Fighting Poverty with Passion
The first half of the school year is complete; now we’re looking to the second semester at Homer A. Plessy Community School. Following multiple UNO science days and collaborating with Pizza Delicious for a ‘Plessy Night,’ I find that one of the best ways for me to measure the first semester at school is to walk down the hallways.
When we first arrived at what was once Frederick Douglas High School, but would soon become a double school of Arise Academy and Homer A. Plessy School, we were amazed at the work ahead of us. Not only was the school under construction, it also needed something more to make it a school. The floors were covered, so we couldn’t see the beautiful hardwood beneath it. Each classroom was painted the color of a prestigious college or university, so our walls were plastered in garish colors that would detract from the space. After working in conjunction with the Recovery School District to make repairs, Homer A. Plessy Community School students were able to begin their first day of school in their new building. Not long into being in the first quarter, we were approached by a screen printing course at Tulane University who wanted to use our walls to create a mural. The students arrived two weeks later, laying down plastic sheeting so as not to destroy the newly exposed wooden floors. The service learning course came every Saturday thereafter, and created a classroom tool to help students learn the seasons, their letters, and their shapes. At first, it was difficult to see what the final result would be.
Slowly the picture began to form. Students took to looking down the hallway… until, finally, you could see that the screen printing class had created a mural of a tree that extended down the hallway. Now that the first semester of the school year has passed, walking down the hallways you can see the progress we, as a school, have made and what goals we have yet to achieve.
In addition to working with the Tulane University screen printing course this semester. Homer A. Plessy Community School partnered with Communities in School to host an after school program affectionately named Champ Camp. Champ Camp is an opportunity for our students here, at Homer A. Plessy Community School, to have academic enhancement as well as arts enrichment every afternoon in 45 minute blocks. The program offers several different activities such as soccer, theatre, song writing, guitar club, dance and science(STEM); divided by age ranging from 4-9 years old. We look forward to see what activities 2014 will bring us!