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West Side Education News & Notes

10/3/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Akron Early College High School named National Blue Ribbon School

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Akron Public Schools (APS) Akron Early College High School (AECHS), located at 225 S. Main St., has been named a National Blue Ribbon School by the program bearing the same name. Started in 1982, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes schools where students perform at high levels.

The U.S. Department of Education bestows the award. The Blue Ribbon School honor also recognizes schools where significant improvements are being made in students’ academic achievement.

A school made up largely of students who are the first generation in their families to attend college, AECHS offers a high school diploma and a two-year degree from The University of Akron (UA) upon graduation.

“This school’s performance has increased year after year,” said Superintendent David James. “This is one of our many success stories at APS. … This program really fosters independent students. We see some really ambitious kids here. They attend college classes while getting their diploma. That’s a significant amount of work.”

According to APS officials, of Summit County’s 25 high schools, AECHS ranks second only to Hudson in performance. Of Ohio’s roughly 800 schools, it ranks in the top 13.

“More than half of our students are economically disadvantaged,” said Principal Marilyn Bennett. “We have a minority population twice that of the state average. Yet, we outperformed 727 of Ohio’s 740 public high schools last year.”

AECHS is part of Summit College at UA and housed in the Polsky Building. At AECHS, students complete six combined years of high school and college instruction in four years. By graduation day, many have attained an associate degree at no cost, according to APS officials.

James said the cost-free college education is the program’s greatest benefit and a chief motivator.


Rachel’s Challenge coming to Revere High School Oct. 7

BATH — The Revere Middle School Rachel’s Challenge group invites the community to a free Rachel’s Challenge Community Night Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Revere High School Auditorium, 3420 Everett Road.

The event will feature a national speaker from Rachel’s Challenge, who will also speak to the Revere Middle School students during daytime assemblies and a workshop. Due to the nature of the subject, the program is recommended for students 12 and older and adults.

The featured speaker will be Michael Dorsey, a motivational speaker and former college professor who was on last season’s “The Biggest Loser” on NBC. Michael was the seventh contestant to be eliminated in Season 14 and lost 130 pounds.

In its fourth year at Revere Middle School, Rachel’s Challenge is inspired by Rachel Scott, the first victim in the Columbine school shooting in 1999. Her acts of kindness and compassion, coupled with the contents of her six diaries, have become the foundation for the program.

The Revere Middle School Rachel’s Challenge group honors the challenge to start a chain reaction of compassion and kindness throughout the year, with a culmination each spring spreading random acts of kindness — in the form of gift cards, cash and jewelry — in the community during Pay It Forward Day.

Revere’s Rachel’s Challenge is run under the PTA. Parent mentors of the club are Bunny Oldham, Dorothy Gruich, Betty Lin-Fisher and Sara Stanoch. School mentors are teacher Joan Lyon, Assistant Principal Danielle Starkey and Principal Judy Myers.


Project Ujima plans annual kickoff

WEST AKRON — Project Ujima will host its annual kickoff Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. to noon, before Buchtel High School’s homecoming game against Ellet High School, in the cafeteria at the Buchtel Community Learning Center, 1040 Copley Road.

Everyone is invited to attend and learn more about the organization and its programs, services and activities.

There will be free food and an information fair featuring other groups serving the Buchtel community.  

Community groups that would like to have a table at the kickoff should call 330-807-2555 or email szv@akrontrust.org by Oct. 4.


18th annual seminar explores women and the Holocaust

WEST AKRON — The Jewish Community Board of Akron (JCBA) and The Lippman School will present “Women and the Holocaust: Experiences & Perspectives — A Seminar” Oct. 14 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Shaw Jewish Community Center, 750 White Pond Drive.

Area teachers and other interested learners are invited to attend this 18th annual seminar. Advance registration is required by Oct. 8. Continuing education credit will be available for teachers. For details and online registration, visit www.jewishakron.org. The seminar, including a boxed supper (dietary laws observed) is $18; the seminar alone costs $12. For information or a copy of the registration form, contact Mary Dean at JCBA at 330-869-2424 or mary_dean@jewishakron.org.

The seminar focuses on experiences, challenges and perspectives of women and young women who were victims, survivors and rescuers (both non-Jews and Jews). It features a survivor and second generation panel as keynote speakers. Sam Chestnut, head of school at The Lippman School, will moderate the panel.

“To Be a Woman in the Holocaust: Cleveland Stories,” a movie produced by the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, will provide additional points of view. The film, made by Steven Hacker Films, features eyewitness testimony and memories of their mothers from four Cleveland survivors.

Other sessions include a Historical Overview with Esther Hexter and Women of Valor, stories of Jewish and non-Jewish rescuers with Sol Factor, both Holocaust educators.

Barbara White, general manager of branch services at the Akron-Summit County Public Library, will present “Resources: Asking Questions, Seeking Answers.”

Participants will explore “Teaching the Next Generation” in facilitated discussion groups for teachers and community learners. Groups will be led by award-winning teachers from the Greater Akron area.

Themes for each seminar correspond to the theme for the city of Akron Arts and Writing Contest. The 2014 contest theme is “Women of the Holocaust.” Copies of materials from the seminar will be available after Oct. 14 at www.akronohio/holocaust2.

Major funding comes from a grant from the Rose & Larry Schwartz Holocaust Education Fund with the Akron Legacy and Endowment Fund of the JCBA. The Jewish Studies Program at Kent State University is also providing funding.


Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.

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