News & Events
Farming for Hunger
Recently students on gold, blue and green level earned a field trip to Farming 4 Hunger. Farming 4 Hunger is an organization that was formed in 2012 by Bernie Fowler Jr. in Southern Maryland. This is a non-profit organization that has partnered with over 27 local farms, 20+ churches, local business, schools, the Maryland Food Bank, the Department of Corrections and a great network of community volunteers. Not only do they distribute millions of fruits and vegetables to the hungry, he also helps inmates with a second chance of life. While there, they learned how to work as a team and listened to the inmates talk about their life and how much they have learned about their mistakes.
This was an incredible experience for our students. Some of them wrote about their experiences. Please read below:
I learned that you should use teamwork. You shouldn’t be on the streets doing drugs and stealing/robbing from people because you can go to jail. I learned that other people also had terrible childhoods. I learned jail doesn’t seem like a fun place to live. When other people have a terrible childhood they can make it out and become a better person. Instead of doing bad things you can do art, listen to music or make songs.
Hi I am Zachary and this is my story about Farming four Hunger. Farming 4 Hunger is about people who like to help people by growing food for them. What I’ve learned is to respect others by the power of team work. We did team work exercise with my group. The first exercise consisted of passing objects to each other. The second was to pass a river of poison. Both exercises we had to work together to achieve our goals. After the exercises we had a speech about life and the consequences from my actions. I thank them for their help said goodbye and left. All and all I’ve learned that life has hardships but it is important to keep control during that time, but as long as I have friends and family I have nothing to fear.
The part that I liked the most about this field trip was when the inmates told their stories. Out of all of them T-Bone was my favorite. While he was telling his story he reminded me of my uncle before he died. He is currently still locked up for almost the same crimes that my uncle committed. My uncle was shot one day after he was released from prison. I am glad that T-Bone was able to turn his life around and now he is dedicated to the FARM and helping to feed those in need.
I learned at the farm not to ever give up, always have a plan. Be able to communicate without arguing and talking at the same time.
I learned about how to not sell drugs or attempt to shot anybody. I am not going to do none of that because I don’t want to spend time in jail, and not be able to see my family. When I get older and have children I don’t want to go to jail because I won’t be able to see my kids and be there for their birthdays. I don’t want to miss out on my daughters and sons birthdays so I am going to try not to go.
Going to Farming 4 Hunger taught me how to work together as a team.
I had a lot of fun talking to Mr. Bernie and T-Bone, Will, Reds, Moe and Rico. Some of their stories where similar to mine. We did some activities there that had some teachable lessons. I learned that you make your own decisions.
I like when they told their stories. I enjoy hearing people life stories about everything they been through and how they learned from past things they’ve done. Why?, because I have done things in my life that I am not proud of and hearing other people’s stories sometimes give me hope. I respect Mr. Papa Bear for helping others change their lives. I love to see people help out when others fall down. Yes, it had an impact on me and it made me think twice and when T-Bone was talking about not being in his daughters life. My father not in my life and he missed all of my childhood, it’s sad he missed out. All I ever wanted was for me to have a bond with him. He is not locked up or dead so it hurts me even more. It’s like his choice for him not to be here with me.
What I really liked about the field trip was that we had a lot of fun with the inmates. We got to know each other and we vibed real good. I think it was great that we got to listen to them share their life because really they are not bad people. They just made some bad choices when they were young and it caused them to end up in jail. Other than that the trip was real good.
The field trip to Farming 4 Hunger was great. It was an eye opening in many ways. Going in to this trip I had already stereo typed it. But the outcome was very different. During this time I learned some valuable things such as team work. How necessary good communication is. Also that you can always turn your life around like the inmates did. My father was the same way. Their stories really spoke to me. But unlike T-Bone, Reds, Will and Rico my dad didn’t have the opportunity to change or go to a program like Food 4 Hunger to help. But what really helped me see is that society is wrong for righting them out. Everybody is capable of change, they just have to do it. I am so glad that Will is getting out and I wish him the best. To close that is what I thought about the trip.
In celebration of African American History Month the High School students participated in a mock debate regarding the merits of the details in the landmark case, Brown vs. Board of Education.
Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka,347 U.S. 483, was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional.
Students were divided into two teams representing both sides of this issue. One team represented the Pro-Education separation by races while the other team argued the merits of the side that believed Against-Education should not be separated by race. Each team designated one student to begin with an opening argument statement. The remaining members of each team then presented arguments in support of their side, followed by a counterpoint by opposing team.
Students presentations clearly demonstrated a high level of research and preparation. Passion was definitely evident. The racially diverse teams conducted themselves with maturity and respect. As expected this was a very highly sensitive topic we commend the students on both sides for respectfully engaging in the exercise in a mature manner.
Students Visit the African American History Wax Musuem
A primary motivation for establishing America’s first African American history wax museum was to “use education, history, and example to help culturally disadvantaged youth overcome feelings of alienation, defeatism, and despair”. Exposure to the Museum and its programs ensures that youth, as well as adult patrons, learn more about their American heritage and gain deeper insights about significant contributions to civilization by people of African descent. The students gained a comprehensive story of the African diaspora for Black History Month. Wax museums are a powerful medium. Particularly for African-American history, because so much of our history-even today-is faceless. This experience adds greater knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of African American history and culture for the students.
Workforce Development Program – ServSafe Training
Through our partnership with Prince George’s Community College, he High Road School of Southern Maryland continues to offer students an opportunity to gain training and knowledge in a variety of industries. . A number of our students are currently taking the nationally recognized ServSafe class. In this class the students are learning how to provide safe food, the forms of contamination, how to monitor time and temperature, personal hygiene practices while handling food, how to respond to a food borne-illness outbreak, biological, chemical, and physical contaminants, and deliberate contamination of food. Once complete, our students will have the opportunity to work in a restaurant serving and/or handling food. This will give our students an edge when seeking out such jobs.
Workforce Development Program – Computer Repair
As the Workforce Development Program continues to grow, students have the opportunity to take deep dive into certain careers. With technology being so important to our daily lives until something unexpectedly doesn’t work. Being able to trouble shoot possible issues is a critical skill. Currently, students at Highroad Academy of Prince George’s County are taking a Course on Computer Repair. In addition to learning the inner workings of a computer, everyone is really enjoying this hands on learning experience.
Wreaths Across America
Giving back to the community is such an important experience especially during the holiday season. As a result, Mrs. Garner’s middle school class at the High Road School of Southern Maryland donated three wreaths for “Wreaths Across American” in December. The class accepted donations to cover the $15 cost of a wreath and they were donated in honor of family members who have served in all branches of the military in all actions.
Mrs. Garner volunteered with other DC/Metropolitan area residents to place the wreaths on the graves of those interred in Arlington National Cemetery. The class plans to continue projects such as sending cards to troops stationed around the world, especially during Memorial Day. We’ve written to the guards stationed at The Tomb of The Unknown Soldiers to see if we could possibly com visit them in order to better understand what it is they specifically do. We are honored to support our troops in any way we can.
Meet High Road Student Parrish J.
The Marshmallow Pyramid – October 2017
After reading a pyramid story in class, we then moved into building some of our own! Our teachers weren’t too sure of their skills in building Marshmallow Pyramids, but they soon discovered that Javier is a great construction man. The kids really loved making the pyramids out of marshmallows and toothpicks.
The Volcano Project – September 2017
During the past few weeks Ms. Taylor’s class have been studying Volcanoes. In this unit, the students learned about what volcanoes are, how they impact our environment, where the majority of volcanoes are located and how the ash, rocks and materials are used in our everyday lives. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, “The volcano is an opening in the earth crust in which molten lava, ashes or gases are ejected. They are one of the world’s most phenomenal land features known to man. Their eruptions provide land extensions and development for new islands.
During a volcanic eruption, many plants are destroyed by the lava flow and animals are killed in its path. However, the lava cools and produces soil that is very rich in minerals for growing plants and animals grazing. In addition, the ash which comes from volcanoes is used in sculptures also known as Ash Art. In addition, the ash soil is often good for growing fruits and vegetables. One of the biggest suppliers of fruits is the Dole plantation is located in the island of Ouhu, Hawaii.
The majority of Volcanoes are in the Vicinity of the Pacific Ocean. This area is where majority of all earthquakes and volcanic activities occur is also known as the Ring of Fire. To end our study of volcanoes, we developed ur own Volcano. The class named our volcano MT. High Road after the school. The pictures demonstrate how the students built their volcano. They used paper, plastic bottle, cardboard and glue. Then, the students were given Mentos, Coke, Diet Coke, Ginger Ale to produce their own simulated eruption. The class really enjoyed their study of Volcanoes!! Mrs. Taylor’s class send out a Thanks to the teachers, staff and student body who made their Volcano experiment a success!
For the summer session, Mrs. Evans introduced her students to inquiry-based learning, which is a form of active learning where the students start with a question or problem and conduct research, trial-and-error, or other processes to problem solve and discover. So far, the students have engaged in three different projects. One project involved using gum drops and toothpicks to discover engineering concepts, another project involved a probability lab, and the third project, which is still ongoing, involves testing various variables in a seed germination lab.
The gumdrop and toothpick lab introduced the students to engineering concepts. Studentswere presented with the challenge of building a structure from limited resources (10 gumdrops and 20 toothpicks) that could support the weight of a textbook. Ultimately, through trial-and-error, the students discovered that triangles were the strongest shape and that a larger base could support more weight.
In the probability lab, students calculated simple probability events and then flipped one or two coins to gather actual results. They then compiled classroom data and concluded that the more trials that were run, the closer the results were to the expected outcome.
Currently, the students are discovering a range of variables that affect seed germination (or sprouting). All students are using mustard seeds, which sprout quickly. With help from a facilitator, the students have realized that a control group, consisting of just mustard seeds in regular, chlorine-free water, is needed for comparison. One student chose mustard seeds grown in a water and vinegar solution as an experimental group, to simulate the affects of acid rain. Another student is testing the effects of temperature on seed germination by placing one group of seeds at room temperature, one in the refrigerator, and one in a warmer location. This student will keep all seeds out of the light to control light as an additional variable so she knows that the temperature caused the difference in results.
Future projects include more in-depth research projects in selected content areas and hands-on projects in mathematics. This approach to learning has been successful in engaging the students and helping them retain new knowledge compared to route memorization of presented facts.
Great News for High Road Schools
Check out the latest edition of “Stepping Stones,” the MANSEF newsletter. In this issue, students from the High Road Academy (Laurel ) are featured (page 5). Also, the 2017 Michael Cardin Scholarship recipients have been announced, including several High Road students (pages 1 and 12).
Student Star: Keith C.