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HS 223 Book Club

The 223 high school book club was founded by high school students for high school students. This club creates a community around positive academic hobbies such as reading books.


Often books are looked down on in this technological savvy era but growing up we discovered that books have so much to offer and would like to share this knowledge with other high school students looking to expand their interests. We are kicking this year off with "Dread Nation" By Justina Ireland, a woman of color, who creates a unique perspective on the hardships faced during the civil war era. The book naturally deals with topics of racism, sexism and the apocalypse as the book is about a young woman of color fighting the undead in order to protect the richer whiter nobles of society, and her realization to the injustices occurring to people that look like her.

Book club takes place every Thursday after school and it's always a welcoming environment for anyone who would like to join. Books will always hold a special place in our hearts and we hope that it holds a special place in yours.

Written by Chanel DLS & Leslie R (HS 223 Senior Class)


 - 11/06/2019 - Fiona Zheng

SEL & Leadership Club Launched the UnMASK Arts Project


Starting this Fall, Areté Education begun a Social Emotional Learning and Leadership Club pilot program in the mornings before school where middle school students learn emotional literacy, self-regulation, and stress management through dynamic mindfulness practices and reflection opportunities, peer and adult mentoring, and strengths-based leadership coaching and development. 

This week, the Club launched its first UnMASK Arts Project. The idea of this project was sparked by the book Be the Hero You've Been Waiting For, “Many of us live our lives as if we are icebergs, floating aimlessly in the sea of life and largely submerged. We hide most of ourselves, especially our most vulnerable places, below 'the waterline'. Like a typical iceberg, we show only about 10% of ourselves, the part above the water. For the purpose of this discussion, let’s call this 10% our 'image'" (p.53-54).



In this project, students will release their arts creativity and design a mask to present “what they show to the outside world” versus “what they keep hidden inside". They will use the mask to unmask their emotions and demonstrate that emotions are an integrated part of human beings. Whether we like it or not, emotions exist in our body. Instead of ignoring them, we can learn to be aware of them, listen to the messages they bring to us and make wise decisions based upon the messages. Students will present the complexity and rich perspectives of humanities through their art work. 



Dr. Sarah Benis Scheier-Dolberg, the new executive director at Areté Education who also has experience in teaching arts, led students through the first day of the project. The first week of this project is about choosing a base color for the mask.



Most importantly, the color students choose should represent some part of their identities and characters. For example, "I chose warm colors because of the warmth and energy I usually bring into spaces" Dr. Sarah Benis Scheier-Dolberg showed her mask as an example and explained why she chose the warm colors. She also talked about how she chose red to represent her "anger", how emotions  and that emotion is part of us. 



Students will start to add layers and put on decorations to their masks next week. They will also divide their masks in half - one half for what they show the outside world, one half for what they keep hidden inside.


                                                                    (Ms. Waring, the instructor of the Club, helps dry students' masks.)

 - 11/05/2019 - Fiona Zheng

South African Delegation Joined MS/HS 223 for an ExpandED Day Visit

Last week on Oct 21 and 22, 2019, Areté and MS/HS 223 welcomed a group of delegates from the government of Cape Town, South Africa for a two-day visit. Dr. Ramon Gonzalez and Dr. Sarah Benis Scheier-Dolberg, Areté's new Executive Director co-led the delegation's visit along with Areté and MS/HS 223 educators Mr. Ed Martinez and Mr. Carlos Perez. 

The South African delegation had a deep dive of the MS223 School “Model” during their visit. They had classroom visits, observed supervision and professional learning at school, experienced the ways to engage families and volunteers, and explored the incentives for student participation.

 (Dr. Gonzalez introducing school's afterschool program to the South African delegation) 


It has been a rewarding and joyful experience to showcase the academic interventions, school cultures, students and families engagement, leadership and professional development at MS/HS 223. We are looking forward to having them back next year and exchanging the emerging educational insights with one another. 


 ( South African delegation joining the classes with MS/HS 223 students and alumni and Areté's Program Director Mr. Carlos Perez) 


 - 10/25/2019 - Fiona Zheng

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