Archives for category: Baltimore Justice

Councilman Brandon Scott will speak at Ignite Education November 18, 2015 at City Neighbors.

logo ignite-01This Wednesday night 13 speakers will take the stage at the City Neighbors High School Cafe and share their ideas for Education and Justice in Baltimore.  This Ignite Education event is a night of lightning fast talks.  Each speaker gets 5 minutes and 20 slides to share their passion.

Come and here are great line up for this Wednesday night including:  Marc Steiner, Councilman Brandon Scott, Zeke Cohen, Bob Dietzen, Adam Ruben, Hannah Tall, Sam Rather, Jonathan Prozzi, Kristina Berdan, Brian Gerardo, Students of St. Francis, Caroline Chavasse, and Richard Morris.

Join us for a night of inspiration, some great food and drinks, and a chance to network with a community who are dedicated to the children of Baltimore.  We need to gather, to dream, to help each other do the hard work of making change in Baltimore.  Come on out and have a great night and Ignite Education!  Hope to see you there!

Register HERE.

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Here we are, deep in the Baltimore summer, and for the first time in 11 years we aren’t doing any major construction at City Neighbors.  Since we first opened we have been adding grades, opening schools, renovating spaces…but not this summer.  We just have the usual touch ups, maintenance, and repairs.  So, what are we doing?  Summer Camp!

Thanks to the vision of our Camp Director, Kate Seidl, and our faculty and staff, this year the very first City Neighbors Children Summer Camp is up and running for the month of July.  With 40 students from 1st through 4th grade our camp is focused on literacy, math, and giving our students a true camp experience.  What is a true camp experience?  To us, that means plenty of targeted reading and writing anchored in amazing experiences like gardening, bike riding, field trips, visiting artists, clay work, songwriting, cooking, games, walking to the library, camping overnight, making friends, laughter, singing, dancing, and the joyful work of summertime.  Pretty much the usual City Neighbors experience – but in the summer.

We look forward to digging in to the data:  our reading levels, vocabulary, and of course, the most difficult to measure – every child being Known, Loved, and Inspired!

Next year we hope to expand our summer camp.  Offer it to more students, more teachers, and let it grow.  In the meantime, here are a few pictures for you to enjoy!

CN Summer Camp

Kaleb reading to the chickens in the garden.


Camping overnight on campus.

Camping overnight on campus.

Working with our Youthworker!

Working with our Youthworker!

Some fun and clay work by the boys!

Some fun and clay work by the boys!

4 students took off the training wheels with the help of some friends!

4 students took off the training wheels with the help of some friends!

barbarshop kids

These kindergarteners at City Neighbors Hamilton were playing “barbershop” when I stopped by the other day.  They had already moved a few chairs around and set up the things they thought they’d need, and were having a great time together.  In the fine tradition of the back room barbershops of down south, they were sharing music, telling stories and practicing a range of roles and social interactions.

At City Neighbors we take a stand for Play as essential to teaching and learning.  Play strengthens creativity, imagination and self-confidence.  Through Play, children learn to collaborate, share, express themselves, and increase their vocabulary and attention span.  (Check out this great article by David Kohn for more on Play!)  Play gives young children a chance to practice the different grown-up scripts that they want to understand and master, like Barbershop.  Most importantly, through Play, students begin a relationship to learning that is driven internally– not externally.

This is one of the many reasons City Neighbors Teachers led a push-back to the standardized PARCC testing in schools this year.  At City Neighbors, we create long, uninterrupted times for students to develop scripts.  We use assessment that are ongoing and authentic, and find PARCC testing results simply not useful to inform our instruction.  In these ways and more, PARCC testing is a waste of everyone’s time.

Your voice can make a difference.  Join us in this effort.  To find out about the movement to end PARCC testing in Maryland, visit

In the meantime, the good times are still rolling at City Neighbors Hamilton Kindergarten!  Be sure to stop by the Barbershop and listen to some fine quick pickin’, hear some great storytelling or pretend to get your haircut.

This is real learning.  This is not a test.


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