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Yesterday, we went to see JUST MERCY with my class afterschool, and it was a great experience. The movie was amazing, and we all had some laughs and just really enjoyed being there. The movie was very touching and made a few people emotional. I would really recommend people watching this movie because I would definitely watch JUST MERCY again.
-Coudjegi Haidara

 - 03/02/2020 - Nedjra Manning
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Posada 2019

December 18, 2019 | 18 de diciembre de 2019

5:15-6:45 pm

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Student Reporting - Jocalyn's experience

Recently, I went to see the film, Harriet. When I was younger I learned about Harriet Tubman but I learned a lot more after watching her film. One thing I learned that I didn't know before was how (in detail) she would free slaves. She was a slave herself before anything else. And the fact was that she was so resilient regardless of what the consequences would be. She fought for her family and fellow slaves but most importantly, she fought for herself. She did what she thought was right despite what others around her thought. Overall, the experience was every encouraging and the realness of the scenes made me very emotional. I was able to feel all of the emotions and it was nice to finally get out of class and watch a film. Also ,the snacks were amazing.

Reflections from Blackity Media Studies HS 223 Students

 - 11/26/2019 - Nedjra Manning

Student Reporting - Harriet trip

In my opinion, the Harriet trip was fun and interesting because I learned something new when watching the movie. We got snacks for free and I was able to connect with people I barely talk to. Some things I already knew about Harriet Tubman was that her name was Harriet Tubman and that she freed hundreds of slaves across the south single handedly. But when watching the movie, I learned that her real name wasn’t actually Harriet Tubman at first, and it was actually Minty. Another thing that I learned was that Harriet Tubman became a spy during the Civil War to help the union. Overall, the trip was very interesting, I had fun and hope to do this again soon.

Written by Luis Rivera

Reflections from Blackity Media Studies HS 223 Students

 - 11/26/2019 - Nedjra Manning

Student Reporting - Harriet Trip

I really liked how the Magic Johnson was very clean, when people walk in, it makes them feel more alive. The snacks were very good as well as the movie. I really liked the way the things were set up. There weren't too many people which made it quicker and easier to navigate through the theatre. The floor of the theatre was clean and I really loved it. The movie was the best, it was very interesting. I would go again if I they let us.

 - 11/26/2019 - Nedjra Manning

Student Reporting - Harriet Film Viewing

When watching the Harriet movie I got to get a recap of what she did and how much of a help she was. I also learned things about her that I didn't know. I didn't know that she helped free slaves during the Civil War. I also got to learn that she freed a lot of slaves. After all that we saw in the movie, I got to see and learn that this woman was a leader and inspired slaves to want to leave the plantations and go to freedom. When I see Harriet, I think about my mom and my mother is my leader. The woman that birthed me is my inspiration to want and do things that I don't think I could. My mom is a young woman that can't see but still does things that a normal human that can see do. My mother is my reason to want to do things and is my motivation to do good in life and get to the point of success that she didn't get to live.

Our good friends at Arete have given me the experience of watching one of the best movies I have seen, Harriet. I am going to talk about my experience & why I liked watching the Harriet movie. The first thing that I liked about the Harriet movie trip is that the movie was realistic & informational. It gave me lots of information about Harriet, like she traveled 100 miles to get her freedom, & more. Another thing I liked about it is that is was very inspirational because it showed parts where Harriet defied the odds & managed to rescue more & more slaves. One example is that when Harriet & the 9 slaves reached the river, one of the slaves decided to leave, but Harriet believed that they could cross & they managed to cross the river, against all odds. And that is it. The experience was sweet & satisfying & I would recommend the movie to more of the friends. Thank you, Arete & MS223.

The Harriet trip was a nice experience and the movie was very nice and interesting. The movie was very creative and historically accurate with a lot of plot twists and turns. The free food added more fun to the experience and helped make the movie better than it already was. The trip was fun and quick since the theater was close and we had a fun time getting our food and taking pictures in the food area. When we were in the theater, the movie was the only thing that really caught my attention since the movie was very unique and different then what I expected. The movie was based on accurate historical information and real life events. The actors who played the roles in the movie did a good job at what they did embodying the roles of their character and making it an engaging experience for the audience.  As a whole the trip to and from the theater was good and the movie and food were great. I had a good experience.

The Harriet movie was an amazing movie. It is inspiring to women out there to not give up on any challenges. Also, she shows everyone you don't always have to get revenge on the people that hate you but you could teach them a lesson without making them lose their lives. I feel like the more we do this, the better experience.

The trip experience was cool. Going to the theater was fun as we were able to go with the creative writing class. The movie itself was interesting as it showed the actions that we heard about her in class and it also showed her personal life like her family and dating life. The movie showcased her journey from slave to free women, and how she helped others do the same. It showed a small clip of her role when she fought in Civil War and I thought that was cool. Overall, the trip fun and the movie was motivational.

I really liked how the Magic Johnson was very clean, when people walk in, it makes them feel more alive. The snacks were very good as well as the movie. I really liked the way the things were set up. There weren't too many people which made it quicker and easier to navigate through the theatre. The floor of the theatre was clean and I really loved it. The movie was the best, it was very interesting. I would go again if I they let us.



Reflections from Blackity Media Studies HS 223 Students

 - 11/26/2019 - Nedjra Manning

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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