Monday, December 13, 2010

Fun and Excitement (Cirque du Soleil)

Have you ever been to a show that leaves you speechless? Well, I really think you should go and see the Cirque du Soleil. It's a French word that means "fun" and "excitement" My Raising Expectations group took me to see it and I was so stunned by the acrobats. The whole show was fun and magnificent. I have never seen acrobats this close up in my life. All of the characters were very creative. Everyone from my group enjoyed the show. There was so much color. The costumes were very pretty as well. I liked the part where they were doing really high flips off of the trampoline. I think it was a blessing that Raising Expectations received those tickets. I would love to go and shake the directors hand because he put together a great show! I haven't seen any type of circus that puts on more action than the Cirque du Soleil.

Mykia, 7th Grade

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Graves Haunted House Reflections - Oct 29, 2010

“Somebody grabbed my leg. Everybody was screaming.”

On October 29th R.E. took over 50 kids to the annual Haunted House in Graves Hall at Morehouse College.

My favorite part of the haunted house was when one of the dudes from the haunted house picked me up. Then another character popped up from under the newspaper and attacked me. My second favorite part of the haunted house was when my mentor from Morehouse went in with me and was scared and trying to make me protect him by letting him hide behind me so I could his shield.
-Daejour, 5th grade

The haunted house was not very scary but I was kind of scared. Ms. Suzanna and a mentor from Morehouse picked me up the whole way through!! It was interesting and scary for others but it was very nice.
-Franeshia, 4th grade

The haunted house was so scary it made me cry. They made we walk through newspaper and touched my legs. It was so scary. Everyone was crying because people were yelling and there was a chain saw.
-Sadraeva, 4th grade

The haunted house was scary when you first walk in. There were these men and they jumped off a shelf and they scratch your legs. They tell you a scary story when you first come in. Then they take you in a dark room and tell you are safe we were not. My friends were really scared.
-Nichelle, 5th grade

The haunted house was scary. It was so fun and scary that even I was scared. People were popping out of the ground and popping out of the wall. They climbed up the walls too. They told us a story about this man that used to live in the haunted house. Then the man came out of a door with a real chainsaw and scared everyone that was there.
-Andres, 5th grade

The haunted house was very scary. I even cried, but I faced my fears. When I went in they told us a scary story and scared us really bad. I really enjoyed myself and I really enjoyed being scared.
-Family 1

We had a lot of fun at the haunted house. I wasn't scared even though it was my first time. I can't to go again next year but my family can not because they would be too scared.
Myonme, 6th grade

I was very scared when we went to the haunted house. My best friend even lost her shoe! She was screaming like someone was really going to hurt her, I just laughed. It was an exciting experience and I hope to do it again next year!
Monoe, 6th grade

I was completely confident before we actually got to the haunted house but when we went in I got really scared. We saw a lot of scary things. There was torn news paper everywhere. They scratched my feet. The scariest part was when we had to run from the man with the chainsaw. It was scary!!!!!
Starr, 6th grade

Cirque de Soleil (Ovo) - Nov 3, 2010

We had a fantastic time!

Cirque du Soleil donated 50 Tickets to R.E.!
We all were kids that night. On two separate nights we took the RE family over to see OVO at Atlantic Station and had an amazing time. Below are some of the kids reflections

My favorite part of the circus was when they flipping . That’s my favorite part because they looked so flexible and amazing and I wish I could do that someday. My second favorite part was when hit the back flips off of the wall.
-Daejour, 5th grade

The circus was amazing. People were jumping into nets. There were people juggling fruit on their feet. That was a once in a lifetime experience. My favorite part was when they were flipping at the end. One person did 20 in a row. That was the most amazing thing I ever saw. No other circus does that.
-Amari, 5th grade

At the circus people were laughing and they were clapping. People were hitting back flips, jumping on walls, and coming up to us. We ate popcorn and drank soda and talked and had fun!
-Sadraeva, 4th grade

The most amazing part of the circus were ladies juggling the big cucumber blocks. I wold love to see that part again. My second favorite part was when the guys started flipping on the trampolines. I also enjoyed the free drinks and popcorn.
Shakia, 7th grade

I had fun at the circus because it was the biggest circus I had ever seen or been to. It was great. My favorite part was the man carrying the gigantic egg around the stage. I really enjoyed the acting and all the cool stunts. I was glad to be there.
Mason, 7th grade

I had fun. I thought the backflips were really cool. I also thought the lady bug was funny. the acrobatics were awesome. The flower coming out at the end was amazing too.
Tim, 7th grade
What do I think about my experience going to the Cirque du Soleil? I loved it from start to finish! It was very entertaining. All of the characters were played so well. The whole story had love, romance, and laughter. I could tell everyone, even our mentors, enjoyed the program. It was so interesting that I was sad that we had to leave.
Yvonne, 7th grade

Friday, July 2, 2010

Reflections from the Founders June 28th, 2010

We're half way from ending our YouthWork summer program. It's been an exciting opportunity to share with 22 of Raising Expectations high school students. We've already had workshops sessions on how to have healthy dating relationships, abstaining from sex (my favorite option), how to organize community projects, performed 3 community clean ups in the English Avenue neighborhood, listened to two Atlanta Police officers share their professional and personal stories, talked about discrimination, developed dream boards, learned how to prepare budgets (we didn't want them to spend all of their earnings the second they got the checks in hand), had 2 literacy tutorial sessions with Kaplan Learning instructors and prepared lessons on workplace readiness. Suffice it to say that both Tangee and I are exhausted but watching each of our youth grow in ways that will prepare them for their futures is the fuel we need to keep pushing.

In Service,
Maria & Tangee

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

RE Visits Colleges

College Tour
By: Christian Essimbe
11th grade (Therrell High School)

The college trip I went attended during Spring Break 2010 was very exciting. My fellow Raising Expectations classmates Giovonni Banks and Javonte Martin went on the college campus tour trip with me. It was a life time experience, one that I will never forget. Things were going slowly at the beginning of the trip because it was 4:00 in the morning and everyone was tired. We had to get our identification cards to make sure that we were registered to be on the trip.

Our first college visit was West Georgia. West Georgia University was a great college and the tuition seemed affordable. They have study abroad and also have a variety of majors to choose from. We toured the whole college and meet new people. The classes are not really big but it also depends on what major you choose. Overall I think West Georgia is a good college to attend.

The next college was Alabama State. Many of my classmates from Therrell High School that were upper classmen and graduated attend school there now. The college is a D-1 school, and their activities or sports are really good. To get into Alabama State you must obtain at least a 3.0 grade point average and your SAT or ACT scores must be average. Alabama State opend many doors for many students. Their graduation rate is 83% which is pretty high.

The third college trip had many chaperones. They were always there when we needed them. They taught me a lesson, which is in order to become somebody or someone in life you must have discipline. That is the first step about life. The chaperones were really amusing and very cool to be around. When someone wasn’t feeling well they were there to assist.

Finally, if I had one wish, my wish would be to rewind time back to the college trip. It truly was the best spring break I have ever had. We also went to New Orleans and toured Xavier University and Dillard University. One of the college students asked me if I wanted to attend Dillard University and I said maybe. I will never forget how good the food was and eating and being at different colleges made me feel like a real college student. When the college students asked me how old I was I told them I am 16 and I am on a college tour, and they took a look at my identification card. They really thought I was a college student already. This college trip was awesome. I want to thank Raising Expectations for sponsoring this Spring Break College Tour. I am looking forward to going back next year and preparing for the college admissions process.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

RE Visitation to Turner Broadcasting opens eyes to opportunities

Visiting Turner Broadcast Studios opened my eyes to so many job opportunities that there are in the world. While walking around it appeared that TBS was a very relaxing workplace compared to the other stations I have visited. TBS has a very unique atmosphere because there are many cartoon characters and colorful areas around the office space. The people that work there can have a flex schedule. For instance, if you want to start at 2a.m and leave at 10a.m you can because you have to be there for an 8 hour period. Working there you also are given many perks. You can get free tickets to sporting events in Atlanta.

In my research I learned that R.E. Turner bought WJRJ-Atlanta channel 17. TBS has grown a lot since it first started. TBS has the following stations: TBS, TNT, CN, TCM, Tru TV, Adult Swim, Boomrang, TNT Europe, CN Europe, TNT Europe, CN Europe, TNT Latin America, CN Latin America, TNT& CN Asia Pacific, CN Japan Cable News Network (CNN), HLN, CN Japan, CNN International, CNN Espanol, CNN Airport Network, CNN Radio,, CNN Resource, CNN Turk. TBS is the leading provider for the basic cable industry. They have more than 9,000 employees worldwide.

To conclude I have been blessed to attend a fieldtrip at TBS visiting the Cartoon Network and learning about the careers that exist in so many of the departments. A few that I learned about were lawyers, marketing executives, cartoonists, and mechanical engineers just to name a few. I hope someday I will work at Turner Broadcast Studio. My job as an engineer would be to catch problems before programming goes on the air. The reason I would love to work at TBS one day is because I could watch television all day and get paid for it!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

RE’s Eye on the News- GradNation

When a president and a general share a stage, the announcement is rarely a good one.

When President Obama and Gen. Colin Powell shared the stage, with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Alma Powell, the announcement was a good one. GradNation was introduced, a ten year campaign to increase graduation rates of the United States. Its goals are to see ninety percent of today’s fourth graders graduate high school on time and to support the President’s goal of making the United States a leader in college graduates by 2020.

GradNation works though America’s Promise Alliance, which offers resources and a means of collaboration for organizations working with at risk youth.

Raising Expectations does it part every year to assist students on their road to graduation, and is excited to see a national spotlight guiding others down the same road.

Raising Expectations has assisted (#) students in graduating high school and (#) on furthering their education into college.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Volunteering with RE led to teaching

I never thought I would be an advocate for educational change and student success. I always knew I valued education and loved kids, but never thought I would choose a career in education.

I began working with Raising Expectations because I wanted to do some volunteer work while I was at Spelman College. I would work with children a few hours a week and be able to handle my course load all at the same time. My purpose for being there quickly changed once I learned that my passion for children went beyond how funny they could be or how sweet the little ones were. My passion lied in the impact that I wanted to have on children’s lives and their outlook on education. Working with the children in Raising Expectations was the beginning of a true change in my life. It gave me the opportunity to see how the environment the children were living in, truly did effect how they saw school, teachers and education as whole. Getting an education was not a priority to them. My job at that point, was to change how children viewed not only school, but how they viewed themselves. Raising Expectations provided me with the tools that I needed to change children’s expectations of what education could do for them, as well as how to help them raise the expectation they had for themselves and their futures.

I graduated from Spelman in 2004, and began teaching first grade in Atlanta Public Schools. I have been teaching elementary school in lower income communities for six years and I now teach fourth grade at Benteen Elementary School in Atlanta. I am also a graduate student at Central Michigan University, where I am pursuing a master’s degree in educational leadership. Over the past 10 years, I have become an advocate for children and continue to raise the bar of expectations for all children.

I began working with Raising Expectations because I wanted to change children’s lives, but in the end, Raising Expectations changed my life.

Ms. Alexis Dimes-Smith
4th grade teacher
RE Volunteer 2001-2004