Thursday, April 29, 2010

2010: Student Events at NASA

Information parents can use!
Provided by
Nesa Herring of PGCPS

2010 Green Aviation Student Competition NASA invites students to propose ideas and designs for future aircraft that use less fuel, produce fewer harmful emissions and make less noise. High school individuals or teams are asked to submit a well-documented paper and a short video. Top-scoring video entries may be aired on NASA Web sites, and students may win a trip to an aviation event. Entrants must be full-time students at accredited secondary institutions. Entries must be submitted by May 1, 2010, or Dec. 15, 2010.

Space Day 2010
Space Day takes place on May 7, 2010, and events are planned nationwide to celebrate. The fun continues on May 8, 2010, with the Space Day Family Day event taking place in Washington, D.C. Space Day promotes mathematics, science, technology and engineering education by nurturing young peoples' enthusiasm for the wonders of the universe and inspiring them to continue the stellar work of today's space explorers.

Free Lecture
-- Phoenix's Arctic Adventure For five months in 2008, the Phoenix spacecraft studied a northern arctic plain of Mars to understand the history of water in the planet's polar regions. On June 3, 2010, Peter Smith of the University of Arizona will discuss what Phoenix taught us about water, climate cycles and habitability on Mars. The lecture begins at 8 p.m. at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Come early for a Meet the Lecturer question and answer. The lecture will be webcast live.

Hubble 3D Movie Blasts into IMAX® and IMAX® 3D Theatres
Take the ultimate field trip! Through the power of IMAX® 3-D, journey through distant galaxies to explore the mysteries of our celestial surroundings, accompany space-walking astronauts as they attempt the most difficult tasks in NASA history, and experience never-before-seen 3-D flights through Hubble imagery. Classroom activities inspired by the film are available for downloading. Exclusive IMAX engagements began on March 19, 2010.

Hitch a Ride on the Glory Satellite
Do you want to hitch a ride on NASA's next climate monitoring satellite? Join the Glory mission, which will launch no earlier than Oct. 1, 2010, by surfing over to the Send Your Name Around the Earth Web page. Names will be recorded on a microchip built into the satellite, and you will get a printable certificate from NASA acknowledging your participation. There are already 226,323 names on the chip, but there's still plenty of room. You may not submit your name more than once.

Send Your Name to Mars
NASA invites you to submit your name to be included on a microchip that will be sent to Mars as part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, scheduled to launch in 2011. The Mars Science Laboratory is a rover that will assess whether Mars ever was, or still is, an environment able to support microbial life. Participants can print a certificate of participation and view a map showing where other contributors are from.
From Earth to the Universe"
Exhibit "From Earth to the Universe" is a collection of astronomical images that showcase the most dramatic views of the universe. The images represent the incredible variety of astronomical objects that are known to exist -- planets, comets, stars, nebulae, galaxies and the clusters in which they congregate -- and are being exhibited in over 250 locations throughout the world in 2009 and 2010. Over 60 countries are scheduled to host a FETTU exhibit.

Student Opportunity:
Odyssey of the Mind The Earth Observing System Project Science Office is sponsoring an Odyssey of the Mind Long-Term Problem -- Earth Trek. Teams will design and build a small vehicle that will visit four locations. Each time it leaves a location, the vehicle will look different. After leaving one of the locations, it will appear to be a group of vehicles traveling together. The team's performance will incorporate the visits to the locations, the environments and the changes in appearance of the vehicle.

An EduSocial Network for the Engaged Parent and Dedicated Educator

If you are an engaged parent who aspires to be active in the academic lives of their children and would like to connect with other parents who have a similar affinity please consider joining our Parents and PGCPS Network. The network is an EduSocial Network for the Engaged Parent and Dedicated Educator where there is discussion around the issues relating to parents.
To join follow the link below:

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Prince Georges County Parents' and Teachers Association (PGCPTA) Council

The Prince Georges County Parents' and Teachers Association (PGCPTA) Council, is extending an invitation to all parent leaders PTA/PTSA/PTO as well as your general membership and parents to attend the General Membership Meeting of the Prince Georges' County Parent and Teachers Association Council, Inc. on Tuesday, April 27 at 7:00 pm at Largo High School 505 Largo Rd, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772.

It is time for PGCPS and the community to work together to address and resolve critical issues affecting the educational environment of our students. We look forward to having you join us in this endeavor.

Look forward to seeing you!

Motto - “Keeping Our Eyes On the Prize – Our Youth”.

PGCPTA Council members contact information:

Theresa Saunders, President –
Carmen Braxton,1st VP -
Michael Sedgwick, 2nd VP -
Rhonda Chandler, Recording Secretary -
Latisha Corey, Corresponding Secretary -
Felton Magee, Treasurer -

Email us -

Please visit us at

Theresa Saunders, President
PGCPTA Council, Inc.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Opening doors with language

Prince George's County Public Schools' Parent Liaison Sandra Butler and members of DuVal High School are supporting the needs of their community through the development of English classes. The classes are designed to help county's Spanish-speaking residents. According to Liz Skalski of the Prince George's Gazette, "The classes began Monday and will be held for one hour every week through June 14 for Spanish-speaking adults who live in the Lanham area to increase their ability to speak, read and write English. The classes, which are taught in English and follow a textbook curriculum, are organized and taught by three members of the Spanish ministry at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro. A member of the school's Parent Teacher Student Association attends the church."

To read more on this story click on Liz Skalski.

PGCPS Teacher of the Month: Marsha Forney

Background: Ms. Forney, a native of North Carolina, received her B.A. degree in Mathematics from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina. She received a M.A. degree in Mathematics from Morgan State University. Ms. Forney has taught for 21 years, of which 13 have been with Prince George’s County Public Schools. Currently, she is a mathematics teacher at Largo High School.

Accomplishments: Ms. Forney serves as the Mathematics Teacher Coordinator. She is a member of the School Planning Management Team. She is a second year participant in the FIRST Grant, and serves on the Evaluation Committee. She was a resident student of the Governor’s Academy held at Towson University.

Principal’s Message: Ms. Forney is a phenomenal educator. She is dedicated to her students and department setting high expectations for all. I have never been more impressed with an instructor’s ability to challenge, instruct, motivate an inspire students the way Ms. Forney does on a daily basis. Ms. Forney has created a classroom community of high expectations; her students know what is expected of them and they deliver every time because they want to make her proud. The staff and students of Largo admire Ms. Forney because she goes above and beyond the call of duty, assisting students, staff, and parents. She is staff member of integrity, her actions speak louder than her words and she cares about what is good for students and the Largo community.

Why I Love Teaching: As early as my high school years, I knew that I wanted to become a teacher. I have an unyielding desire to always want to help. If I can share with others what I have learned or experienced while fulfilling my dream, then I have accomplished my goal. Teaching affords me the opportunity to assist young people into becoming productive citizens. I feel rewarded when I can facilitate learning in an environment that allows children to expand their knowledge base by acquiring the requisite skills for success in future endeavors. I teach because I am sure it is my calling.

PTO: Today's Parent Group of the Year

PTO Today's Parent Group of the Year Contest is an opportunity to showcase your hard workwhile giving your school the chance to win cash and prizes.Maximum Award: $3,000, plus 60 cases of personalized fundraising chocolate ($3,000 value)from World's Finest Chocolate.Eligibility: all parent groups -- PTO, PTA, HSA, PTC, etc.; public and private schools; rural,suburban, and urban schools.Deadline: June 1, 2010.

Scholar of the Week: Parkdale High School Senior So Mang

Quick Facts Grade: 12GPA: Current 4.85 , Cumulative 4.47

Academics: International Baccalaureate Program

Extra curricular Activities: National Honor Society, Asian Club, Mock Trial, Softball, 4.0 Club, Orchestra, and Youth Group at University Bible Fellowship - She has over 200 hours of Community Service.

Future Goals: So has applied to Dartmouth College, Amherst College, Harvard Univeristy and Princeton University. She has already been accepted to University of Maryland College Park Honors College. She is interested in pursuing a medical degree.

Interesting Notes: So has scored over 2000 on her SAT exam. She is an accomplished violinist. She has played many solo performances at past graduations. She will also be competing for her Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do this summer.

Board of Education Invites Community To Discuss Public Education

District 1 Board Community Meeting - Tuesday May 4, 2010 at 7pm

Prince George’s County Board of Education Member Rosalind A. Johnson will host a community meeting at Eleanor Roosevelt High School - Tuesday May 4, 7pm. The public is encouraged to join District 1 Board Member Johnson, her colleagues on the Board of Education, elected officials, and community leaders for an open discussion on issues in public education. Spanish translation will be available at all meetings. For more information, please contact the Board Office at 301-952-6115.

Dad's involvement helps kid in school


A father, who changes his baby's diapers and keeps a check on the child's day to day activities, is more likely to be more involved in the kid's school years as well, according to a University of Illinois study . The study explores the role of parent involvement on student achievement. "If we want fathers to be involved in school, we need to focus on men building close, loving relationships with their children in the preschool years.

When fathers do this, they're writing a script that says they’re involved in their child’s life, and their expectation is that they’ll go on being involved in that child’s life," said Brent McBride, a professor of Human Development. He focussed on affection as an example of early parent involvement. "That can be as simple as a father winking at his three-year-old child.
If you, as a dad, develop an affectionate way of interacting with your preschooler, later when your child comes home and tells you what he’s done in school that day, the warm, close relationship you’ve built will allow him to approach you with trust, and it will allow you to respond to your child’s enthusiasm or frustration in a positive way," he said. ‘ He added: "If fathers wait to seek a closer relationship with their child until later in the child's life, the moment has passed."

The study was conducted on 390 children and their families from the Child Development Supplement data set of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. When the children were two to five years old, the researchers measured five early parenting behaviours in both parents. The behavioural characteristics were-parent-child household-centred activities, parent-child child-centred activities (for example, reading to kids), parental limit setting, responsibility (such as making doctor’s appointments), and demonstrating affection. Later, they assessed mothers'' and fathers'' involvement in school and the children’s student achievement.

The study showed that the paths are different for mothers and fathers, and it is believed that parents and teachers should acknowledge that and build on these differences. For example, although mothers’ involvement in school-related activities was positively associated with student achievement, fathers'' involvement in such activities had a negative correlation with academic success. "But this occurs because fathers who have established a pattern of being involved early in a child's life are more likely to step in at school (for example, in formal conferences and interaction with teachers) when their child is struggling in the school setting," he said.

However, he explained that parental roles are not scripted for men as they are for women, and expectations aren't as clear-cut, saying: "As long as a father is providing for his children, he's usually considered a good father." "And, although we’re trying to encourage fathers to become more engaged in parenting than they have been, I don’t believe the institutional mechanisms are in place to help that engagement along. Child-care providers and teachers aren’t trained to approach fathers to help them become more involved as parents," he said. He believes the best way to make these changes is to work with child-care providers and educators, so that they broaden their definition of parent to mean more than mothers.

Glenn Dale Elementary's 2nd Annual "W.o.R.M."

Get out your walkin' shoes and check the air in those tires!

Glenn Dale's Walk-or-Ride Marathon is this Saturday, the 24th from 8am to 11am. The 3.5-mile walk will start at the Glenn Dale Community Center (11901 Glenn Dale Blvd) and go along the WB&A Trail.

*Children may ride their bikes, but MUST wear a helmet.

8:00am — On-site Registration beginsYou can also participate in the warm-up session hosted by A-Plus Academy Taekwondo!8:15am — Walk / Ride begins

On-site Registration: $5.00 / person
• Snacks & gift bag for each participant (*while supplies last)
• Health information
• Games & prizes

Funds raised through this program will be used toward after-school enrichment programs at Glenn Dale Elementary. This activity is sponsored by the Glenn Dale Elementary PTA

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mourning a 'Lioness' of Civil Rights

Written by:
Lynette Holloway

Dorothy I. Height, a commanding force in civil rights movement who stood on the platform with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during his historic "I Have a Dream'' speech, died of natural causes at 3:41 a.m. at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC. She was 98 years old.

"She led the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years, and served as the only woman at the highest level of the civil rights movement -- witnessing every march and milestone along the way," said President Barack Obama in a statement. "And even in the final weeks of her life -- a time when anyone else would have enjoyed their well-earned rest -- Dr. Height continued her fight to make our nation a more open and inclusive place for people of every race, gender, background and faith."

Height knocked down barriers to achieve equal protections for black men and women, especially in her capacity as president of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) between 1957 and 1998. She also worked for the YWCA, counseled presidents, including Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson on critical social and civil rights issues, and walked in lockstep with first lady Eleanor Roosevelt to usher in vital changes for women's rights.

In fact, it was with Roosevelt that Height caught the prescient eye of Mary McLeod Bethune, founder and president of the NCNW, in a moment that forever changed Height's life. Height, who was serving as director of the Harlem YWCA, apparently made a great impression on Bethune while escorting Roosevelt to the event.

"Mrs. Bethune invited Height to join NCNW in her quest for women's rights to full and equal employment, pay and education,'' the NCNW site says. In her role at the NCNW, Height went on to make history. The native of Richmond, Va., who was a standout public school student, labored tirelessly to register voters and to end segregation. She helped pave the way for the rise of women like first lady Michelle Obama, Valerie Jarrett, assistant to the president for intergovernmental relations and public liaison, and Ursula M. Burns, the chief executive officer of Xerox and the first African-American woman to lead a S&P 100 company.

"Throughout her life, Dr. Height inspired countless women to become effective leaders," said her friend, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman, in a statement posted on the Howard Medical University Hospital Web site.

Civil Rights Icon Benjamin Hooks Passes Away At 85

Written by:

Emma Brown of the Washington Post

Benjamin Hooks, longtime NAACP director and champion of minorities and the poor, died early this morning at his home in Tennessee. He was 85.

Dr. Hooks was a lawyer and preacher who became one of the country's great civil rights leaders. In 2007, President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the country.

"Dr. Hooks was a calm yet forceful voice for fairness, opportunity and personal responsibility," said George W. Bush, presenting Dr. Hooks the Presidential Medal of Freedom. "He never tired or faltered in demanding that our nation live up to its founding ideals of liberty and equality."
In the 1960s, Dr. Hooks became the first black judge since the Civil War to sit on a state trial court in the South when he was appointed to the Tennessee Criminal Court.

In the 1970s, he became the first black commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission when President Richard Nixon appointed him to that post. He pushed through a new rule requiring television and radio stations to be offered publicly before they could be sold; minority employment in the broadcast industry increase fivefold during his five-year tenure.

In 1977, he took the helm of the NAACP, an organization whose membership and influence had dwindled since the 1950s and 60s, the days of Rosa Parks and the March on Washington.
"Black Americans are not defeated," he told Ebony magazine after becoming the NAACP's director. "The civil rights movement is not dead. If anyone thinks that we are going to stop agitating, they had better think again."

He led the organization until 1992, successfully boosting its enrollment and visibility.
Here, a tribute to him on his 80th birthday:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Laurel High School Hosts Annual Spartan Fair This Saturday

WHO: Laurel High School

WHAT: Laurel High School Spartan Fair

WHEN: Saturday, April 24, 201010 a.m – 3 p.m.

Rain Date: May 8, 2010

WHERE: Laurel High School 8000 Cherry Lane Laurel, MD 20782

Students and staff of Laurel High School are looking forward to this weekend when they host their annual Spartan Fair. The fair will feature family fun activities including carnival rides and games, moon bounces, student musical performances, a dunk tank, face painting and more.

The purpose of the fair is to promote community and school interactions to foster support and involvement throughout the school year and beyond. Funds raised from the fair will assist student clubs and teams throughout the school year.

Tickets for fair activities are currently on sale and can be purchased at the fair. This event is open to the public. For more information contact the school at 301-497-2050.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

National Radio Host Challenges You To Be A Mentor

Nationally acclaimed radio host Michal Baisden is on a mission to help save kids. He's on a million mentors campaign tour. He is taking his mentoring message to 72 city across the country.

School/University Cooperative Programs For The Summer

Summer Programs for Children and Adolescents 2010

Everything you need for a fun-filled summer is right here. The University of Maryland offers fun and learning for children of all ages. Whether it’s shooting a three-pointer, finding out that physics can be fun or writing a headline for a student newspaper, a full range of activities to engage the interest of any child is available this summer. All of our instructors are fully qualified and many classes use the university’s state-of-the-art sports, education and physical activity facilities. Each program may have its own registration deadline, so be sure to check the course description for information.

As new program information becomes available, the information will be posted. Program directors are encouraged to submit program information to the compiled listing. For omissions and/or revisions to the postings, please contact Betty Bowers at

Summer Playgrounds & Teen Centers:

Summer playgrounds will begin operation on Monday, June 28, and run through Friday, August 6. The program is operated by M-NCPPC, but hosted at school sites throughout Prince George's County. Playgrounds operate Mondays-Fridays, 9 am to 3 pm. Playgrounds will be closed July 5. The $25 activity fee offsets costs for personnel and supplies. Additional nominal fees will be charged for off-site transportation and special events, where applicable. Participants attending a playground site that does not provide refrigeration should bring a non-perishable lunch. Pre-registration is mandatory. Sites subject to change based on location availability and sufficient registration.

For a list of sites click here

The Fourth Annual Gathering of Leaders: Re-imagining Schooling for Boys and Young Men of Color

Dear Friends and Colleagues: It is with a great deal of enthusiasm that I write to announce the 2010 Gathering of Leaders, the premier annual event for the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color. The Gathering has become well known for the quality of its program and highly regarded for the unrelenting focus on the affirmative development and education of boys and young men of color.

The Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color intends to continue this tradition at the 2010 Gathering of Leaders which will be held on April 22 - 24, 2010 in Washington, D.C. I am also pleased to announce that the School of Education at Howard University, under the leadership of Dean Lesley Fenwick, will serve as the conference site. Howard University is well known for the quality of its academic program and commitment to high standards of academic excellence. The theme of this 4th annual Gathering is Re-Imagining Schooling for Boys and Young Men of Color. It will feature workshops on promising practices led by educators from schools that are at the forefront of educating boys and young men of color.

The opening plenary session will be held on the morning of April 23rd with workshops continuing on April 23rd and 24th. Additional features include: Free pre-session for school leaders hosted by COSEBOC school founders and leaders on April 22nd; Congressional briefing on the status of K-12 education for boys and young men of color on April 22nd .

The Gathering of Leaders presents the perfect forum for us to test new paradigms and share promising practices. Gathering participants will have time to grapple with essential questions such as 'What do re-imagined schools look like?' 'How will these schools ensure successful outcomes for male students of color?' They will have time to reflect and learn with old friends and new associates. The conference registration fee is $395 for non-COSEBOC members, $295 for COSEBOC members. We are also offering a college student rate of $75 per day with a valid school ID. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER CLICK HERE TO BECOME A MEMBER

The COSEBOC website will provide registration details, agenda updates, workshop listings and sign-up procedures, and hotel information for the beautiful Westin Hotel in City Center (1400 M Street NW Washington, D.C., 20005) As the only national organization fully dedicated to the affirmative development and education of male students of color, the theme of Re-Imagining Schooling poses an important and provocative challenge and opportunity. This is a conference not to be missed. It will be ground breaking. Please make your plans early. We anticipate full enrollment.

See you in D.C. Ron Walker Executive Director


COSEBOC is a collaborative network of schools that nurture success in boys of color. Working with these schools, COSEBOC is committed to high standards, exemplary instruction, and the building of coalitions within and outside the community. The intended long-term outcome of this coalition will be boys of color who are fully equipped to achieve academically, socially and emotionally. These schools will serve as models for the educational community, enabling educators to replicate the promising practices modeled in these schools.


Bond Mill Elementary School principal Justin Fitzgerald will receive The Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award during a ceremony and reception at The Washington Post on April 29 at 5 p.m.

Fitzgerald was nominated by his school community and selected by a committee of his peers in Prince George’sCounty Public Schools (PGCPS) as the school system’s nominee for this annual award.“Mr. Fitzgerald sets the bar for effective leadership inour schools,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Jr., Superintendent of Schools. “He leads by example, and inspires students ands staff to be their best, work together, and take an active role in the success of their school.”After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from American University in 1996, Fitzgerald began his career in PGCPS as a classroom teacher at Bradbury Heights Elementary School.

After four years, he moved to Hollywood Elementary School and began pursuing a career as an elementary school administrator, earning a Masters Degree at American University in 2001 and completing anadministrative internship in 2002. Following a one-year appointment as Assistant Principal at Glenarden Woods Elementary School, he was named principal of Bond Mill in 2004.

With a focus on working together as a team to ensure that all Bond Mill students are successful, Fitzgerald takes a hands-on approach, assisting with after-school tutoring, cheering on the Destination ImagiNation team, and even washing cars during a school fundraiser.

Last Day to vote for LES Leopards Sing My Jingle Contest

Last day to vote for the LES Leopard's entry in the Harris Teeter Sing My Jingle Contest Go to and click on the Together in Education section then find the Sing My Jingle Link then vote!


Laurel Elementary School PTA
Eileen Collins, President
Elizabeth Vargas, VP
Kara Weinstein, Treasurer
Julia Pinto, Secretary

M-NCPPC Safe Summer Call for Support

Safe Summer Call for Support on Tuesday, April 13th 1:30 – 3:30pm
Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex
Landover A and B Rooms

The Department of Parks and Recreation aims to “Make late nights GREAT nights!” M-NCPPC is taking on the night in 2010 to provide young people ages 12-24 with a safe haven after dark. From June 25 to August 21, twenty-four of our facilities will be open from 10 pm to midnight Monday through Saturday to provide teens and young adults with places where they can hang out with friends, explore recreational pursuits, and learn about taking an active role in keep themselves and their communities safe.

M-NCPPC believes in taking the “village” approach in assisting our youth in making wiser and safer choices for their future. With your support, we can make this program an even greater success. Your support can come in many forms: through tax deductible gifts and donations, promotional and advertising support, gift cards and giveaway items, and commitments of volunteer time. The Department of Parks and Recreation is excited to share results from 2009, plans for 2010 Safe Summer activities and stories from our community partners to spread the word and assist with ensuring Safe Summer 2010’s success. Last year we served over 40,000 youth, with your help we can achieve more! Please join us as we provide opportunities for Prince George’s County youth to live more, play more!

RSVP by April 12th at 301-446-3400

For more information, please contact Anica O’Neil at 301-446-3438 or email at

Anica O'Neil
Youth Specialist, Special Programs Division
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation
7833 Walker Drive, Suite 110
Greenbelt, Maryland 20770
Office: (301)446-3438/(301)446-3401

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The College of William and Mary Summer Program for 10th Grade Students

The College of William and Mary has a fantastic opportunity for 10th grade students

Program "STAR" (the science training and research program) is offering aall-expense paid (housing, textbooks, meals etc) 4-week program forstudents who come from disadvantaged backgrounds (defined in the programas those from lower socio-economic backgrounds as well as students withparents whose formal education includes little or no college-levelwork). Students will be introduced to the world of science, research andtechnology as well as receive intensive SAT tutorials.

If you know of any 10th grade students who would be eligible for such aprogram, please send me their names ASAP. I would like to have theirapplication in by next week.

***They must have a least a cumulative "B" average

Photos of the 2010 Parental Engagement Conference

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

The Middle School Years

Visits From Engaged Parents and Dedicated Educators