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Areté 2020 Census Leadership Campaign

Arete Education and The Lab School aim to register at least 50 youth (ages 18-22) and 50 adults to successfully apply for and gain part-time or full-time employment as Census field workers, office workers, and/or supervisors in Mott Haven by March 2020. 

The Bronx is a hard-to-count community: just over half of the households (56%) self-responded for the 2010 Census, compared to 75% of households nationwide. The 2020 Census will determine how funds are spent in communities on thing like roads, schools, and hospitals. The fewer people counted in the Bronx, the fewer Federal tax dollars are spent on Bronx schools, hospitals, roads, transportation, and other community programs.

Arete will host Census Hiring Events on select Saturdays in February and March at the Lab School (360 E 145th Street, Bronx 10454)

    • February 29 (11 am - 2 pm)
    • March 14 (11 am - 2 pm)
    • March 21 (11 am - 2 pm)
    • March 28 (11 am - 2 pm)

Census 2020 jobs in NYC pay $28/hour, include flexible hours, pay weekly, and include training.

2020 Census Job Qualifications

You may be eligible if:

• You are a U.S. citizen.

• You are at least 18 years old.

• You have a valid Social Security number.

• You have a valid e-mail address.

• You complete an application and assessment questions. (For some positions, the assessment questions may be available in Spanish; however, an English Proficiency Test may also be required.)

• You are registered with the Selective Service System if you are a male born after December 31, 1959.

• You pass a criminal background check and a review of criminal records (including fingerprinting) as part of the Census Bureau's hiring process.

• You do not engage in any partisan political activity while on duty.

• Your current employment (including law and regulatory enforcement jobs) is compatible with Census Bureau employment (reviewed on a case-by-case basis).

• You are available to work flexible hours, including days, evenings, and/or weekends.

• You commit to completing training. (If offered a job, you will be paid for this training at a training pay rate.)

Most jobs require employees to:

• Have access to a vehicle and a valid driver’s license, unless public transportation is readily available.

• Have access to a computer with Internet and an e-mail account (to complete training).


Engage Others | Share the Campaign

For More Information: Census 2020 Afterschool Toolkit

 - 02/22/2020 - sbsd@areteeducation.org

Learning Graphic Design Through Canva

Canva is a popular graphic design platform that allows users to create presentations, posters, social media graphics, and other visual content. It provides millions of fonts, images, illustrations, and templates, and many of them are FREE!

What many people do not know is that they also provided FREE short courses to teach you basic knowledge of graphic design:

Graphic Design Basics

Canva in the Classroom (For Teachers)

Here are more FREE courses on other topics:

Social Media Mastery

Branding Your Business

Presentations to Impress

Enjoy learning design!


 - 02/14/2020 - Fiona Zheng

Spend 1 Minute Per Day to Track Your Moods

Recently, I found this amazing app Daylio that allows you to quickly check-in and keep a daily journal of emotions and activities.

It is a simple two-step creation! Pick your Mood, Add related Activities, DONE. If you'd like it in an old school way, you can also add notes and keep a diary in the app. Daylio collects your recorded moods and activities in the statistics and calendar. You can explore the statistics monthly and yearly created from your log of emotions and activities.


The entry takes just seconds, but it may help you in a powerful way. It allows you to understand your habits and discover your hidden patterns. You can find your pattern of activities and emotions and explore how they are interconnected.  You can further use Daylio to create some useful habits and patterns like running, eating more healthy, or waking up earlier to become more productive.

Check out the video here to learn more about it:

It is both available on Google Play and App Store. Most importantly, it is FREE!

 - 02/11/2020 - Fiona Zheng

FREE Yoga and Mindfulness Videos for Kids

Alo Gives is dedicated to bringing movement and mindfulness to kids of all ages. They have produced high-quality, free, scholastic-approved videos to introduce kids to the necessary skills to calm minds and bodies, mute negativity, and promote self-care.



Their yoga and mindfulness programs contain 5-minute videos as well as creative, thought-provoking printable worksheets. They are designed to be used in classrooms or at home. Teachers and parents can utilize the videos and practice with the kids. All the videos can be found on their website.


They created these programs because they believed in that "Giving children of any age the skills to move and breathe helps them learn to confront challenge, amplify the positive, and be present, calm and clear-headed and in the midst of challenge, fear or frustration."


Areté has the same belief, too. We are actively making positive changes in school environment by infusing Social Emotional Learning elements. We are making changes one breath at a time.


 - 02/08/2020 - Fiona Zheng

Ayúdenos a Apoyar la Reconstrucción Escolar en Puerto Rico

Estimados Amigos de Arete Education, 

Arete Education está comprometida con la misión de servicio y administración comunitaria, y el aprendizaje experimental que desafía el status quo con apoyo académico, social y emocional para los estudiantes en la escuela a la que asisten. En nuestra comunidad de Mott Haven del sur del Bronx, muchas familias se vieron profundamente afectadas por los recientes terremotos en el sur de Puerto Rico. Numerosos estudiantes y personal tienen familias en las comunidades del sur de Puerto Rico, incluyendo Guayanilla, Ponce, Yauco, Guánica y más. Como parte de nuestro compromiso con el diálogo socioemocional en nuestros programas existentes, muchos de nuestros estudiantes han expresado su preocupación por las condiciones que enfrentan las familias y los seres queridos en el sur de la isla.

A través del diálogo con los defensores de la comunidad en Guayanilla, supimos de La Escuela Solidaria SE, una escuela comunitaria de emergencia que actualmente está siendo diseñada y establecida por voluntarios de la comunidad en Guayanilla con el apoyo de los miembros de nuestro personal de Arete y personal de la escuela MS/HS 223 The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology. Nuestra Subdirectora de Programación de Escuelas Intermedias (Supervisión y Apoyo de Operaciones) y Directora del Programa de Idiomas Duales, la Sra. Ariadna Phillips, ha estado apoyando a los defensores de la comunidad en el desarrollo de este sitio escolar temporal ya que las escuelas en Guayanilla han estado cerradas desde el terremoto inicial y los cientos de eventos sísmicos posteriores desde finales de diciembre de 2019. La Sra. Phillips viajará a Puerto Rico a mediados de febrero de 2020 para apoyar aún más la entrega y distribución de materiales a maestros y voluntarios de la comunidad en La Escuela Solidaria SE.

Como comunidad en sociedad con nuestras familias en la Diáspora, les pedimos a nuestros amigos y partidarios de este trabajo que consideren donar para patrocinar útiles escolares y refugios temporales para nuestros amigos en La Escuela Solidaria en Guayanilla. El patrocinio directo de los suministros necesarios se puede hacer a través de nuestra lista de deseos de Amazon, o se puede hacer una donación a través de la página de donaciones de Arete Education con la designación "Patrocinio escolar de Guayanilla". También se pueden hacer donaciones para el costo de envío de libros y suministros donados que nos ha enviado nuestra comunidad escolar con amor para La Escuela Solidaria SE.

Escrito por Sra. Ariadna Phillips
 - 02/06/2020 - sbsd@areteeducation.org

Help Us Support School Rebuilding in Puerto Rico

Dear Friends of Arete Education,

Arete Education is committed to the mission of community service and stewardship, and experiential learning that challenges the status quo with academic, social, and emotional support for students in the school they attend. In our Mott Haven community of the South Bronx, many families were deeply impacted by the recent earthquakes in the south of Puerto Rico. Numerous students and staff have families in the communities of the south of Puerto Rico, including Guayanilla, Ponce, Yauco, Guanica, and more. As part of our commitment to social-emotional dialogue in our existing programs, many of our students have spoken to their concern for the conditions facing family and loved ones in the south of the island.

Through dialogue with community advocates in Guayanilla, we learned of La Escuela Solidaria SE, an emergency community school that is currently being designed and set up by community volunteers in Guayanilla with the support of members of our Arete staff and staff at our partner school, MS/HS 223 The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology. Our Assistant Director of Middle School Programming (Supervision and Operations Support) and Dual Language Director, Ms. Ariadna Phillips, has been supporting the community advocates in the development of this temporary school site as schools in Guayanilla have been closed since the initial quake and subsequent hundreds of seismic events since late December 2019. Ms. Phillips will be traveling to Puerto Rico in mid-February 2020 to further support delivery and distribution of materials  to community teachers and volunteers at La Escuela Solidaria SE. 

As a community in partnership with our families in the Diaspora, we ask our friends and supporters of this work to consider donating to sponsor needed school supplies and temporary classroom shelters for our friends at La Escuela Solidaria in Guayanilla. Direct sponsorship of needed supplies can be done through our Amazon Wishlist (please ship to Arete Education c/o Ariadna Phillips-Santos and Walter Echevarria P.O. Box 560477 Guayanilla, Puerto Rico 00656) . A donation can also be made through Arete Education's donation page with the designation "Guayanilla School Sponsorship". Donations can also be made towards the cost of shipping donated books and supplies to Puerto Rico that have be sent to us by our school community with love for La Escuela Solidaria SE.  


 - 02/06/2020 - Ariadna Phillips
Screen Shot 2020-01-31 at 10.12.08

Practice Makes Perfect?

Many people use the phrase "Practice makes perfect" to depict the process of learning. Ulrich Bose pointed out that this is a remarkably ill-defined expression. Does practice mean endless repetition? Does practice involve feedback and reflection? Should practice be hard or fun?

Learning is a complex process. A growing body of research has shown that practice alone is not enough. We also need learning strategies. We need to be smarter with the practices by designing and utilizing strategies. Many research studies have consistently suggested that learners are not born but made. We are ALL able to be good at something through the dedicated practices and constantly refined strategies.

Research is making it clear that when it comes to become expertise, learning strategies can be more critical than raw smarts. Marcel Veenman found that people who closely track thinking and continuously reflect learning will outperform those with high IQ levels in terms of learning new things. His research also revealed that focusing on how we understand is 15 percent more important than innate intelligence when it comes to develop mastery. Learners are made, not born. IQ is not the only answer, EQ has to be concerned and actively be engaged in the learning process.

Areté has been strategically employing emotional intelligence in our after-school programs. Emotional Intelligence simply denotes being smarter with feelings. We provide students ample opportunities to understand emotions, to develop self-awareness and to reflect about their learning. By being smarter with feelings, students are able to identify their thinking, feeling and action patterns in learning, design and refine learning strategies and adjust the practices accordingly. Through this iteration process, they gradually get better at learning.

We do not simply urge students to practice and practice all the time because we believe practice is not enough for making perfect. We help them to learn smartly by employing strategies. We believe it is not enough to give them fish, but more importantly, teach them how to fish.

 - 02/03/2020 - Fiona Zheng

New Research Revealed Positive Impacts of Community Schools Initiative (NYC-CS)

With the launch of the New York City Community Schools Initiative (NYC-CS) in 2014, the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) has increased its focus on the implementation of a holistic strategy of education reform to address the social consequences of poverty as a means to improving student outcomes. NYC-CS is a strategy to organize resources in schools and share leadership among stakeholders so that academics, health and wellness, youth development, and family engagement are integrated into the fabric of each school.

Areté has been serving as the major Community Based Organization (CBO) for our partner - The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology (MS/HS223), one of the Community Schools in School District 7.

This week, a new research study titled “Illustrating the Promise of Community Schools: An Assessment of the Impact of the NYC Community Schools Initiative” was released by the RAND Corporation, which examines the first three years of the Community Schools initiative and compares the performance of students in community schools with the performance of students in demographically-similar non-community schools.

The research has revealed several positive outcomes of NYC-CS, including but not limited to the following:

  • Students in community schools tend to have better academic achievement.
    • NYC-CS had a positive impact on math achievement
    • NYC-CS had a positive impact on credit accumulation for high school students
  • Students in community schools are more likely to graduate on time.
    • NYC-CS had a positive impact on on-time grade progression, and on high school students' graduation rates.
    • In 2017-18, graduation rates in community schools were 7.2 percentage points higher than comparison schools.
  • Students in community schools miss fewer days of school.
    • NYC-CS had a positive impact on student attendance for students in all grades and across all three years of the study.
    • Chronic absenteeism was 7.3 percentage points lower in community elementary and middle schools, and 8.3 points lower in high schools.
  • Students in community schools feel safer and more supported.
    • For every 100 students in elementary and middle community schools, community schools had 10 fewer disciplinary incidents per year.
    • NYC-CS was found to have a positive effect on students' sense of connectedness to adults and peers for middle school students.

It has been an honor for Areté to work closely with MS/HS 223 on this initiative. We are looking forward to utilizing this initiative and continuously making positive impacts to our students and the school community.

NYC Community Schools Work! from NYC Public Schools on Vimeo.

 - 02/03/2020 - Fiona Zheng

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