Spring ’16 Updates from the Maya Angelou Academy

Hello from the Academy! We have been busy here with all of our spring events. Before spring break, scholars in the English classroom worked with artists from the Young Playwrights Theater to write their own original plays and then have them acted out by professional actors who came in as part of the program. This is our 4th year partnering with Young Playwrights Theater and is always a powerful few weeks of writing and acting! In the Art studio, scholars focused on improving their drawing technique as they prepare to create their own self-portraits, which is one of their favorite art projects each year. As we took a week for break, our staff and scholars had the chance to rejuvenate and come back refreshed and ready to tackle the remainder of the school year.

Scholars recently took their PARCC assessment,  and leading up to the testing, we had our spring spirit week and the PARCC pep rally. Scholars enjoyed dressing up for the various days during the week.  Then, our talented scholars and staff took to the stage to show off their musical talents and represent their fraternities and sororities in our pep rally.

Coming back from Spring Break, we had our Unit 6 awards ceremony where scholars were celebrated for their academic accomplishments and progress. We’re now officially in Unit 7 of the school year, which brings forth a lot of exciting topics of study in the classrooms.

In April, we participated in the National Poetry month and our English classes are undergoing a poetry study. Recently poet ambassadors from Free Minds Book Club came to visit our classrooms and engage in poetry discussions, write poems, and have an open dialogue with our scholars. It was a great visit! Our English classes hosted local DC poet, Alan King, as a guest author. Scholars compiled their poetry from the unit into individual anthologies and then created a larger volume of our yearly, “Within These Gates” literary magazine.

We have several exciting upcoming events, which include: our Unit 7 Awards Ceremony, mock interviews, the Career Panel, the College and Career Fair, and several other activities that are currently being planned and finalized! Scholars still remain engaged in our Saturday School programming where they take classes in music development, dance, daily spark/critical thinking, and the history of basketball, along with CPR certification.

As the school year comes to an end, we’re excited about all of the upcoming events, but also all of the progress our scholars have made. June 9th marks our graduation of several scholars from the Academy.  We cannot wait to celebrate their academic accomplishments!

–Chelsea Kirk