultural awareness and understanding. It is a difficult undertaking, but at a recent Teach-In, hosted by Teachers College, Columbia University, roughly 500 school teachers and administrators from the metropolitan New York area met to do just that. (more)

Students At Old Saybrook HS Rebuild First Submarine By Tom Kertes
It’s no secret that educators in schools across the country are desperate for ways to kindle their students’ interest with new and innovative lessons. But few can match the extraordinary project led by Scott Schoonmaker, the Principal at Old Saybrook High School, Connecticut. “We will build an authentic life-size, working replica of the Turtle, the first submarine ever used in warfare,” Schoonmaker said. (more)

Geography Corner By Chris Rowan (more)

February in History (more)

A New Series on College Deans
Entering the Dean’s Office:
Alfred Posamentier, Dean, School of Education, CCNY
By Pola Rosen, Ed.D.
Entering into Dean Alfred Posamentier’s office, the eye is tantalized by a splendid array of gem-like antique maps, prints and memorabilia of the composer, Richard Wagner, all so closely displayed that one cannot see the color on the wall. Reflections of the dean’s deep interest in music and mathematics abound, reflecting his deep abiding respect for learning and education. Indeed, according to Posamentier, “education reflects who we are, what we want to do and our mission.” His comments are inspiring to his students for they are the ones to go out in the world to teach others. (more)

The Second in a Series on New College Presidents
President Bob Kerrey Harnesses the New School By Jacob M. Appel
After only a few minutes chatting with New School University President J. Robert “Bob” Kerrey, one might easily forget that he heads a university and not a country. The former Nebraska Governor and two term United States Senator quickly steers the conversation to national politics, weaving a policy tapestry in which funding for higher education and the economic welfare of the country are inextricably intertwined. (more)

Furst on First in Marymount Manhattan College’s
2002 Best-Selling Authors Series
By Joan Baum, Ph.D.
As Marymount Manhattan College’s irrepressible Writing Center Director Lewis Burke Frumkes puts it, Alan Furst, master of espionage and intrigue, has been called the new John Le Carré– not that there’s anything wrong with the old one. In fact, however, though not as well known, as Carré, Furst, a well published journalist and author, to date, of six published novels (there are more, I don’t acknowledge them), has, with the recent paperback issue of his latest book, Kingdom of Shadows, claimed the spotlight with a shining all his own. (more)

Teachers College Announces 2001 Alumni Award Winners
Each year Teachers College in New York City honors its distinguished alumni. The
following individuals were honored recently for their outstanding contributions to society.

Weill Cornell Medical College Advances
The Immune Deficiency Causing Type 1 Diabetes

An article recently published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation by lead authors Drs. Noel Maclaren and Anjli Kukreja of the Department of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College investigates 60 patients with immune-mediated type 1 diabetes. The study addresses what predisposes to this condition, and the latest measures for diagnosis and therapy. The authors suggest a new strategy for combating the disease: stimulate rather than suppress the patient’s immune system. (more)

Interview with Dr. Herbert Pardes,
President, NY Presbyterian Hospital
By Joan Baum, Ph.D.
He seems to know everyone–the operative words are “know” and “everyone”– “know” because Dr. Herbert Pardes has been a distinguished psychiatrist and department head for so long that he’s developed a sure intuitive sense of the staff, faculty, and students he meets, and “everyone” (or just about) because his incredibly extensive résumé indicates a lifetime of scholarship, medical practice and high-level administrative appointments. (more)

MD-PhD Training Program for Minority
Students Receives $500,000 Challenge Grant
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has pledged a $500,000 challenge grant over the next three years to help create a $1 million endowment for the Gateways to the Laboratory Program, a joint endeavor of the Tri-Institutional M.D.-Ph.D. Program of Weill Cornell Medical College, The Rockefeller University, and Sloan-Kettering Institute. Gateways is a unique summer internship program which gives college students from underrepresented minority groups, who have completed their freshman or sophomore years with distinction, the opportunity to acquire one or two summers of experience in a leading laboratory. (more)

Teaching the Dream to Preschoolers By Margaret Blachly
In our multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, inclusion classroom of three and four year olds at the Bank Street Family Center, we teach the children from the very beginning that every single one of them is special and unique, and that differences are something to be valued. We also teach them to use their words to negotiate problems and we help them to respect each other’s feelings. (more)

From the Superintendent’s Seat
The Making Of A Museum By Dr. Carole G. Hankin with Randi T. Sachs
A number of years ago, children at a Syosset elementary school found what appeared to be animal bones in the schoolyard. They brought them to their teacher and asked how they could find out where they came from. The teacher turned to her principal, who in turn asked her colleagues if anyone could help. An administrator at one of our middle schools said she knew a paleontologist and he might be able to help. He did. Dr. Bryn Mader told us that the bones were from a deer and praised the students for their discovery and curiosity. (more)

Logos Bookstore’s Recommendations (more)

Special Education Book Review
Dealing with Chronic Illness By Merri Rosenberg
Few experiences can be as daunting for a parent as raising a child with a chronic illness. When that illness is hemophilia, the challenge quotient gets ramped up considerably. The specter of a child having potentially life-threatening bleeds, figuring out how to allow that child to enjoy childhood’s ordinary moments and milestones, and confronting one’s own anxieties is potentially a minefield fraught with scary missteps. (more)

February Book Reviews
Enjoy the great scholarship of literature
available for Black History Month.
By Selene S. Vasquez (more)

A Saving Grace By Lillian L. Shapiro
In these days of bewilderment and a struggle to understand what has happened to us in a world we usually took for granted we keep looking for some balance, reassurance and courage to meet the demands of our daily responsibilities. It is almost impossible to escape the endless special television reports plus the running ribbon beneath the program with staccato announcements of what is happening without absolute confirmation of those events. What has always been a necessary escape for me—from my childhood on—was to turn to some book which would take me away from what was distressful in my daily life. (more)

Antics: Snow Dogs & WayDownTown By Jan Aaron (more)

Movie Based On Pulitzer Prize Book: Newspaper Life In Small Town By Jan Aaron (more)

Museum for African Art: Relevant and Alive By Tom Kertes
Pop quiz time: How many institutions in the United States deal with the exhibition, appreciation, and interpretation of African art? The logical answer would be, oh, maybe 20? 30 Even 50? (more)

MUSEUM/MUSIC EVENTS Children’s Museum of Manhattan (more)

African History Month Events in NYC (more)

Music Festivals in Israel: Solace for the troubled By Irving Spitz
Israel’s musical life, always strong, is flourishing, in spite of its economic and political troubles. One reason is that the country has received a tremendous boost in the last two decades by the influx of a large number of competent musicians from the former Soviet Union. Partly as a result of the availability of this new talent, a number of new orchestras have been set up and older established institutions have been strengthened. All of these orchestras give regular subscription concerts; in addition, Israel hosts several international music festivals. (more)

The Courage to Face Dyslexia: A Personal Student’s Voyage By Pola Rosen, Ed.D.
Adam Koplewicz, a sophomore at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, speaks candidly about living with dyslexia. His research, reading and experiences have enabled him to share his knowledge with the expertise of a graduate student. (more)

Parents With Developmental Disabilities By Dr. Joel M. Levy
Hollywood has finally learned that characters playing the role of people with developmental disabilities don’t have to be seen as misfits. No longer does a character have to encompass virtually every stereotype associated with a particular disability. (more)

Ice Hockey School:
The New York Rangers are Cheering for Children
By Tom Kertes
The New York Rangers may be struggling a bit as a hockey team, but their commitment to the community in general, and education in particular, is well-thought-out and organized. (more)

A Very Special Olympics By Tom Kertes
Throughout the 1960s Eunice Kennedy Shriver—President Kennedy’s sister and the wife of Sargent Shriver, the creator of the Peace Corps—maintained a day camp for children with special needs on her farm in Maryland. The activities that took place at that camp were the original impetus for the special Olympics, an event that leaves no one who watches it unmoved. (more)

Product Profile: PC TableTote
By Mitchell Levine
Blame it on the new millennium, future shock, or just successful marketing, the reigning concept in education procurement today is “technology.” While some might argue about the ultimate utility of this current sprit of technical acquisitiveness, the only thing no one seems to be able to do is ignore it. With massive initiatives like the New York Board of Education’s experiment in distributing laptops to the 4th grade students of districts 6 and 10 already in play, our administrators intent to bridge the “digital divide” has never been clearer. (more)

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