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Tag Archives: Roberto Clemente Student Development Center
The Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop is located at 2280 S. Industrial Highway. The shop sells furniture, clothing, books, home goods, electronics, craft supplies and more.
By Tara Cavanaugh
The Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop’s mission is to support the schools. And three times each year, its support comes in the form of a small but valuable slip of paper: a check.
On Jan. 29 the shop distributed $50,020 total between all 33 of the Ann Arbor Public Schools (see comprehensive list below). The money supports enrichment opportunities for students in the form of field trips, sports clubs, academic supplies, camps and plenty more.
“It’s exciting to celebrate a great year in 2012 and immediately start another with this kind of vigorous funding,” said Ann Farnham, the shop’s executive director. ”What a couple of high notes for our shop and for our AAPS community.” Continue reading →
Roberto Clemente teacher Jonathan Royce shows off his debut children’s book.
By Tara Cavanaugh
Roberto Clemente High School English teacher Jonathan Royce’s debut children’s book, “Detective Dwayne Drake and the Alphabet Thief,” is a tale that kids and adults alike will enjoy. Especially the adults.
“As a parent, you can only read something so many times before you start going crazy,” said Royce, a father of six. “So I wrote it like this in hopes that when parents read it to their kids, it’s something they can go through more than two times without being bored. It actually tells a story as it’s going through all the different letters.” Continue reading →
Students get hands-on experience through the AAPS Homebuilding Program. Photo supplied by John Birko.
By Tara Cavanaugh
A street of stately two-story homes just off of Dhu Varren Road gleams with neatly manicured lawns and impressive stonework. Although they blend seamlessly into the rest of the development, there’s something different about the homes on Earl Shaffer Court: They were built almost entirely by Ann Arbor Public Schools students.
The students were part of the homebuilding program, a partnership between AAPS and a board of local businesses members. Each year, the program produces a class of students who learn everything about constructing a home, from laying the foundation to shingling the roof.
The program also produces and sells a home each year, and has done so for 42 years. “The homes have a reputation for being quality built, even though they’re built by students,” said Todd Griffin, board director. Continue reading →
High school history classes often study the nations and civilizations of our past. Over the last year, students at Ann Arbor’s Roberto Clemente Development Center have been taking a good look at their own futures.
Roberto Clemente teacher Terry Carpenter with his students last fall as they began work on their alternative history book.
The students’ written predictions and reflections have been collected in the book “2020: Visions of the (Near) Future.” The professionally-bound volume published by 826michigan and printed at Dexter’s Thomson-Shore, is the result of a year-long residency with the local writing, publishing and tutoring nonprofit’s staff and volunteers.
Clemente teacher Terry Carpenter invited 826michigan staff and volunteers into his classroom to help encourage his students to express themselves creatively and engage with history.
“I told the students ‘if you know and understand the past, you will have more power to determine your future ,” said Carpenter. Rather than purely examining the past, the Clemente students wrote narratives and scenes from their own future as well.
826michigan Americorps Member Katie Jones explains: “students who struggled to speculate on alternative histories had little trouble creating futures for themselves. A course like Terry’s is designed to equip students with an understanding of how the present day came to be and how to channel that understanding into changing the world.”
To celebrate the release, 826michigan distributed free copies of the book to its authors and threw a party in their honor. Copies of the hardcover book were handed out during the special book release party. Students read excerpts from their favorite pieces and reflected on the transformational process. “They made me feel a lot better about my writing. I’m not scared to write anymore,” said one.
Clemente Principal Ben Edmondson congratulated the students on their recent accomplishment and the progress they have made this year. “If you believe in yourself you can create something like this. It’s been a tremendous year, I couldn’t be more proud and I’m excited to read these stories,” he added.
“2020: Visions of the (Near) Future” is available for sale at Liberty Street Robot Supply and Repair on 115 East Liberty St. in downtown Ann Arbor. Proceeds support free student programming, including in-school writing residencies, at 826michigan. Details: (734) 761-3463 or visit www.826michigan.org.
Award-winning play chronicles black America in the 1950s
From AAPSNews Service
A proud Roberto Clemente community offered its first student drama performance this month with August Wilson’s award-winning play “Fences.” The new student group took to the stage on May 11-12, offering public performances of the acclaimed production.
Drama students from Roberto Clemente star in August Wilson's "Fences."
A number of Clemente students starred in the production, representing all attendance areas of the Ann Arbor Public Schools. Students also took part in set creation, production and lighting for the school’s inaugural production.
“This adaptation is a moving story and intensely performed by our students,” said Principal Ben Edmondson in a note about the performance sent to school staff. “We are particularly proud to bring this play to you, as it is a great demonstration of our understanding of what equity work looks like within our building.”
Wilson’s play is set in the 1950s, and chronicles one African-American family’s experiences living in the Hill District in the city of Pittsburgh, where playwright Wilson grew up. “Fences” is one of series of plays that he wrote chronicling the African-American experience in the 20th Century.
“I have learned more in this first year than I think I have in all my 11 years with the Ann Arbor Public Schools so far,” said teacher and play director Joey Parins, who came to Clemente last fall after teaching at Clague Middle School. “The students you are about to see have gone through a great transformation. Everybody – from our lights to our backstage to our set design.”
Parins, who began the drama program this year at Clemente, told the audience that she shared a special connection with playwright Wilson, spending time with him years ago when she worked at a restaurant named Esteban’s in St. Paul, Minnesota.
“He used to come in and he used to sit there at the bar every afternoon,” she said. “It was quiet and nobody was there and he would come in and write. And he’d have a cup of coffee and I would sit there and visit with August.”
Parins noted that the play “has been a natural fit for our students” and said she would love to do another of Wilson’s plays, “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” or another of his through-the-decades plays next year.
Clemente student actors included: Marcus Buggs playing the lead role of Troy Maxson; David Wren as Corey; Courtney Tubbs and Serena Johnson as Rose Maxson; DaVonn Harding as Bono; James Kelly as Gabriel; Bria Galloway and Mica Sims as Raynell; and Arquise Patterson as Lyons.
On the crew were Tyler Sheldon and Anthony Hugan on lights and Chris Coghlan, YaJaira Marin, Dennejah Drumright and Raven Hinton in the technical area.
Technology teacher Mike Fransten and his students handled set design and English teacher Jonathan Royce wrote the grant for the production. It was funded with grant money from the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation and with proceeds and donations taken at the door. Lowes donated fencing for the set and Uncle Ed’s Oil Shoppe allowed the use of its jumpsuits for the play’s wardrobe.
A number of school staff saw a preliminary performance of Clemente’s “Fences” the previous week. Fine Arts Coordinator Robin Bailey said staff and students did “a marvelous job” on the production. Slauson Middle School Principal Chris Curtis was quoted as saying: “If I were to sum up my reaction in two words, they would be ‘spine tingling. It was awesome.” Assistant Superintendent Joyce Hunter said, “the students at Clemente should also receive a Tony Award.”
“Fences” won four Tony Awards including an award for best play and also won the Pulitzer Prize and several other prestigious awards. The original Broadway version starring James Earl Jones set a record for a nonmusical when it grossed $11 million in a single year and ran for 525 performances. August Wilson died in 2005 of liver cancer, according to published obituaries.