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Takoma Education Campus
   -- a DC public school serving pre-school thru 8th grades
Stephen Smith, Aspen Guild

News/Events >> SY 2011-12

[Mar] Takoma EC Receives $1,500 Grant for Library Books
The Oracle Set Foundation, Inc awarded Takoma EC a $1,500 Community Grant to assist in the rejuvenation of the school’s library. The grant enables the purchase of new books and tapes for students, particularly those with various developmental disabilities and challenges.  Community member Ms. Virginia View was instrumental in obtaining the grant.  Thank You!

The Oracle Set Foundation was established in 1999 to support literacy projects that encourage, support and reward the reading and writing achievements of children and youth in the District of Columbia.  The foundation administers philanthropic activities started by the Oracle Set Book Club.  These activities include managing scholarships, awarding grants to local organizations that foster youth literacy, and sponsoring student attendance at literacy events.  

[Feb 9th] Smithsonian Discovery Theater How Old is a Hero
How Old is a HeroThe Smithsonian Discovery Theater returneds to Takoma EC to present to middle school students an inspiring musical play about three young heroes of the civil rights struggle: Ernest Green of the Little Rock Nine, the first black student to graduate from an integrated high school; Claudette Colvin, who refused to give up her bus seat before Rosa Parks; and Ruby Bridges, who won equal rights before she could read.  Students find inspiration in the stories of the courage and hope of our youngest citizen. The show is infused with the sounds of songs of the civil rights movement.

[Jan 26th] Fillmore Arts Showcase 
Ben's Chili BowlStudents in pre-school through 3rd grade concluded their program unit on Exploring our City via arts, music, dance and drama activities with Fillmore teachers with performances in Takoma's newly renovated auditorium. Through the performances, students 'explored' via the train sites including Carter Barron, Howard University, Frederick Douglas House, Ben's Chili Bowl, MLK Library and the Corcoran Gallery, and studied through music and art DC personalities such as Chuck Brown, Blackbyrds, Marvin Gaye and artist Alma Thomas.

[Jan 20th] Lesole's South African Dancers @ TEC
Lesole's Dance ProjectAt the first performance event in the newly renovated school, the Lesole's Dance Project introduced three South African cultures to Takoma EC's students through their high energy dances: the traditional Indlamu dance from Zulu villages; the Gumboot, a percussive kind of "instant messaging" dance slapped out on gold miners' rubber boots, and the Pantsula, an upbeat urban dance like American hip-hop but with a cultural twist.  After each presentation, native South African Lesole Maine (pronounced Mah-ee-nay), the dance company's founder, explained the origins and context of the exciting dances and gave the young audience of pre-school through 2nd grade students an opportunity to participate and try the dance steps.

The Indlamu of Zulu villages, is known as “the warrior dance”. Originally it was to train and celebrate the victories of Shaka’s Zulu warriors. Now it is performed to celebrate childbirth and weddings and is danced by both men and women.  Gumboots dancing originated in the gold mines of South Africa during the oppressive Apartheid years. Black laborers worked in total darkness for three months at a time in appalling conditions.  They were chained to their stations and were forbidden to talk to each other. They stood up to their knees in infected water causing skin diseases; resulting in lost time from work. Those in charge of the mine work discovered that it was too expensive to drain the mines, so they made the workers wear Gumboots. The miners used the gumboots as a method of communication by slapping the boots, stomping their feet and rattling their ankle chains. Later, this became a form of recreation for men during long months away from their families. The Pantsula, a street dance that involves a lot of fast footwork, attitude, and the ability to wiggle and jerk the body into different unusual rhythms, has its origins in the 1960's. Migrant laborers were taking their families from their homeland to the fast life of Johannesburg townships, children were exposed to city life, different cultures, new ways of living, and new music. They quickly adapted their way of living and dance by mimicking the fast life in the townships. This dance is usually done with colorful attire: Converse "All Star" sneakers, dickies pants and hats "Sporty.” Pantsula became popular in the 80’s among the youth of the townships. Youth clubs would have competitions among themselves and choose the best group/dancer to represent them.  Sponsored in partnership with Takoma Theatre Conservancy and Class Acts Arts.

[Jan 20th] Takoma EC Open House: Parents, students & community

[Jan 17th] Phillips Collection Presentations @ Phillips Collection

[Jan 3rd] Students return to modernized Takoma EC

[Dec 31st/ Jan 2nd] - Parents/Students Open House at new Takoma EC (see Modernization News)

[Dec 22nd] - Dedication of the new Takoma ECPrincipal Taylor Welcomes Officials
One year exactly from the devasting fire that destroyed most of the school, Principal Rikki Taylor welcomed city officials to the "ribbon-cutting" and dedication of the new Takoma Education Campus. Mayor Vincent Gray contrasted the emotions felt that day with the excitement of seeing the re-emergence of the newly modernized, innovative facility for students. Councilmember Bowser, who strongly supported the funding for the full modernization, thanked the many individual city officials, contractors and the Takoma Site Improvement Team of teachers, parents and community members for enabling the mini-miracle of completion in under 10 months. Chancellor Kaya Henderson called Takoma a state-of-the-art school, one of the best in the city.

Other DC officials attending included DC Council Chair Kwame Brown, City Administrator Allen Lew, DC School Board Member Kamili Anderson, and DC DGS Interim Director Brian Hanlon. Each official lauded the work of the Design/Build team of Fanning Howey (architects), Turner Construction and program managers McKissack & McKissack. Principal Taylor, Program Manager Teresa Luther (McKissack) and Turner Project Manager Pamela Johnson were especially singled-out as the leaders that made it all happen -- from establishing and maintaining a stable educational environment at Meyer ES, to completing the project on schedule, on budget. More photos and media news report

[Dec, 2011] - 6th Grade Architecture-in-Schools project displayed at DC Washington Architecture Foundation gallery. For the second year, Takoma EC participated in the Architecture in the Schools (AIS) program funded by the Washington Architecture Foundation. Architects from the Gensler firm worked with AIS ProjectMs. Chatmon's 6th grade math class to plan, design and build a neighborhood model that reflects the culture and context of their class as a way to foster students' basic analytic skills, and to help them bridge the gap between what is learned in school and everyday life. Students learned about geometry in architecture; geometric composition, and types of architectural drawings. Students were challenged to think creatively and problem solve as they moved into the design process with brainstorming sessions to determine how their neighborhood should function. The final project model was presented and displayed with those of other participating DC schools in the downtown gallery of the Washington Architectural Foundation for the month of December. (more . ..)

[Oct, 2011] Takoma EC 6-8th graders participating in Apangea online Math instructional program
Takoma EC is excited to announce that we are participants in the Apangea Math Program this year! Apangea Math is an award-winning online instructional program that provides individualized math tutoring for students in grades 6-8. The program can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection, giving students the opportunity to learn math from home or school during the week or on weekends! Live, certified U.S. math teachers are made available through Apangea Math to provide intervention and support to students in need. At Takoma EC, middle grades students are required to spend a minimum of 60 minutes each week completing math problems and the progress of each individual student is monitored by teachers. (more . . .)

[Oct, 2011] - Family Reading Night (PS-Gr 3) “Harvest a Good Book” At Takoma's Fall Family Reading Night, pre-school through 3rd grade students and their parents enjoyed reading and holiday Ms. Caputo Reading to Pre-schoolersactivities that began with Principal Taylor' reading "Apple Farmer Annie" to all. Re-convening in classrooms, families and teachers met two extremely friendly "shelter" dogs who joined their reading circles. Elementary students listened to the story of one dog, Tyler, adopted from a shelter. Pre-school students learned the story of their dog who was rescued after losing a leg, listened to a story about pumpkins, and then had fun learning what was inside a pumpkin by cutting one open and removing the pulp and seeds by hand. More photos . . .

[Oct, 2011] - Fun Day/Pumpkin Patch Visit @ Cox Farms
Pre-school @ Cox FarmsStudents in pre-school, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes, along with a large number of their parents, had a great day at the Cox Farms' Pumpkin Fall Festival, Oct 26th. Students learned about farm animals and the role farmers play in our community. There were lots of animals to see and pet -- big hits were the cow which several children got to milk, the baby pigs and their enormous mom, and the pen of baby goats. There were turkeys, rabbits, chicks, horses – even an alpaca. Rain showers didn’t dampen the children's fun and their enthusiasm for the fantastic hayrides and extra tall “hay slides”. Everyone got to take home a small pumpkin. More photos . . .

[Oct, 2011] - Takoma EC "Walks for the Homeless"
HelpTheHomelss 2011Takoma student volunteers helped again this year to prevent and end homelessness with their walk and tour of Howard University as part of Fannie Mae's Help the Homeless Program. Each student volunteer is counted toward the overall program count that determines donations from others. This year their participation resulted in raising roughly $3,500. The event was co-sponsored by Mary's House DC who provided each participating student with a free event T-shirt. Older students chaparoned by TEC staff walked to 12th and U Streets and back to Takoma@ Meyer. Ms. McClure, Takoma EC Social Worker and liaison to the Fannie Mae program organized the school's efforts and briefly presented to the students the facts on the current numbers of homeless in DC.

[Oct, 2011] - Community meeting on Takoma EC Modernization
Attendees were treated to an update of the project status at the meeting sponsored by Councilmember Bowser and DC Dept of General Services. The presentation included videos of the ongoing construction within the building.

[Sep, 2011]- Pre-school Classes Visit Phillips Collection
PhillipsPre-school students classes learned about patterns, shapes and colors through a field trip to the Phillips Collection as part of its Art Links To Literacy program. The arts-integration component emphasizes how art, combined with reading and writing, can instill a lifelong love of learning while enhancing the school curriculum and practice. More photos . . .

[Sep, 2011] - Back to School Nights
Takoma EC songFalcon Fashion showParents and teachers viewed the traditional Falcon Fashion show displaying Takoma school uniform styles. Principal Taylor introduced the teams of teachers for the 2011-12 school year. The new Takoma EC song was introduced to parents and teachers by middle school students. More photos . . .

[Aug, 2011] - Opening Day!Opening Day
Takoma EC students receive a warm enthusiastic welcome as they return to Takoma at Meyer ES. More photos . . .