Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Our School Clubs are Making Names for Themselves!

ASPIRA of PA proudly highlights some of the amazing successes that our students and staff have achieved over the past few months! We are extremely proud of their dedication, victories, and how well they have represented themselves and our network throughout our city.

Hostos Charter's "Ciberneticos" Robotics Club Success:

Congratulations to the Ciberneticos for their performance at the First Lego League (FLL) Championship at the University of Pennsylvania on February 1st. This event hosted 46 teams from across the region and the winning team will go on to participate in the National competitions at St. Louis. Although the Ciberneticos didn't win the event, their participation was great and they represented our school and community in the best fashion.  Kudos to the team coaches for the work they put in with the team during the season. At the event, one of the team's coaches was recognized with a Penn FLL Championship Tournament Coach Award. Their work certainly was demonstrated by the performance of the team. Bearing in mind that this is the team's rookie year and they made it all the way to the regionals, this is truly an achievement!

Olney Charter's Debate Team Victories:

Olney Charter hosted a Junior Varsity debate tournament on March 15th. Teams from Franklin Towne Charter, Audenreid, and Boys Latin attended. One of Olney's teams, made up of a 10th and an 11th grader, won the tournament! They not only were undefeated, but scored the highest speaking points of all other teams. They will be able to compete in the Varsity division next year. Another 10th grader at Olney competed for the first time at this tournament, and she scored the highest speaker points among all the teams she faced.

The city-wide Voices of Philadelphia Debate Tournament took place on March 22nd at the University of Pennsylvania.  It was the final debate competition of the spring season and had a large turnout, with teams from the Academy at Palumbo, George Washington, Bodine, Audenreid, Science Leadership Academy, and many more. The competition only had a Varsity division, so all 5 Olney teams competed at the Varsity level. Two Varsity teams made it passed the elimination rounds into the finals. One team broke to the quarter finals and another Olney team made it to the semi-finals, only one round away from competing in the final match. Science Leadership Academy won the tournament. Olney’s Debate Team Coach was named Coach of the Year by the Philadelphia Debate League!

We congratulate everyone involved for a job well done and appreciate how well our students and staff represented us.

Stetson's Poetry Club Competes at High School Level:

Stetson's Poetry Club students meet weekly to use their writing to express their voice as young people, watching other poets, listening to good performance skills, responding to visual and writing prompts. This year our school got involved in the Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement (PYPM), which is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization that "provides a safe space for Philadelphia teens to discover the power of their voices through spoken word and literary expression." Their Poetry Slam League is a high school program in which Stetson, as a middle school, has received a special opportunity to participate. Our Poetry Club has a solid team of students from all grades, 5-8, representing the school proudly. They attended the PYPM Slam Kickoffs in February and have participated in other league competitions since then. You can view one of their recent readings here. We are amazed at their courage to read their work in from of a bunch of highschoolers! The staff at PYPM and the highschoolers in the league have been praising our students and inspiring them to continue using the power of their voices.