April 6, 2015 |
The things that drive Kiara Lynn Garcia are dark: her father deported, an uncle shot dead, money worries that color things at home. But Kiara's presence is all light: a sunny smile that warms her whole face, a bubbling curiosity and love of learning, a bone-sure determination that her current circumstances will not dictate her future. "She's got a lot of gifts to unleash on the world," said Ann-Therese Ortiz, a mentor who has known Kiara for four years. Currently, the 12th grader at Kensington High School for Creative and Performing Arts is all in on a project she conceived and is executing largely on her own: a flea market to raise money for her classmates' senior-year expenses.
March 20, 2015 |
THE CROWD was long gone, the game long over, the gym quieter than a library. But there we were, my wife and I with our only daughter, the basketball star, sitting on a table while a trainer tried to determine whether a trip to the hospital was in order. She had banged her head again on the unforgiving planks of a high school gym, undercut by a smaller player no doubt encouraged by her coach to get in front of her and draw the charge. It rarely worked but was sometimes called anyway by referees who always seemed to me overly sympathetic to short kamikazes.
March 20, 2015 |
As I drove into the parking lot of Roberto Clemente Middle School in North Philadelphia to start my cooking classes there, my competition was staring me in the face: a giant Burger King sign. The restaurant is not even a minute's walk from the school. Trying to convince kids to cook healthy meals in a fast-food world is hard enough. But with Whoppers wooing them across the parking lot? There ought to be a law! If I needed confirmation that these students, like so many other American middle schoolers, were eating this junk, I got that pretty quickly: My five eighth-grade girls answered a questionnaire about what they eat for dinner and how often they eat fast food.
March 5, 2015 |
Julia Udine was terrible at sports. She was loud, always singing and dancing. So at age 3, her mother put her in a ballet class to learn some discipline while using her body. She found her calling. What started as a once-a-week hobby developed into five 90-minute ballet classes a week - plus performances. She added singing when she was 10, and though she didn't start acting lessons until high school, she appeared in school and regional plays starting in middle school. Now, the Voorhees native is on Broadway playing Christine Daaé, the female lead in Phantom of the Opera - at 21. (This, after landing Phantom 's national traveling tour at 19.)
January 14, 2015 |
THE LIGHT BLUE stands at Tom Gola Arena hummed from the boisterous devotees screaming at the top of their lungs. There was barely any time left. He had to make his move in 4 seconds. The inbounds pass popped into his hands. Three dribbles, then another step to halfcourt and the release flowed from his fingers as quickly as his flight from the baseline. Forty seven feet later, Jordan Price had his first big moment at La Salle University: a buzzer-beating, midcourt prayer answered in the 40th minute.
December 22, 2014 |
Trai Greer has high expectations for his younger brother, Corey. "He's going to be better than I am," Trai Greer said. Someday, Corey Greer might be a more accomplished player than his older brother and could even approach the level of the siblings' famous father, former Middle Township and Florida State star Lamar Greer. But for now, Middle Township's unquestioned leader is Trai Greer, a senior who sparked the Panthers to an impressive 50-38 victory over Gloucester Catholic in a clash of Top 20 teams on Saturday at the third annual Jimmy V Showcase at Schalick.
December 19, 2014 |
A BUCKS COUNTY town is embroiled in a sex-tape scandal involving middle-school pupils. Earlier this week, administrators at Franklin D. Roosevelt Middle School were notified that pupils were circulating a cellphone video depicting "sexual conduct" between two children, said Lt. John Godzieba, acting chief of Bristol Township Police. It was unclear last night if the kids depicted in the video are pupils at the school. As part of their inquiry, Godzieba said, investigators confiscated 10 cellphones from pupils at Roosevelt, on Veterans Highway near Winder Drive in Bristol.
December 4, 2014 |
The lesson for the day was about rhythm, but first-grade teacher Mindy Nguyen wasn't using music alone to impart the concept. Nguyen read a poem and showed a painting depicting life in a city, then fired probing questions at the 21 youngsters sitting on the floor around her. Can you hear how the city sounds? What feeling does it give you? What does the color red in the painting tell you about the city? If they didn't quite get the connections she was trying to make about rhythm, they were learning a slew of new vocabulary words and an important educational lesson: Art is more than just pretty pictures.
October 29, 2014 |
POLICE MADE a major break yesterday in a disturbing sexual-assault case involving four middle school students. Late yesterday afternoon, investigators arrested two 13-year-old boys who allegedly coerced an 11-year-old schoolmate at William Tilden Middle School into performing a sexual act on them earlier this month and filmed the encounter, a law-enforcement source said. Afterward, police said, the teens posted the video online. The boys - whose names are being withheld because they are minors - are being charged with rape, indecent assault, unlawful restraint and related offenses, the source said.
October 11, 2014 |
When the recess bell rings at Cooper B. Hatch Family School in Camden, dozens of youngsters rush outside, bursting with energy. But there is no place for them to play, at least not yet. Built in 1924, the school occupies a block in the city's Parkside neighborhood. Missing from the neatly kept grounds is a playground. Hatch is one of two schools in Camden without a playground. With no place else to go, Hatch students raced downstairs onto a slightly muddy grassy field for recess after lunch on a recent morning.