After School Art WorkshopDrop-in art program sponsored by Artists Working in Education (A.W.E.) for children in grades K5 to 5. Listen to a story, then work on imaginative art activities relevant to the book or artist theme for the day.Monday, Feb. 4, 4-5:30 p.m.Atkinson LibraryBlack Cinema Film Series: Sisters of SelmaWatch the story of the unsung heroes of the voting rights marches. Presented in collaboration with Blk-Art, History and Culture and M.L. King Library.Monday, Feb. 4, 6 p.m.Martin Luther King LibrarySuper Science for Super KidsBring your friends to make things that fly and spin, create your own musical instrument and get in touch with your inner mad scientist. For ages 6-12.Monday, Feb. 4, 6-7:30 p.m.Zablocki LibraryBay View Kinnickinnic KnittersA knitting circle dedicated to expanding knitting skills through the participation of knitters of all experience levels. Bring any knitting project along for conversation and camaraderie among knitters.Wednesday, Feb. 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m.Bay View LibraryAfrican-American BingoCelebrate Black History culture with a few games of African-American Bingo, followed by crafts and a snack.Wednesday, Feb. 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m.Villard Square BranchAfrican-American Crafts & CultureBuild a time line of Black History events. Join with friends to build crafts that reflect African cultural contributions. Snacks provided.Wednesday, Feb. 6, 6-7:30 p.m. Also Feb. 13, 20, 27.Washington Park LibraryMLK Reading and CraftJoin a community reading of Martin’s Big Words for inspiration before creating posters to portray dreams for a better world. Refreshments provided.Thursday, Feb. 7, 4:30-5:30 p.m.Atkinson Library*** SAVE THE DATE ***The Making of Milwaukee with John GurdaMilwaukee historian and author John Gurda will present a PowerPoint program that captures theMilwaukee community’s history.Saturday, Feb. 9, 10:30 a.m.Centennial Hall Loos Room, 733 N. Eighth St.10-cent Used Book SaleUsed book sale sponsored by the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library. All proceeds benefitthe library.Saturday, Feb. 9, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.Central LibraryFrom Page to StageLearn about Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s new production Underneath the Lintel from directorC. Michael Wright and actor James Ridge.Saturday, Feb. 9, 2 p.m.Central LibraryBlack History Month EventsFeb. 9: Black History Month Book Club – Central (12-1 p.m.)Feb. 11: Black History Month Jeopardy – Zablocki (3:30-4:30 p.m.) Ages 6-12.Feb. 11: Black History Month Read-In – Center Street (4:30-7:30 p.m.)Feb. 11: Black History Month Read-In with Ald. Milele Coggs – M.L. King (5-6 p.m.)Feb. 11: Black History Month Read-In – Capitol (5-7:45 p.m.)Feb. 18-22: African-American Adventures at Washington Park Library (5-6 p.m.)Feb. 18: Black History Month Read-In – Mill Road (6-7 p.m.)Feb. 18: Black History Month Read-In – Villard Square (6:30-7:30 p.m.)Feb. 19: Black History Month Book Club – Central (6-7 p.m.)Feb. 21: A History of Jazz in America – Villard Square (3:30-5 p.m.)Feb. 26: Black History Month Jeopardy – East (6:30 p.m.) All ages.Feb. 27: Black History Month Jeopardy – Forest Home (5-6 p.m.) Ages 6-12.Feb. 27: Black History Month Jeopardy – Forest Home (6-7 p.m.) Teens.Feb. 27: Family Art Night: My Community – M.L. King (5:30-6:30 p.m.)*** SAVE THE DATE ***Feb. 9: Your Credit Report @ Atkinson Library – (3-4 p.m.)Feb. 10: Schuster’s & Gimbels: Milwaukee’s Beloved Department Stores – Central (2-4 p.m.)Feb. 11: Your Credit Report @ Mill Road Library – Mill Road (6-7:30 p.m.)Feb. 13: Teen Ice Cream Challenge – Bay View (5-6:30 p.m.)Feb. 13: So You’re Thinking About Going to College? – M.L. King (5:30-6:30 p.m.)Feb. 14: Small Business Resources 101 – Central (12-1 p.m.)Feb. 18: Super Science for Super Kids – Center Street (2-3:30 p.m.)Feb. 19: Treasures of the Great Lakes Marine Collection – Central (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)Feb. 19: Build It! – Capitol (4-5:30 p.m.)Feb. 20: Food is Fuel! – Villard Square (4-5:30 p.m.)Feb. 20: Bilingual Family Play Date – Zablocki (6-7 p.m.)Feb. 21: Researching Your Family Tree – Central (12-1 p.m.)Feb. 21: Food is Fuel! – Bay View (4-5:30 p.m.)Feb. 21: Move Your Body! – M.L. King (4-5:30 p.m.)Feb. 23: Skeins of Milwaukee – Central (1:30-3:30 p.m.)Feb. 28: Patent Searching 101 – Central (12-1 p.m.)
Alderman Bob Donovan will present a Common Council commendatory resolution recognizing 2013 Catholic Schools Week (January 27 – February 2, 2013) during a news event that included the Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki, Archbishop of Milwaukee, and Dr. Kathleen Cepelka, Superintendent of Catholic Schools. Alderman Michael J. Murphy will also take part in the event, and it is possible other Council members will also participate.
“Milwaukee’s outstanding Catholic schools have been a part of the fabric of life in our city for well over a century, educating and nurturing countless individuals who became leaders in academia, business, priesthood/clergy, sports, medicine, science, music and the arts, law, politics and public service, and many other professions,” said Alderman Donovan, who attended Catholic grade school and high school in Milwaukee. “And today the city’s Catholic schools continue to educate a diverse student population that includes the children of new immigrants, as well as students from all races and socio-economic backgrounds.”
“It is truly an honor for me to help recognize our excellent Catholic schools during Catholic Schools Week,” he said.
Parents, community members asked to weigh in on priorities
Milwaukee Public Schools¹ initial 2013-14 budget plans call for increased funding for art, music and physical education on top of the increase included in the current 2012-13 budget.
Many schools that serve younger students will see centrally-provided funding for art, music and physical education specialists double. And all 7th-through-12th-graders will have access to specialists in art and physical education.
MPS boosted art, music and physical education in the current 2012-13 budget, resulting in central funding for an extra 126 specialist positions throughout the district.
Last year we made a down payment on bringing more arts, music and physical education specialists into the lives of our young people ‹ and now we intend to grow that investment,² MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton said.
The move to give a further boost to art, music and physical education for 2013-14 comes as the district launches its second annual online budget survey, allowing parents and community members to weigh in on their priorities. Parents and community members can take the survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/mpsbudgetfy14
After analyzing the results from last year’s survey and listening to concerns from Board members, school leaders and parents, the district increased funding for specialty schools, whose programs in the arts, International Baccalaureate, language immersion and the Montessori method are more expensive to operate. The boost in funding for those specialty schools remains in place for 2013-14.
Initial budget plans also call for providing funding for school principals, secretaries and bookkeepers from the Central Services budget. In previous years, schools funded these services from their individual school budget allocation.
That step, along with the increased central funding for art/music/physical education specialists, is centered on creating a standard of care making sure that every student in Milwaukee Public Schools has equal access to a high-quality education.
Next year’s budget plans also give greater buying power to schools because the average cost of a teacher¹s salary and benefits has declined due to benefit changes. That reduction is a result of difficult-but-necessary steps taken by the Board of School Directors beginning with new contracts negotiated in 2010 as well as the retirement of a number of higher-paid veteran teachers.
WBME-TV is proud to announce that Green Screen Adventures is featuring the work submitted by Tou Lee from Christ St. Peter Lutheran School located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
He wrote “Little Boy Toby” which will be aired on Green Screen Adventures on Saturday, February 9 at 7:30 a.m. on Me-TV. Me-TV can be seen on WBME, Channel 41.1.
“We applaud young students who express their feelings and explore their creativity through their writing,” says WBME Vice President/General Manager Jim Hall, “and we applaud Green Screen Adventures for bringing these stories to life on screen.”
Green Screen Adventures, the nationally award-winning children’s television show, selects writing and illustrations by students and brings them to life using story theatre, game shows, and puppetry.
About Green Screen Adventures
Produced by Weigel Broadcasting Co. in Chicago, broadcast locally and seen nationally on Me-TV and ThisTV, the Emmy(r) Award-winning Green Screen Adventures is an educational program with the goal of promoting literacy – child-by-child, school-by-school, incorporating as many children as possible. Students in second through eighth grade are inspired to think of themselves as writers and illustrators when their stories are adapted on Green Screen Adventures. Students get the message that their words have power and that their voices are being heard. Since its premiere in March 2007, works from over 2,000 students in more than 350 episodes have been featured. All recent episodes can be viewed on the website, www.greenscreenadventures.tv <http://www.greenscreenadventures.tv> , which also provides dozens of writing prompts, teacher resources, and serves as a place for children to read stories written by other students, as well as submit works of their own. Visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greenscreenadventures <http://www.facebook.com/greenscreenadventures> and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/GreenScreenAdv <http://twitter.com/GreenScreenAdv> .
Speech pathologist Wendy Weir, called a ‘hero’ by 1st Sgt. Ginger Macdonald,
to receive award Friday at 12:30 p.m. at MPS Central Services
A Milwaukee Public Schools speech pathologist will receive the U.S. Department of Defense’s Patriot Award Friday, an honor bestowed on individuals who provide extraordinary support to the citizen warriors of the National Guard and Reserve.
Wendy Weir was nominated by Wisconsin National Guard 1st Sgt. Ginger Macdonald. Macdonald calls Weir one of my heroes.
Weir served as the program support teacher and mentor for Macdonald, a fellow MPS speech pathologist, for eight years. That support included helping Macdonald before and after her National Guard deployments totaling nearly four years of service over those eight years. Her service included a tour in Iraq in 2009-10.
Wendy has been a friend to me while deployed and a lifesaver as a Milwaukee Public Schools speech pathologist, MacDonald said. Without her, my experiences would have been much more difficult. She is a true patriot!
Macdonald relocated to another part of the state with her family in December, but she will return to Milwaukee present the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot award to Weir with Wisconsin National Guard Brigade State Sgt. Maj. Robert Burgette.
The presentation is set for Friday, February 1 at 12:30 p.m. in the auditorium at MPS Central Services, 5225 W. Vliet Street, Milwaukee 53208. Media are invited to attend. Those interested should contact Tony Tagliavia, MPS media manager, at (414) 475-8675. Superintendent Gregory Thornton is expected to attend.
We’re honored to have a Patriot in our midst. Dr. Thornton said. Our thanks to 1st Sgt. MacDonald for her service to us and to this country and our thanks to Ms. Weir for supporting her.²
This news is available online at: http://www5.milwaukee.k12.wi.us/dept/superintendent/2013/02/mps-employee-to-receive-u-s-department-of-defenses-patriot-award-for-supporting-citizen-warrior-colleague/
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972 to develop and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service. ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers. Paramount to ESGR’s mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce. For more information about ESGR Outreach Programs, or ESGR volunteer opportunities, please call 800-336-4590 or visit www.ESGR.mil.
Milwaukee Public Schools is Wisconsin’s largest school district, serving more than 78,000 students in more than 160 schools across the city. U.S. News and World Report named MPS Rufus King International School and Ronald Wilson Reagan College Preparatory High School the two best high schools in the state and among the 200 best in the country in 2012. In the past year, Milwaukee Public Schools posted a growing graduation rate 17 points higher than the rate for 2000.
Wisconsin’s charter school law ranks 37th among the 43 states that have approved charter school laws, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools’ (NAPCS) annual ranking of state charter school laws.
Minnesota’s law ranked first and Mississippi’s charter school law remained last. Now in its fourth year, Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Public Charter School Laws ranks each of the country’s 43 state charter school laws. Each state receives a score on its law’s strength based on the 20 essential components from the NAPCS model law, which include measuring quality and accountability, equitable access to funding and facilities and limited caps on charter school growth.
“Wisconsin law needs a major overhaul in several areas, including providing additional authorizing options, ensuring authorizer accountability, providing adequate authorizer funding, beefing up the law in relation to the model law’s four quality control components, increasing operational autonomy, and ensuring equitable operational funding and equitable access to capital funding and facilities,” said Todd Ziebarth, vice president, state advocacy and support, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Ziebarth is the lead author of the report.
“Wisconsin’s ranking demonstrates the need for substantive changes to our 20-year old charter school law,” said Carrie Bonk, executive director, Wisconsin Charter Schools Association. “Governor Scott Walker said in his recent State-of-the-State address that he believes every child should have access to a great education and indicated that he would be making changes to the charter school law. We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to move Wisconsin from the bottom of the list to the top of the list.”
“Milwaukee’s independent charter schools are the highest-performing sector of public schools in our city. This report shows that we can’t rest and need to do so much more to ensure these schools are funded and autonomous at a level that allows them to expand quality options for students,” said Sean Roberts, deputy director, Milwaukee Charter School Advocates.
For several hours on Wednesday morning, there was no acrimony, competition or animosity. Representatives from public, private and charter schools gathered at Milwaukee’s Grain Exchange, not to debate, but to celebrate diversity and educational options.
As part of the National School Choice Week Whistle Stop tour, over 300 students were on hand to display their respective talents and to thank their parents for making informed educational choices, whether that meant enrollment in public or private schools.
The event drew Republicans, Democrats and independents. On hand to share the podium were the governor, county executive, mayor and superintendent of Milwaukee public schools. There were as many Democrats in the audience as there were Republicans and given the make up of the audience, as many public school children as private school students.
Asked by a reporter why he was in attendance, MPS Superintendent Greg Thornton said it wasn’t about competition, but diversity. The public schools offer unique opportunities and services that few private or charter schools can match, he said. “We think we have an excellent product, one that is improving each day. I’m here to tout what I consider to be the best choice.”
The National School Choice Week Whistle Stop tour runs from January 27 to February 2 and will make stops in 14 states. Over 3,5000 events will be held during the week.
Coordinated by a diverse, non-partisan committee, the event highlights the benefits of parental choice in cities around the country.
“Milwaukee demonstrates to America that when students, parents, teachers and community leaders work together and put the interests of children first, anything is possible,” said Andrew Campanella, president of National School Choice Week. “Our whistle-stop event will celebrate effective choices from all sectors of education: traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, private schools, virtual academies and homeschooling.”
National School Choice Week planned the event in cooperation with Great Schools, the Black Alliance For Educational Options, Democrats For Education Reform, Hispanics For School Choice, Milwaukee Charter School Advocates, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, Milwaukee Public Schools, School Choice Wisconsin, Schools That Can, the Wisconsin Charter Schools Association, K12, and the Association of American Educators.
Milwaukee Recreation will host the 22nd annual Milwaukee Public Schools Special Olympics Basketball Classic Tournament from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, January 27 at Vincent High School, 7501 N. Granville Road.
Forty-six teams from Milwaukee, Ozaukee, and Washington counties will compete in this event. This is the first tournament of the Special Olympics basketball season and Milwaukee’s largest Special Olympics tournament of the year. Admission is free and open to the public.
“These games will allow athletes to qualify for the Special Olympics District Tournament in March,” says MPS Assistant Recreation Supervisor Jodie Theis. “We’re ready for another great season.”
For more information about MPS Special Olympics and the Basketball Classic Tournament, call (414) 647-6044.
Milwaukee Recreation is a department of Milwaukee Public Schools, established in 1911 to enrich the lives of Milwaukee’s youth, teens, adults, and seniors through recreational and educational activities. For more information, visit MilwaukeeRecreation.net or contact Brian Hoffer at (414) 475-8938.
James Beckum, founder of the Beckum-Stapleton Little League baseball organization holds a check for $32,709 he received from the Potawatomi Bingo Casino Miracle on Canal Street charities. The grant was one of 30 the Potawatomi charities awarded. The charity raised nearly $1 million in 2012. (photo by Yvonne Kemp)
Milwaukee Public Schools and a host of community groups are seeking mentors for a new campaign aimed at supporting young men of color dubbed “Saving Our Sons – I will not die young.”
“This is part of a larger initiative to increase students’ engagement in their school communities. We’re being proactive – creating school cultures in which students feel they have a vested interest,” Superintendent Gregory Thornton said.
“The Saving Our Sons effort specifically is targeted at young men of color because of the alarming levels of violence in the community and the academic struggles – involving and affecting these young men.”
Future efforts will focus on young women and expanding the existing student leadership initiatives that have been successful in a handful of MPS schools.
The Saving Our Sons effort — which will be launched at 10 a.m. on Friday, January 11 at the Coffee Makes You Black coffee shop, 2803 N. Teutonia Avenue — is focused on increasing attendance, academic achievement and school engagement of at-risk students of color, while reducing suspension and incident rates.
100 Black Men of Milwaukee is offering training for volunteer mentors. Interested mentors are welcome to attend the event to learn more and/or sign up online for the training at: http://mps100.eventbrite.com. Questions can be directed to Heather Aschoff, MPS volunteer coordinator, at (414) 773-9823.
Through the creation of Saving Our Sons chapters at 10 MPS schools serving high-schoolers – Bradley Tech, Hamilton, Morse•Marshall, North Division, Pulaski, Riverside, Rufus King, South Division, Vincent and Washington Information Technology – mentors can actively work with students by helping them transform their lives academically, socially and culturally.
Flood the Hood with Dreams, Inc. will direct and facilitate each school chapter with the support of other community organizations, services and mentors.
Those that have already expressed interest in the effort include: Brotherhood of Firefighters; Greek Letter organizations; Gee’s Clippers; African World Festival group; Milwaukee Bucks; Running Rebels; Milwaukee Common Council President Willie Hines and Aldermen Joe Davis, Ashanti Hamilton and Willie Wade; Fatherhood Initiative; Earl Ingram; Eric Von; Peace for Change Alliance, Inc.; Pitts Funeral Home; Dr. Decoteau Irby; the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Numerous faith-based partners; and Milwaukee County Supervisors David Bowen, Nikiya Harris and Russell Stamper II.