Thursday, December 9, 2010


TMA Homecoming 2010 has arrived and it’s LEGENDARY! Students are dressing down to wear their school colors today and their class shirts tomorrow. On Friday the Pep Rally will be held in the gym from 1:30 to 3:30 pm followed by a girl’s and boy’s homecoming basketball game versus IDEA at 6:00 and 7:30 pm respectively. Last but certainly not least the Homecoming Dance on Saturday night will feature music from TOB and UEB. The next few days are sure to be fun and exciting for the students and teachers alike!

Monday, December 6, 2010

December Law Day

On Friday, December 3rd, the freshmen boarded buses and headed to either the Newseum or the U.S Capitol.

At the Newseum, students reveled at the Berlin Wall. Students were surprised that life on the East and West sides of the wall could be so different. Our students were moved by the 9/11 exhibit. The ninth graders were very young in 2001, and the exhibit really captured the horror of that day for Americans. The students were captivated by the newspaper headlines from around the world and listened intently to the documentary about how journalists tried to react and capture that day for the world to witness. Another favorite exhibit was the 4D movie about the evolution of journalism.

At the Capitol, the students’ excursion began by watching a movie about the United States of America. Afterward, the students participated in a guided tour. They had the opportunity to see 49 statues which represent each state. They were surprised to find out that there is no statue representing the district. They were shown the Old Supreme Court Room and the United States Capitol Dome which is 88 meters in height high! Another memorable spot on the tour was a special corner where if you whisper into the ground, it bounces off the wall and you could hear the whisper repeated at the other end of the room.

The students and chaperones had a great time in both locations. As always the day could not have happened without the help of our faculty and staff!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bronfman Amitim Fellows Visit TMA

On Wednesday, December 1st, twenty Israeli students visited TMA. The students come from all over Israel and are in the United States for two weeks to learn about the country and to meet American Jews. Over the past five years the Bronfman Fellows have always made a trip to Thurgood Marshall Academy to participate in a dialogue with our students. This year, Mr. Hendricks’s Street Law class participated in the discussion. Our students and the Israelis talked about their lives and the differences between their schools. Our students were surprised that in most Israeli schools there is no prom or homecoming dance. The Israelis, meanwhile, thought our school building was beautiful and exchanged Hebrew slang with our students. Our students were surprised to learn that in Israel, there is mandatory military enlistment for both boys and girls.

However, the discussion did not focus solely on differences. On both sides, the students were surprised at how much they had in common. Many of the students liked similar television shows and music. Our students realized that Israel was not so different from the United States. At the end of the day, no one wanted the conversation to stop. Facebook names and email addresses were exchanged so that the conversation could continue.

A special thank you goes to Julie Dougherty for coordinating the visit. We would also like to thank the staff of the Bronfman Program! This amazing opportunity would not have happened without them.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The TMA Brief's First Issue

Thurgood Marshall Academy’s student newspaper went online today! The TMA Brief’s first ever issue is now posted on the school website. Students who are part of the Newspaper club (see full list of members on page 8) stay after school on Wednesdays to work on each issue. Expect three more before the end of the school year.

Inside you’ll find our Student Government President’s State of the Academy Address, Ask Dwayne – our advice column, Armoire – our fashion column, a creative writing section and more!

Click HERE to check it out!

Print copies will be passed out to students and faculty on Monday of next week.

Just another day at TMA

11th grade students used Tuesday’s Law Firm Tutoring session to work on homework ranging from math problems for Algebra II to a take home exam on the Scarlet Letter.

Tomorrow 9th grade students will be heading to either the Newseum or the Capitol for the third Law Day. Stay-tuned for a post about tomorrow’s Law Day!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Spoken Word

The entire Thurgood Marshall Academy came together last Tuesday for a school wide assembly. Students listened to recent alumni give tips on how to take advantage of the resources available to them at TMA and how to make a smooth transition into life at college.

Afterward, senior John Tucker performed a spoken word poem he wrote for the DC-CAP “Why I Want to go to College” contest. John won the entire competition and received a $1,000 scholarship for his entry! Watch him perform below:

John (holding the mic in the video) also combined with fellow senior Ke'von Miles (on the drums) to produce a song version of his poem, which you can listen to here:

Senior Moo Ho Bae II also dabbles in the spoken word world. Below is his poem “Lost”:

A print version of Moo’s poem will appear in Volume I, Issue I of The TMA Brief, our student newspaper. Look for it after Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Grease is the Word

After the school day ends, many of the classrooms are still filled with students participating in various clubs. Our clubs are wide spread, some of them include: Art Club, Green Club and Pep Squad. Every Thursday afternoon twenty-five students gather in Mr. Llyod’s classroom for Drama Club. This spring, Thurgood Marshall Academy will be putting on the production, Grease. The students are tremendously excited and are working hard to perfect their acting, singing and dancing skills. The cool moves performed on stage will be thanks to Ms. Ogunnaike’s award-winning choreography skills. The Dance Club will also be performing throughout the show. We are excited to see how the show develops in the next couple months!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mentor Program Scavenges for Clues at the Zoo

On Saturday, November 13th the Mentor Program traveled to the National Zoo for a digital scavenger hunt. Congratulations to Team ALL STARS (Elana, Earica, John, Chris, Michael, DaQuan, and Roneisha) and Team DeNiyka, Kathryn, Mario, Justin, Tervon, LaQuan, Jazmin and Jordan who tied for first place!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

United Against Hatred

On Monday, November 15th , seven of our ADL peer trainers went to the Kennedy Center for the Anti-Defamation League’s Concert Against Hate. The concert recognizes individuals who have stood up against all forms of bigotry and injustice. This year five individuals were honored for their courage and compassion. The National Sympony Orchestra performed in between the honorees’ stories. The Orchestra played selections from South Pacific and several local high school choirs joined in to sing ‘Somewhere’ from West Side Story.

The evening ended with two peer trainers from Maryland talking about the World of Difference Institute. The two students led the entire auditorium in an exercise called ‘Here I stand’. The exercise began by asking people to stand if you agree with or belong to the statement. TMA students were among the 150 students in the auditorium who stood when the students were asked to rise if they are a peer trainer. This was an exciting moment for our students to be able to see how they were a part of a much bigger movement than our own peer training group here at TMA. The most powerful question was when the students asked the audience to rise if you were committed to eradicating hatred and violence everywhere. The entire auditorium rose. This was an incredible moment for students to see thousands of people standing and publicly declaring their commitment to make the world a better place.

Our students enjoyed themselves and were thrilled to have this amazing opportunity!

For more information about the Anti-Defamation League or the concert, check out this clip:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Anti-Defamation League Peer Training Begins at TMA!

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, 23 students gathered to learn about discrimination, and prejudice. These students are participating in the Anti-Defamation League’s ‘A World of Difference’ program. Thurgood Marshall Academy is one of the only schools in the district that participates in the World of Difference Institute.

Our students participated in diversity training which teaches students how to address intolerance and bullying amongst their peers. This 18 hour workshop is the beginning of the Peer Training Program. Eventually, these students will go into classrooms at Thurgood Marshall Academy and work with their peers to talk about bigotry and promote diversity.

The two day training brings students in different grades and social groups together. The training enables students to become friends and build trust. It is a great experience to have our students discuss their own biases and acknowledge that they want to create a world without hate. Some topics of discussion included: what is discrimination and how to find our commonalities. Our students got particularly heated in a conversation about cyber bullying.

A special thanks to our ADL trainers: Allison and Mr. B for leading our training!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fighting for Individual Freedoms

Last Friday, all 170 9th grade students boarded buses and headed to three different law firms across D.C. They went to these firms (Hogan Lovells, Foley & Lardner, Latham & Watkins) to participate in the second Law Day of the year. Law Day is a program we run every month for our 9th grade students to teach them basic legal lessons and skills. This Law Day focused on the individual rights and freedoms entitled to us by the constitution. This was the first time that this particular lesson had ever been run! We were able to introduce two new lessons this year due to our new partner firms, Latham & Watkins and Foley & Lardner!

The lesson began with lawyers informing students that a new president was elected and that he or she was governing the country in a dictatorial manner. In order to try and prevent a revolt, the president was going to allow the citizens (the students) to choose three rights that they would be able to keep. The students had 15 rights to start with and every round they had to forfeit a certain number of rights. The Law Day coordinator at Foley & Lardner, Marilee Miller, remarked that our “students were thoughtful, engaged, and really interested in learning about their rights and picking which ones to forfeit”.

Students at Foley & Lardner decide with volunteers, Marilee Miller and Dineo Mplea-Thompson, which rights to forfeit.

The next part of the lesson involved the students applying their new knowledge of rights and freedoms. The students were given a scenario that described when individual rights come into conflict with one another. The particular scenario was about a religious club in a public school. The rights that were in conflict with each other were freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination. In this portion of the lesson, the students had to use their creativity and come up with a campaign commercial that lobbied their position. The students were either students for the club, parents for the club, students against the club or parents against the club. All of the students enjoyed using their dramatic skills to sell their position.

Students discussing how to best pitch their position with our volunteer lawyer, Jim Bierman.

Overall, the day was a great success. A special thanks to Eleanor Lewis, our Law Day Consultant, who wrote our new Law Day lesson. Another special thank you goes to all of our Law Day teachers and chaperones! The day would not have happened without you!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Election Day!

Like the rest of the country, Tuesday was Election Day here at Thurgood Marshall Academy. Students in all grades voted for School President, School Vice-President School Treasurer, School Secretary, and two Class Representatives.

Some students participated in early voting before classes started, while the rest of the student body voted during their lunch period. All students registered with TMA election officials before filing into one of four booths to cast their votes.

Freshman Kahlil Stewart models the “I Voted” stickers students received.

The savvy seniors demonstrated their civic mindedness with a spectacular 92% voter turnout. That number blew away DC’s voter turnout, which registered at a paltry 28%.

Junior Uniqua Wood votes!

Congratulations to all students who ran for office. Each candidate devoted themselves tirelessly to the campaign trail – covering the halls with flyers, delivering wonderful speeches, and engaging their classmates.

In particular, Kadeejah Johnson, Errol Smith Jr., Kaneshia House, Amanda Barnes, Christoper Ridout, and Stewart Gray all ran exciting campaigns and captured the imagination of the school.

The 2010-2011 TMA Student Government is listed below:

School President – Markus Batchelor
School Vice-President – Tykia Shirriel
School Treasurer – Taylor Middleton
School Secretary – Markysha Dickens

12th Grade Class Reps – Andrew Alexander and Moo Ho Bae II
11th Grade Class Reps – Demetrius Begemann and Collecha Newby
10th Grade Class Reps – Jazmin Walker and Telvin Walker
9th Grade Class Reps – Kiyah Avent and Katrina Jackson

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pulsating Pep Rally Electrifies TMA

Students from all grades gathered in the gym on Tuesday for the first pep rally of the year. The event showcased our fall sports teams: girls’ volleyball and flag football. Senior athletes were also honored by their coaches and peers. Later, the bleachers were rocking as the TMA Cheerleaders energized the crowd with a spectacular dance routine.

The Pep Rally also included speeches by 10 students running for school-wide Student Government positions. Students heard from 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders hoping to bring new ideas and change to the school. Those students running for a Class Representative position spoke today at their grade-level lunches. Election Day is this coming Tuesday, November 2. As the rest of DC votes for its Mayor, the TMA student body will select its leaders for the school year.

Above, Taylor Middleton tells the audience why she should be Treasurer.

Each grade has shown incredible spirit this week, and we are excited to keep it going into November.

An Evening Honouring Peter Rohrbach

On the evening of October 21st, Thurgood Marshall Academy was packed with visitors. People came from near and far to honor the memory of Peter Rohrbach, a partner at Hogan Lovells LLP and a huge supporter of our Law Day program. Last fall, Mr. Rohrbach passed away. With the support of his family, the Law Day program has expanded to include six lessons and is partnered with two additional firms.

As our visitors arrived, they were greeted by TMA students. Students were also stationed in a variety of classrooms. They explained to visitors the different educational and extra-curricular opportunities available at TMA. Senior Mignon Hemsley displayed her art work to guests and engaged them in a conversation about the visual arts program at TMA. A number of students represented the green club including newly elected club president Keith Jenkins. In Ms. Yaun’s Spanish classroom, students showed off their videos about illegal immigration. Lastly, in Ms. Scogin’s English classroom, the classroom that will be named in honor of Mr. Rohrbach, sophomore Kijon James told guests about the World Literature course. He highlighted his own experience reading ‘The Kite Runner’.

After visitors toured the classrooms, everyone moved down to the cafeteria. Our students opened the event with music, playing instruments and singing beautifully. Amidst the speeches, two of our very own students spoke; Christopher Ridout and MarKysha Dickens discussed their own law day experiences. MarKysha spoke to her personal experience with Mr. Rohrbach and remember his words of wisdom. In her speech she said, “I learned from his words; I put my best foot forward, knowing that 10 times out of 10, applying to better educate myself is better than not applying at all”.

The evening was a great success and Mr. Rohrbach’s legacy will definitely continue to live on, in the halls of TMA. We were so proud of our students for their essential contributions in making this event as meaningful as it was.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Spirit Week at TMA!

Today marked the kick-off of Spirit Week at TMA! There are numerous fun and exciting events going on throughout the week. Today, many students got creative when dressing up for Mismatch Day by wearing clothes inside out, pairing opposite colors, and sporting wacky accessories. Each day this week students will have the opportunity to dress-up for spirit days, here’s the schedule for the rest of the week:

Tuesday: Warrior Pride Day

Wednesday: Decade Day

Thursday: Costume Day

In addition to these dress-up days, today marks the last home game for the Volleyball team while Flag Football plays its final home game on Friday at 4:30 pm. At the school wide pep rally tomorrow, students will deliver speeches for student government in preparation for TMA’s student elections next Tuesday and the Cheerleaders will perform to cap off the day. The week finishes with a cook-out during student lunches on Thursday! Be sure to check back for more photos and posts about Spirit Week!

Friday, October 22, 2010

AP US Visits Mt. Vernon

Last Wednesday, students from Mr. Rohal’s AP US History class visited George Washington’s home at Mt. Vernon. With the second major test of the course looming later in the week, the trip served as a concrete review of the events preceding and surrounding the American Revolution.

Students came equipped with information concerning Washington’s life and shared their expertise with other visitors. Mr. Rohal was impressed with his group. “Students ‘met’ Dr. James Craik, George Washington's personal physician, and asked him about how Washington treated his slaves,” he explained, “they really pressed him about why Washington didn't free the slaves himself.”

Above, a video of Dr. Craik answering students' questions.

The class also had a chance to see all aspects of Washington’s plantation, including slave cabins, blacksmiths at work, gardens (complete with cotton plants), playful animals, and the home itself, with its wondrous views over the Potomac.

Junior Courtney Jones said her favorite part of the trip was “the museum. Everywhere I looked I saw something I remembered learning in class. The trip made everything easier to understand. I also liked seeing the slave memorial but I was surprised by how many slaves Washington owned.” Courtney also liked the sheep: “I had never seen any before. Their little baaa noise was cute.”

Mr. Rohal said the group received a number of compliments from the guides and other visitors at Mount Vernon about how knowledgeable and impressive TMA's students were on the trip.

Below, George Washington poses with students.

Monday, October 18, 2010

TMA Election Day Approaches

Campaign frenzy has swept through the halls of TMA!

As District residents over the age of 18 prepare to vote in the midterm elections on November 2, Thurgood Marshall Academy students will be gearing up for a vote of their own. Election Day will feature 34 students hoping to secure a position in the Student Government as School President, School Vice-President, School Treasurer, School Secretary, or Class Representative.

Students elected to represent the student body are expected to be strong leaders, with a commitment to public service and unwavering convictions concerning TMA’s efforts to become a more effective institution.

Candidates will give speeches next week during class lunches and the school wide pep rally in a final attempt to secure votes.

Friday, October 15, 2010

TMA & Savoy’s Great Garden Of Anacostia

Thanks to Ms. Shannon for the great pictures!

The Thurgood Marshall Academy & Savoy Gym was packed on Tuesday, October 12th, with D.C chefs, parents, students and visitors! They were all here to celebrate the beginning of D.C. Farm to School Week and D.C. School Garden Week. TMA was honoured to be chosen to host the event, which celebrates the District’s commitment to use local food in healthy school meals! The event included 200 visitors, including special guests Dr. Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, and Sam Kass, White House Chef and Senior Policy Adviser for Healthy Food Initiatives.

TMA’s green club members were essential in the facilitation of the event. Their personalities shined through as they led guests around the garden, and their artistic abilities were obvious as they made signs, posters, and murals for the TMA and Savoy Organic Garden.

The main attraction for the day was a ‘Top-Chef’ cook-off. Chefs competed to create the tastiest dish using local apples. The chefs that participated in the competition were Chef Tee, Lauren Von Der Pool, Oliver and Will Artley. The chefs were assisted by TMA students: Malachi McCaskill, T’Asia Capiers, Akasha Rodgers, and Darvel Suggs. Others students served as the masters of ceremony for this event. TMA and Savoy students sampled each dish and voted for their favorite. The winners, Chef Tee and Malachi, will have their apple-cranberry crisp distributed in every DC public school one day in October.

TMA showed incredible heart and spirit throughout the afternoon. We were very proud of our students for doing a great job. A heart felt congratulations to Mr. Ullery who coordinated this incredible event and opportunity for our students.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

After School Tutoring Up and Running

Even after a full day of classes, many Thurgood Marshall Academy students stay after school to work one-on-one with tutors who help them with homework and projects. TMA is lucky to have tutors come from all over the D.C. area. Volunteers from local universities such as Howard, George Washington, American, Georgetown and Georgetown Law make their way to TMA to meet with students and talk about difficult classes, college choices, and career goals. Students also have the privilege of working with tutors employed by Health and Human Services, K&L Gates, and NASA.

Precocious ninth grader Darnell Hudson works with Georgetown Law student Joel Fineman for two hours after school on Tuesdays. Darnell has enjoyed the sessions so far, explaining, “It’s like having a mentor who helps me go above and beyond what we do in class. Joel is really easy to talk to and very knowledgeable so we’re able to go over a lot of work.”

With prospective tutor applications flowing into the TMA offices each week, we are working to build upon the 20 pairings we currently have.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Our First Law Day of the Year!

Friday, October 8th, marked the beginning of this year’s Law Day program! This year we have a record number of participating firms. Two buses of ninth graders went to Hogan Lovells, one bus went to Latham & Watkins, and another bus went to Foley & Lardner. Students were given the option of wearing their uniform or professional dress attire, and many students took the chance to dress like the lawyers leading their sessions.

Students left TMA around 12:30 and once they arrived at the law firms, the students were separated into groups and participated in discussions about discrimination. The purpose of Law Day is for our students to engage with the material, think critically and have fun! The ninth graders discussed how discrimination can be bad but also how it can also be used so that society can function effectively. Students, for example, debated whether girls should be allowed to try out for positions on the boys’ baseball team at a public high school. Our students were articulate and argued with passion. After the conversations, they refueled with a snack, provided by the firms. Surprisingly, the yogurt and fruit were just as popular as the cookies.

After the break, students broke into three groups and were given a scenario in which discrimination was a major factor. They discussed their scenario and then presented it in the form of a talk show to the rest of the group. The student’s acting talents were out in full force.

At the end of the day, it was an amazing success! All of the students and volunteers had a great time. A special thanks to the chaperones and volunteers at the firms of Hogan Lovells, Latham & Watkins and Foley & Lardner!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

An afternoon at Crowell and Moring

Last Tuesday, 14 students traveled to Crowell and Moring for their third Law Firm Tutoring session. The students seemed well adjusted to the routine as they headed up the elevators to the firm's 13th floor and assembled in the long conference room where the tutoring is held. Shortly after arriving at the firm, students served themselves dinner, filling their plates with chicken wings and salad.

After dinner, the students pulled out their school work as the tutors filtered into the room. Students and tutors spread themselves throughout the room, working on subjects ranging from Advanced Algebra to US History to Spanish. Students thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Howard, the Crowell and Moring coordinator for the program, who entertained the crowd with his witty remarks. Stay-tuned for more inside looks into Law Firm Tutoring in the future!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Warriors Open the Athletic Season

The brand new TMA gym was rocking last Friday when the Lady Warrior volleyball team took on Georgetown Day. Inspired by co-captain Keandra Paul and the dynamic play of Destiny Wilson, the Warriors went up a set before ultimately falling 2-1. Co-coach Ms. Horn praised the energy and spirit of the team, saying they were “amazing.”

(If you look closely, you can see Ms. Horn shushing the competition.)

Equally amazing was the amount of student and community support for the Warriors. Spectators were in full voice, singing in unison with the TMA Cheerleading squad. Come out and join what will be another pulsating atmosphere at the next TMA home game. The Warriors take on Booker T. Washington this Tuesday, September 21, at 4:30.

A new year with Law Firm Tutoring!

The 2010-2011 school year is in full swing! On Tuesday approximately 75 students boarded several school buses marking the beginning of Law Firm Tutoring. Law Firm Tutoring is a program designed for all 11th graders. The program connects students with community members at one of five local law firms: Morgan Lewis, Crowell & Moring, Williams & Connolly, Jenner & Block, and Vinson & Elkins. There students eat dinner and receive help in subjects ranging from Chemistry to Spanish to US History through one-on-one tutoring. Law Firm Tutoring is not only an opportunity for students to receive help with their school work during their most important year of high school but it’s also an opportunity to connect students with working professionals. The tutors, ranging from lawyers to paralegals to administrative professionals, serve as role models to the students and frequently develop personal relationships with students. Many 12th graders enjoyed Law Firm Tutoring so much last year that they signed-up to do it again this year! We are all looking forward to another exciting year with Law Firm Tutoring!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Fun Continues

This week is jam packed at Thurgood Marshall Academy! There are so many activities that are going on. Last week, we began Homework Help and that continues to run after school. A special event that happened this week was our Volunteer Kick-Off Event. Yesterday at Morgan, & Lewis LLP, we hosted a happy-hour with food and drinks! This was a great opportunity for potential volunteers to speak to current or past volunteers and receive an accurate sense about what volunteering at TMA entails. Many of these volunteers will participate in either our tutoring or mentoring program. Teachers and faculty were present to answer any questions about Washington DC’s first law-themed public charter high school.

In addition to our Volunteer Kick-Off event, today is our Clubs Fair. The clubs fair is held in the cafeteria every year. It gives students a chance to see what extra-curricular opportunities are available at Thurgood Marshall Academy. The clubs available range from community service opportunities, to youth empowerment to book club to art club to fitness club and many more!! Every club will have a table with information about what activities and opportunities are available. Clubs that are run by external organizations will also be present at the Clubs Fair. We are very excited to have volunteers from Metro Teen Aids, Sister Action Sister Strength and George Washington University all assisting in running programs for our students this year. We are looking forward to the variety of clubs that will be occurring over the course of the school year!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A New School Year Begins!

A new school year has started, and the halls of Thurgood Marshall Academy are once again full of bright, energetic students. In addition to their lessons in the classroom, students have an array of opportunities awaiting them once the school day ends.

Homework Help started Tuesday and gives students a chance to work with teachers and tutors to better understand important concepts and solve difficult homework problems. Students can also stop by on Thursdays to visit the Writing Center.

Next Tuesday, September 14, marks the kickoff for this year’s Law Firm Tutoring program. 11th and 12th grade students will work one-on-one with tutors at DC law firms, completing projects, preparing for tests, and discussing college and career goals. Next Thursday, September 16, is the Clubs Fair. Students can sign up and participate in clubs like Drama, Newspaper, and the Debate Team.

And this afternoon is our first ever home volleyball game; the TMA Warriors are taking on Georgetown Day School! Come out and cheer in our beautiful new gym at 4:30.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

TMA is Getting a New Garden (and so is Savoy!)

Over the course of this summer there has been a lot of construction going on at TMA. Not on a new gym or parking lot, but on a new garden. TMA and our Neighbors A. Kiger Savoy Elementary have agreed to jointly build and maintain a teaching garden on our shared campus.  For the past few weeks, we had a team of  15 youths from the Mayors Green Summer Job Corps preparing our new garden. They tore up thousands of square feet of grass, cut, painted, and assembled wood for raised beds. built a shed, built a greenhouse, moved 40 cubic yards of soil (That's over 3,000 lbs!) and were really sweaty. They got a ton of work done and did an awesome job. Unfortunately the Mayor's Green Summer Job Corps program ended a week early and left us with some work left to do.

You may remember our garden looking like this. 8 raised beds, an herb garden and a few cold frames. Well, the garden will now be significantly bigger. Below is a picture of the garden as it stands right now.

Once construction is finished we will have 16 raised beds, a greenhouse, a 40 foot long raised bed for berries, trees, a butterfly garden, handicap accessible beds, and even an outdoor kitchen to cook up all the fresh produce! Check out the slide-show below to check out all the fun we had this summer, an awesome greenhouse, and some produce on the grill.

I'm out!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Operation Understanding

TMA Seniors John Tucker( pictured above) and Ke'Von Miles are currently on a three week tour of the South with a group of African-American and Jewish students through the program Operation Understanding. Operation Understanding's mission is, "to build a generation of community leaders who will work to eradicate racism, anti-Semitism, and all other forms of discrimination  and to promote respect, understanding, and cooperation within their communities." On their trip John and Ke'Von will be visiting various sites that were integral to the civil rights struggle as well as those important to the Jewish community.

Read more about John and Ke'Von's trip in the Washington Afro.

Ke'Von is also featured in a news story about the trip which can be found here.

We are extremely proud to have students like John and Ke'Von who are committed to becoming leaders in the struggle to dismantle racism and discrimination.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Four years of tireless support and unconditional love - one night to celebrate

On May 27th, the seniors and their parents sat down for our annual senior parent dinner.  Over the course of the night, TMA seniors did their best to say thanks to the family members who have supported them in their journeys to college.  As they head off this coming fall, we will celebrate not only their individual achievements at TMA but the collective efforts of their families.

Here's a slideshow from the evening:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Solar Derby, Championship Round

A few weeks ago, the Green Club hosted a Solar Derby, in which students built and raced solar-powered cars.  This video is the championship round of the event.  Notice the car designed by Veronica Davis (pink shirt, second furthest from the camera) gains speed in the second half of the event to pass the competition.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Local, organically-grown strawberries and homemade granola lead to outstanding test performance!

For one day, at least.

This morning, the Green Club celebrated a year full of organic goodness by hosting Chef Oliver Friendly for a parfait breakfast as part of Strawberries and Salad Greens, a city-wide event that will serve fresh, local greens and strawberries to students across the district. Chef Friendly demonstrated how to make granola at home and let the entire club taste freshly picked, locally grown strawberries. For about 30 seconds after the first bites were taken, there was a steady stream of oohs and ahhs and requests for seconds.

Our students are in the middle of exams and portfolio presentations. What better way to start off the day than with a healthy breakfast?

For those who weren't able to attend this morning's celebration (coordinated by Sam Ullery and Andrea Northup of the DC Farm to School Network), below is the recipe Chef Friendly used. He encouraged the students (and I am encouraging you, dear reader) to use whatever combination of fruit, sweets, and nuts that you have and to vary the amount of each to suit your taste!
1 pound of rolled oats
4 oz dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, raisins, etc.)
4 oz nuts (walnuts, pistachios, cashews, etc.)
2 oz sweets (chocolate chips, shredded coconut, peanut brittle, etc.)
2 oz honey
2 oz maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt

preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit
mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until      they are evenly combined
turn out mixture onto baking pans
bake for 30 minutes
remove from oven and let cool
granola will keep for 1 month in a sealed container
Place a bit of granola in the bottom of a bowl, add Greek yogurt, and top it off with a few fresh strawberries for an ideal way to start your day. Delicious! And pretty.

Friday, May 28, 2010

TMA Celebrates Seniors!

With heavy hearts the TMA community - faculty, staff, and students - must soon say goodbye to the wise elders among us. But as the seniors go we hope to celebrate their accomplishments and the indelible stamps that each of them has left on TMA.

As part of the effort to recognize our seniors, we held a college acceptance assembly in the gym. The names of the seniors were read aloud, and they were recognized by their fellow classmates, teachers, and staff with boisterous applause (see below). Each student was presented with a t-shirt from the college that she or he will be attending in the fall of 2010. Additionally, two seniors, Abdisomial Hashi and Parris Roberston were presented with NEW laptops and backpacks from Google in recognition of their exceptionally high SAT math scores!

TMA is working hard to achieve its mission of preparing students to succeed in college and to actively engage in our democratic society, and we couldn't be more proud of the TMA class of 2010! Congrats!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

TMA students get healthy (and TMA staff members get dunked on)

This Saturday members of Kena Allison's health class and Sam Ullery's environmental science class joined together to host our second community-wide health fair of the year.  Students led workshops in progressive relaxation, gave tours of the garden, took blood pressure, and presented at booths covering topics ranging from sexual health, soil quality, risks associated with alcohol, and good eating habits.

The Health Fair was a tremendous success, thanks to the students' efforts, the guidance of Ms. Allison and Mr. Ullery, and outside organizations such as Metro Teen AIDS, Women's Coalition, Anacostia Watershed Society, and the National Audubon Society.

Oh.  And there was a little student v. faculty basketball game.  Everybody had fun and got some exercise.  The score is irrelevant.

Hey!  Look!  More pictures!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Shining Star Gala - 2010

This past Thursday, TMA hosted its annual Shining Star Gala. The Gala, which for the first time was hosted in both the school and the gym, showcased some of the students' best work. During the cocktail hour, attendees were free to meander through various classrooms to see student projects on display or to bid on the many silent auction items.  And our students (pictured above, non-alcoholic beverages in hand) were featured at every turn, explaining their work and being liaisons for the school.

As the evening progressed and the main program commenced, students took to the stage to sing, speak about the evening's honorees, and even deliver some spoken word. All in all, the evening was a huge success, showing off our students' amazing accomplishments and raising money to help fund our great programs such as Law Day, Law Firm Tutoring and Job Shadow Day. A special thanks to Jenny Crawford, Jess Sher, and everyone else who had a hand in putting together this great event.