from the life of a teacher

Harlem Children’s Zone September 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — amaliskas1234 @ 11:50 am

As I have been studying the Harlem Children’s Zone the past few weeks I have come across some very insightful information.

  •  HCZ has an asthma initiative to improve asthma conditions in children living in the Harlem area. I found it interesting that they conducted research on how many children missed school and what was the reason for missing school.Through this research HCZ found that 29.7% of children had missed school due to asthma in the previous 14 days. Forty-two months later, only 6.8% had missed school due to asthma in the previous 14 days. I found this research very surprising at the drop that occurred in children missing school due to asthma related sickness after the program was implemented. I do question whether the same weather patterns were occurring when the post-assessment was conducted. I know quite a few children who only struggle with asthma related problems in certain weather patterns. I would be interested to see what the weather patterns were at each assessment.

  • HCZ adds to my knowledge of how economists, neuroscientists, and politicians support the early childhood field. They have gained support with economists politicians through programs to help end poverty within the Harlem area. Each week they provide a program called single stop to provide free services concerning securing public benefits, access to legal guidance, financial advice, debt relief counseling and even advice on domestic crisis resolution. HCZ acknowledges that in order for  children to be successful, their families have to be successful . And for families to be successful, their community must be successful. Because of this  HCZ works to strengthen families to educate them  on the positive impact they can have on their child’s  development.

Last time I explored the website I shared the information I found on the Baby College and the Harlem Gems Pre-k / kindergarten program. One of our classmates brought up a VERY GOOD question concerning how students above early childhood were doing and if they were receiving the support to stay on track. Through exploring the website more I found the answer to this question. Last time I shared the statistic that – . Through more research I found a very encouraging statistic that in 2009, the third-graders from both schools were 100 percent on or above grade level in the statewide math program. At Promise Academy 1 the third-graders were 94 percent on or above grade level in English Language Arts, while the third-graders at Promise Academy II were at 86 percent. I also found that in 2009, 87.3 percent of the school’s eighth-graders attending a HCZ middle school were on or above grade level in math on the New York Statewide exam. It is very encouraging to know that these children are staying on track throughout their academic career.


Poverty around the World September 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — amaliskas1234 @ 2:54 pm

One of my professional contacts is April (I cannot disclose her full name for safety purposes). She teaches at an elementary school in Turkey.

Through our conversations I learned that April does not come in contact with poverty within her day to day teaching job. She teaches at a private school where the tuition is 15,000 a year. All of her students are the children of  doctors and other well-paid professionals. She said because of this she is able to see a huge division between the classes. Private schools in Turkey are intended for the “educated, professional, modern class.” April explained to me that although she does not come into direct contact with poverty within her school she does see around the city in which she lives. She explained there are high amounts of large families stuffed in single apartments that will never have the option of “good” schools. The most common areas of poverty found where she is has resulted from villagers coming to the city to look for jobs. Having lived in America most of her life April described the state of poverty in Turkey much less than in America because families tend to stay together despite experiencing poverty. Along with this April discussed poverty seen in the Roma villages. She explained that the highest percentage of homelessness in Turkey is found within the Roma villages. She explained that they travel together and set up camps. They often live in trucks or tents. A lot of them even live under stairwells and in basements.

When we discussed what types of things are being done to help those in poverty April explained that there are  limited number of NGO-type groups that work to help them but all in all the government does very little in regards to the poverty issue.

My other professional contact did not get back with me. Because of this I went to to explore more on the topic. Through this website I was reaffirmed that poverty is everywhere. acknowledges that over 600 million children live in poverty around the world. Sadly the children living in poverty today will most likely be the parents living in poverty in the future. A child experiencing poverty can feel results of it much later in life through health issues and learning difficulties.

Through exploring the website and talking with April I realized that no matter where you go there will be aspects of poverty there. Further, if we are going to try to stop poverty we must educate people living in poverty on how to get out of the vicious cycle. All too often people living in poverty are discriminated against by organizations and perhaps even the government. If we do not want the children living in poverty today to be the parents living in poverty tomorrow we must get up and do something about it!


Harlem Children’s Zone September 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — amaliskas1234 @ 2:01 pm

I chose the Harlem Children’s Zone website to study. The link to this website is <

Harlem Children’s Zone began 1970 as Rheedlen as the city’s first truancy-prevention program. Over the years it transformed into Harlem Children’s Zone.  The Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) is dedicated to implement innovative, efficiently run programs intended to break the cycle of generational poverty for the thousands of children and families it serves. Some of the ways HCZ has done this is by establishing a parenting workshops, a preschool program, a high-quality charter school, an asthma initiative, and an obesity program.

While I was exploring the website I saw a statistic that grabbed my attention. The statistic stated that 100% of Harlem Gems pre-kindergartners were at grade level – for the seventh consecutive year. WOW!!! As a kindergarten teacher this blew my mind and delighted my heart. It motivated me to continue reading about HCZ’s pre-k program. I found out that they refer to their pre-k program as the Harlem Gems. The Harlem Gems is an all-day pre-kindergarten program aimed to prepare children for kindergarten. The classes have a 4:1 ratio and are in session from  8 a.m. to 6 p.m. HCZ runs three pre-kindergarten sites, serving 200 children. Within this program they teach children English, Spanish, and French. Teachers are trained to promote an emotional responsive classroom. Upon reading about this I learned that they also offer enrollment for expecting parents into a “Baby College” where they educate parents on childbirth up to two years. I thought this was extraordinary!


Contacts for early childhood professionals around the world. September 10, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — amaliskas1234 @ 12:06 am

I started out trying to make  contacts by contacting two people I know of that live in different countries. I explained to them what I was needing and asked if they knew of anyone within the early childhood field I could connect with.

I then got on the NAEYC Global Alliance website and contacted representatives in Ireland, Macedonia, and Lithuania. I also got on the UNICEF website and contacted a representative in Turkey. My emails were returned from Ireland and Lithuania with a message saying emails could not be delivered to the assigned address.

I heard back from one of the people I contacted saying they were unable to help.  I just received an email today from the other person I knew saying she would love to be a contact.  I did not hear back from the remaining 2. At this point I am thinking I am going to have to do the alternative assignment since I only have 1 contact.

As I was looking over the provided websites to study The Harlem Children’s Zone caught my eye. I have been to New York two different times to work in an after school care facility within the Mothaven district of the Bronx. That experience has meant a huge deal to me. As soon as I saw the Harlem Children’s Zone I was intrigued to learn more. I have greatly enjoyed studying this website and I look forward to studying it more!

Has anyone else had luck in establishing contacts? I would love to know what steps you took and which ones were successful!