NYC are you ready for the H.Y.P.E. Combine?

Bronx, NY – On May 11, 2019, three organizations; Harlem Jets, About UNYC and IMPCT solutions came together to for H.Y.P.E 2019 NYC HBCU Combine Football. HYPE is the acronym for Honing Your Potential and Excellence.  The HYPE was founded by Walter Brock and Courtney Morgan.

The philosophy of HYPE is to show young athletes how to use their learned skills and use them with their academic studies.  HYPE teaches the athletes what it takes to showcase themselves in a professional matter and social standing.

HYPE is the leading principal in showing the student-athletes how to use their skills on the field and in the classroom.

Due to the mission and purposes of all the organizations, they decided to come together and create a combine for NYC high school football talent.  Harlem Jets is a youth football and cheer league that is located in Harlem, NY.  About U NYC collaborates with student-athletes and their parents to teach the fundamentals of being a scholar and athlete at the same time.  IMPCT solutions are behind the HYPE name.

The registration process started at 8 am and closed at 10:30 am at Randall’s Island Park field 70 and 75.  Before the start of the event, the organizers mingled and spoked with some of the parents.  As the players were parting from the parents, Coach Alex who was one of the founders of this event, talked to the parents about the process of their student-athletes when it comes to preparing them for college.  It was explained how the NCAA paperwork must be completed and filed in order for their sons to be qualified.

The purpose of this combine was to showcase talented high school football athletes in NYC while incorporating drills, position skill training, and a 7-7 competition; offensive line vs defensive line on passing and rushing techniques.

There were light refreshments and music in the background as the players moved throughout the training.  At the end of the session athletes that were top performers went home with a trophy.

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Bungalow Bar hosts their weekly Trivia Game Night

By Shani Hannah | April 9, 2019

Rockaway Beach, NY – The Bungalow Bar located in the middle of the Rockaways hosted their weekly Trivia Game night on Thursday, April 4, 2019.  Trivia games are hosted by a local event team called DJs @ Work.

Bungalow Bar is a relaxed environment that serves the Rockaway community along with visitors from all over the city, Long Island and even out of state to name a few.  People come from all over to enjoy good eats and drinks.

The Bungalow Bar has been opened for 10+ years.  BB decided to have events to bring out the customers as well as new business to enjoy and have fun not just during the warm season but also during the cold nights when people are looking for something to do but don’t want to go far.  Trivia night is only one source of entertainment that they provide to their customers.  By having Trivia and other events it has brought in more revenue than just a regular night especially during the winter.  Most restaurants have a decline in sales when it is the cold months.

The Bungalow Bar is nestled right in the middle of Jamaica Bay where you can overlook it when you’re crossing the Crossbay Bridge.  During the summer months, you can swim up to the restaurant or even dock your small boat and stop in for drinks and food and entertainment.

Bungalow Bar thrives on having happy customers, therefore, they cater to what they enjoy.  Trivia game night allows people to have teams and they have to answer questions and there is a winner at the end of the game.

The workers cater to their clientele, so they feel like part of the Bungalow family.

The Bungalow Bar will continue to host various events to assure that the community continues to come back as well as spread the word.

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Lime Bikes, Everywhere in the Rockaways

By Shani Hannah | April 2, 2019

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Lime Bike left on the ground.                                                                   Photo: Shani Hannah

Rockaway Beach, NY – Lime Bike program was launched in July of 2018 in the Rockaways.  Lime Bike is a dockless bike program that came into the Rockaway Peninsula.  Dockless bikes are brought in by a truck and put out on certain street corner locations.  The purpose is to aid in the convenience of getting around in the Rockaways without the worry of traffic and finding parking when you are visiting certain areas.  As long as you stay in the Rockaways you can ride the bike for $1 for thirty minutes.  You scan the code after you download the app, add your debit or credit card to it and go for a ride.

Residents of the Rockaways love the idea of Lime Bike.

“I find the lime bikes useful to those who do not have a bike of their own,” said Taneek.

Another Rockaway resident, Danasia stated, “I think it’s doing well as promoting a healthier lifestyle for people who may not be able to afford a bike, have space or even want to save money and don’t like carpooling.”

Overall, the residents are happy except for the bikes being left all over.

“People throw them everywhere and anywhere,” Taneek stated.

The bikes seem to be left just anywhere, which is an issue to some residents.

Logan,  a 33-year-old male said, “I don’t like the fact that the kids take the bikes however they take it and ride the bikes wherever and then dump it anywhere, literally!”

The residents of the Rockaways welcome the bike sharing program but it’s bothersome to see how people destroy property that is meant to help. The bikes are thrown anywhere, and the residents want people to just respect the program.

“All it takes for too many issues with the bikes as far as stolen, broken, and not taking care of them and the company will grab their bikes and leave Far Rockaway dry again,” said Jalen.

The Rockaways embrace the program and look forward to the Lime Bike to expand more within the community.

For further insight on the Lime Bike check out my blog as well as Facebook, and Twitter.

 

Who is Distinguish, and why is he important?

Rockaway Beach, NY –  We have focused on big-name stars and how they are an influence in our communities; but we need to start looking at the advocators within our community that are there to do for the people.  One gentleman Henry Gray is no mystery to the public. Henry Gray aka Distinguish, originally known for his poetic style that leads him to a place of a piece in the mind because he like most people was ready to give up on life.  He isn’t one for titles or wanting to be recognized with big accolades.  Henry just wants people to understand his worth and his purpose while he is continuously helping others.

Henry started using his poetic forum to invite other artists to speak out about life in poetry fashion.  He used a platform called Bars N the Barbershop, where the artists would perform in various barbershop locations.  This platform gives an opportunity for talents to be shared that otherwise might not have been noticed or was still trying to find a way to market themselves.  Henry expanded this platform to the United Kingdom and gave the performers there an opportunity to compete and perform against each other. When they reached a certain level and had high sales, they were flown to the United States to be a part of a show that is part of his network, under Disnetwork Inc.  This allows peoples voices to be heard and bring positivity to the youth and hip-hop community.  The show is actually going on the road because April 6 starts the beginning of the tour.

Henry is also behind the face of Dad Hats & BowTies.  The purpose of this platform is a podcast journey that speaks about social justice and media, movie reviews, new in fashion and some other hot topics.  This platform also engages with A, B, C list celebrities within the industry of music and business today.  Henry and his partner are looking to expand this network as well, that will allow intellectuals, hosts and creatives to be a part of the plan.

The Rockaways Are Getting An Upgrade

 

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Rockaway Beach, NY – Rockaway Beach is one of the many communities that make up Far Rockaway, NY.  Recently, the Mayor approved upgrades and structural renovations to improve the area.  After the beating, the Rockaways took after Sandy with drainage problems and flooding an upgrade was necessary.  Each community in Far Rockaway has its own phase.  Rockaway Beach is considered to be part of phase 3 which is called Sandy13.  This particular project started in 2018 and will be completed by June of 2020.  The New York City Department of Design and Construction and the Perfetto Contracting Co. Inc. are behind the work being done in the Rockaways.  The purpose of this project is to upgrade old and damaged drainage and sewer systems.  The cost of this project is worth $25 million.

Due to this project, people in the community have an understanding but it’s causing congestion with traffic, street closures, and rodents are appearing.

The community construction liaison, Erich DeSuza, keeps everyone within the community up to date on what is happening and the improvements that are taking place.

Some of the residents of Rockaway Beach had this to say;

“The construction is definitely inconvenient, but I do think it’s necessary in order to improve our roads,” says Tarin Donatien.

Not everyone has a positive message; a gentleman who did not want to disclose his name stated, “they are always ripping up the streets and they don’t fix it properly, I’m tired of the construction”!

And there are others that play the fence, like Logan Evans who stated: “for where I reside at that draining system was not in place, therefore this why we were flooded out”.

“So, I think it’s very necessary but yet at the same time it’s very inconvenient,” said Logan.

A mother on her way to work stated she is stuck in traffic for at least 10 minutes when they block the street off because of the big bulldozer truck that is moving.

Although some people are against the construction and congestion, others are happy that they are finally fixing the sewer system to protect them from flooding.

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Charter Schools, is there a difference?

Rockaway Beach, NY – In today’s society the educational system is very important to the parents.  There are different types of schools that parents can choose from when it comes to their children like private, public and charter schools.

Public charter schools are really public schools that receive special funding and they aren’t governed by the same rules and regulations as a traditional public school.  Charter schools are overseen by a group or organization under a lawmaking contract.  With charter schools, they are exempt from state laws and local rules as long as they abide by the rules sanctioned by the charter schools.

The purpose of public charter schools is to enhance educational reform and allows the parents to have better school choices for their children’s education.

Latoya Griffin parent of Takayren, a freshman in high school, has a different kind of view regarding charter schools.  Latoya had to pull her daughter out of  Pave Academy Charter school.

 

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Yellow bus parked outside PAVE Academy Charter School.

 

According to the data on Pave Academy Charter School, they are doing okay.  Their rating is a bit low in comparison to other schools within District 15, but they are not the worst school.

Griffin stated, “I use to like charter schools until after I had to take my child out!”

“I had to take her out because once I was informed that my child might need additional help in like certain subjects like math and with her reading and speech, she wasn’t getting the help or assistance needed to perform in order to move to the next grade level,” said Griffin.

The school was unavailable for questions just to understand why one of their students weren’t receiving the extra help in order to help the student prepare for the next grade.

Rashaida-PAVE-SE-Photo-webTeacher helping the students.

“My child was not happy anymore, she didn’t want to go to school anymore and so for that reason, I took her out and put her back in public school. She left Pave Academy Charter school and went to the local public elementary school, graduated and went to junior high and now is in high school and she’s doing great” said Griffin.

Because of charter schools, public school attendance has dropped by 0.6 million during the fall of 2005 to the fall of 2015.  Although this one concerned mother, charter schools are still doing a great job where traditional public schools have fallen short.

For further information on public schools and charter schools please click here for more insight.

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A Change is coming to PS 183

Rockaway Beach, NY – On January 24, Public School 183 Dr. Richard R. Green held their monthly PTA meeting at 6pm located at 245 Beach 79th Street, Rockaway Beach in Far Rockaway.  In attendance were the PTA board members, educators, parents and guest speakers from the NAACP chapter in Far Rockaway.

The purpose of tonight’s PTA (Parent/Teacher Association) meeting was to develop a program that would help assist the students with reading fundamentals along with writing.  This is part of the core values that are necessary for the students when taking the standard ELA test to help achieve higher reading scores.

During the meeting, the NAACP representative, Mr. David Warden explained the winter reading program that would take place starting from January 2019 through April 2019 when the children return from Spring Break.

The program at present is geared to the students in the 8th grade to help prepare them for high school readiness and elevate their reading levels and essay writing.  They must choose five books and write a one to a two-page report summarizing what they learned.  Some of the suggested reading were books on Black History.  One of the suggested topics was the history of the Black Wall Street, among other readings.  The idea is to prepare and promote student’s ability for doing research on their history and culture.

When they have completed the program and submitted the packet, they will receive a gift card and a certificate for participating in this reading program.  PS 183 was glad to incorporate this program into the school while partnering up with the NAACP to help with their students learning and reading abilities.

The NAACP will also share future projects that will involve the younger students only after successful completion of the 8th-grade winter program.  Based on the success of the program will set the foundation to share future projects with the younger grades.  Public School 183 teaches grades PreK thru 8th.

There is standardized testing known as the reading ELA (English Language Arts) test and the Math test.  These tests are given to students in grades 3 thru 8th in order to prepare them for the next grade level in areas of reading and math.

PS 183 is just one of the schools within District 27 that is in need of education reform.

Below you will find an infographic that showcases all this information with a quicker overview.

 

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Helping Students Reach their Potential Educational Infographic

 

Looking back at the percentage of low ELA test scores during the school year 2017-18, PS 183 scores only ranked 25% in comparison to the district and city which averages in the 45% overall proficiency ELA level 3 and 4.  The 8th grade alone makes up for only 36% of scoring level 3 and 4; whereas the District is 50% and the State is 48%.

The Department of Education (DOE) is now implementing a new program called ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), although it’s still in the trial stages.  This program will eventually replace the standardized testing of the ELA and Math to a different type of test called ELLs, and MLLs along with adding in science and social studies testing.

The purpose of ESSA is to make sure every student is successful no matter their back background, where they live or where they come from.  The program is also going to help the teachers so they can give their students a better educational learning experience; so, students from schools like PS 183 have the same learning opportunities as schools who are meeting the criteria for reading and math standardized testing.