Central Library Art Exhibit Leads to Powerful Conversations
On Thursday, September 18, 2014, Mr. Ballard took his Save Our Students class – all young men in the making – to the Indianapolis Central Library for an unusual field trip. There, the 14 IPA students experienced a guided tour of artist James Pate’s “Kin Killin’ Kin” exhibit. According to the library website, Pate is considered to be “one of the most important African-American artists in the United States.”
Pate’s work on display at the library addresses youth violence in African-American communities while serving as a tribute to this year’s homicide victims in Indianapolis. Further, it represents a call to action for all of Indy’s residents to find a solution to this wave of violence and the terrible toll it leaves in its wake.
IPA students had an opportunity for deep-level dialogue with the tour guides – who themselves had lost family members to gun violence – about what’s going on in the students’ own lives, what experience they’ve had with violence, what their exposure to gangs has been, and how they can make a difference. Following the discussion, students wrote poems, stream-of-consciousness free writings, and lyrics to be shared in podcasts and videos at the library.
“The guys found the artwork extremely interesting and related it to their own experience in how violence has affected them and their neighborhoods,” Mr. Ballard said. One aspect of the exhibit featured toe tags used by coroners to identify murder victims. Visitors are allowed to write on the tags if they knew someone who had been killed. The name of a young man who was murdered last spring appeared on a tag, and several students immediately recognized the name. “That really hit home,” Mr. Ballard added.
At one point, the guides asked that Mr. Ballard leave the room for them to engage in a private discussion with the students about gang involvement. The students insisted that their behavior coach and mentor stay with them for the conversation. Said one, “Anything we say, we’re comfortable saying it in front of Mr. Ballard.” Mr. Ballard notes that the tour guides found that “remarkable.” We do, too.
The “Kin Killin’ Kin” exhibit concludes its run at the Central Library on September 28, 2014. For more information, go to www.imcpl.org/events/kinexhibit/.
Mrs. Aldrich Encourages IPA Students to Paint Like an Egyptian
Students in Mrs. Aldrich’s “Painting Through the Ages” class recently have been involved in a multifaceted Egyptian art project. Initially, students learned about hieroglyphics -- Egyptian writing methodology rich in symbols, which dates back nearly 5,000 years. Next they selected three-five symbols each that caught their fancy and produced color drawings of them for peer review. Once the peer group determined which design to pursue, things got really interesting. Students carved their design in relief in plaster squares. Once the carving was completed, they created milk paint – from milk, of course! Then the painting commenced.
History coming alive through art – that’s keeping it real!
Mrs. Aldrich instructs her students not only how to paint but how to create the paint that leads to such wondrous artistic creations.
Third Annual ICS Open!
Blue sky means sun – and plenty of it was on hand for the second annual ICS Open, held at Pleasant Run Golf Course on Saturday, May 31st, 2014. This year, 103 golfers registered for the fundraising event, an increase of 12 over the inaugural year.
Although the final numbers aren’t in just yet, indications are that this year’s outing netted more than $7,000, which will directly support the ICS e-learning initiative that begins this summer. Numerous area businesses sponsored the event through monetary and/or product donations (see list of supporters below).
For the second consecutive year, Sahm’s Restaurant and Catering donated lunch. Blossom Chevrolet provided an automobile for the hole-in-one award, which, alas, went unclaimed. Wine & Canvas donated the funds for the Golfer's goodie bags. The Irvington Marsh store donated the beverages and ice for the lunch. George Thomas Florist in Irvington provided the floral arrangements.
Seventeen volunteers staffed the outing, which was orchestrated by Susan Britain, an ICES mom and the ICS Open coordinator. The volunteer team was comprised of ICS parents, students, and staff, as well as family and friends. Irvington Preparatory Academy junior Shelby Wyatt provided event photography services.
The ICS Open is about hosting a good time for a great cause, yet competition was a distinct part of the program. So prizes were given out to the Winning Team (Bloomerang Team: Jay Love, Brad Love, Ross Hendrickson, and Guest), Last Place Team (Nidiffer Team: David Nidiffer, Chris Sum, Rob Dinkel, and John Williams), Longest Putt (Jackie Gantzer), Longest Drive (ICS 2nd grade teacher M.J. Day), and Closest to the Pin (Tom Lannan).
According to Mrs. Britain, “The ICS Open staff could not have picked a more beautiful day to have our event. Players and volunteers alike enjoyed the day on the golf course. Just knowing we were helping our three Irvington charter schools earn money for the new technology initiative only added to our enjoyment.”
Be sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, May 30th, 2015 for the third annual ICS Open!
A very special thanks to our 2014 ICS Open sponsors:
American StructurePoint, Inc.
Arby’s at Edinburgh Premium Outlets
Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.
Associa Community Association Services of Indiana
Audrey’s Place Furniture
Bailey & Wright Dentistry
Beatty Insurance Agency
Black Acre Brewing Co.
Black Sheep Gifts
Bookkeeping Plus, Inc.
Community Hospital East
Dezelan Insurance Agency
Dick’s Sporting Goods
Dufour’s in Irvington
EDGE Guys Heating & Cooling
Indianapolis Firefighters Local #416
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indy Sports Corp.
Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza
Lumina Foundation (Sheri Ranis)
Manley’s Irish Mutt
Marsh Supermarket & Pharmacy
Pleasant Run Golf Course
Preferred Advertising Inc.
Ralph’s Great Divide
RJE Business Interiors
Sun King Brewery
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
The Legend Classic Irvington Cafe
Tin Comet Coffee
Veteran Strategies Inc. (Robert Vane)
Wine & Canvas
YMCA and ICS Partnership
Irvington Community School, Inc. is excited to announce a new partnership with the YMCA for the 2014-2015 school year in delivering Before and After Care services at both ICES and ICMS. An informational meeting about the new programming will be held on Thursday, July 10th, from 6-7 p.m. in the ICES Gym. YMCA staff will be on hand to tell you more about the program and answer any questions. So mark your calendars!
Inaugural ICS Luau Draws Several Hundred Attendees
The weather was picture perfect on Friday, June 6, 2014, for the inaugural Irvington Community Schools Luau. The fun-filled event took place at Irvington Community Elementary School, running from 6-7:30 p.m. Jodie Lannan, ICS Director of Title I Services, says, “The purpose of this unique event was to bring our current and new families together to promote a sense of community that fosters greater parental involvement.” What’s more, it provided an opportunity to underscore the critical role parents play in their children’s literacy development.
The outdoor Parent Resource Center had an array of reading tools and giveaways to help keep ICS students active in their reading comprehension growth over their summer break. ICS Title I staff members provided handouts to families that included:
K-5 Summer Reading Activity Packet
6-8 Suggested Summer Reading List
Educational bookmarks for K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 students
Smekens Education Comprehension Cards
Smekens Education Vocabulary Cards
A representative of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library was also on hand, offering information about the library’s Summer Reading Program.
As with any Hawaiian-styled luau worth its leis, so to speak, the ICS version featured limbo, hula, beach volleyball, and island music. Craft tables entertained many young visitors.Aramark, the ICS food vendor, served delicious pulled pork sandwiches and other local delicacies such as potato chips and chocolate chip cookies. Audio Inferno – featuring IPA Music Teacher Jennifer Shuck’s brother David as deejay – delivered beats of a distinctly tropical variety.
With the exception of the $2 photo booth print expense to users, the event was free to our families, a cost underwritten by the U.S. Department of Education Title I Program as a community outreach.
ICS CEO David Nidiffer comments, “The luau was a huge success for being a first-time event. It was great to meet so many new ICS families and to reconnect with our current families. I look forward to this becoming one of our annual traditions.”