Dear Scholastic Award Recipients, teachers, families, and friends,
The 2014 Art and Writing Awards are live! Click the link above to begin registration. If you participated in the Awards last year, you may log in using the same email and password. For people new to the program, these awards are for any students in grades 7 through 12. If you go to school in NYC, then you are in the right place. Otherwise you should register with your local Affiliate.
It is probably a good idea to begin registration early; the work can always be uploaded at a later time. The deadline for submissions for the NYC region is January 8th. There is no ban or limit on subject matter; everything is fair game. All the judging is done blind. Category descriptions can be found here: http://www.artandwriting.org/the-awards/how-to-submit/categories/
In the meantime, we will continue to bring you winning work from 2013 in order to help inspire you even further. We hope that you will enjoy viewing and reading the work as much as we have.
If you happen to be an educator (day school or after school) and are interested in having a Scholastic representative visit your school, please drop a note to the email address below.
Also, please visit us on Facebook to see photos of the Awards and Like our page! https://www.facebook.com/CasitaMaria.org
With warm regards,
Manager, The Scholastic Awards of New York City
Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education
718-589-2230 ext. 6191
I am firm believer in independent thinking, and I was appalled by an article brought to my attention that appeared in a The New York Times, highlighting a system known as Habits of Mind. This learning system has been instituted in over 300 schools globally, according to the article. Its methodology has troubled me, due to the fact that it appears to emphasize a uniform way of thinking. I feel extremely adamant that education should not only be used as a way to learn but as a path to self- discovery. What I have valued most in my education is the liberty to compare and contrast different ideas and opinions with others who may not be like minded. I believe that to get to the point of an idea is to have productive conflicts in a learning environment. Is there need for a dictatorial system, such as Habits of Mind, to exist in a classroom?
In my New York City middle school, we held a mock Congressional hearing where we aired our separate viewpoints on the Indian Removal Act. This was a perfect lesson on collaboration and independence, as we were encouraged to express ourselves, while respecting the ideas of others. I feel that to manipulate an individual’s thoughts is morally wrong. However, the Habits of Mind system can be exploited to alter students’ thinking process, and be viewed as a form of brain-washing. For example,I was shocked to learn that the system “exhorted students to live by the 16 traits” that it revolves around. Read the rest of this entry »
In fall in Shelter Island there aren’t many cars. The tourists go find another beach, perhaps on another island. Somewhere where they can litter the sand with cigarette butts and bury them with their toes. There aren’t many cars blocking the narrow streets, but piles of leaves surround the grass. They become more visible without the blow and smoke from the engines pulling them apart. The leaves fall softly to the ground and are brushed by the wind into piles around the bases of the trees. The trees are left barren, stripped and naked in the bitter wind; shrunken wrinkled bodies, cowering, their branches curving in around their trucks, shaking in the cold. They are dangerous, sharp, high. But to my seven year old self they were just trees. Just portals to a world above the rough wet ground into the unworldly sky. In fact, they were almost more beautiful in the growing winter because I could see every indent, every callous, every stepping stone from the ground to the top where I liked to hang around the branches. My parents didn’t see that however. I could never get them to tear their eyes away from the ground and look to the sky. Read the rest of this entry »
Since birth, I have been raised as a Catholic. My father’s side of the family is protestant, and mother’s is Irish Catholic. My mother herself is a devout Catholic, and had my brothers and I baptized, confirmed, etc. I’m few months shy of sixteen, so haven’t had time to experience any serious religious struggles yet. My faith has not been tested. Overall, I have had a fairly smooth religious experience.
One of Ninian Smart’s seven dimensions of religion is the social aspect. For me, this dimension has been particularly important. I’ve been attending an all-girls Catholic school since preschool. Through the school’s religion classes, I’ve learned more in twelve years than many will learn in their lifetimes. In lower school, I thought the weekly masses were the highest form of entertainment. They drew us all together. Afterwards, my friends and I would talk about it endlessly. Most of the time, our conversations were made up of questions – Who was John the Baptist? Why did Mary Magdalene and Jesus’s mother have the same name as me? Did that make me special? I remember one conversation in particular. We’d heard the creation story in that day’s mass, and it got me thinking. “God made everything, right?” I asked my friend. She said yes. “Well, who made God?” This question wasn’t easy to answer. Eventually, she came up with “Well, God made Himself.” Read the rest of this entry »
In the Saint Ann’s School middle school English curriculum rich with treasured books such as Animal Farm and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, it’s a surprise to realize that with 7th grade, female protagonists and writers disappear from the classroom. The first part of 8th grade centers on a coming of age theme with books like The Catcher in The Rye and Black Boy, and yet a coming of age book about a girl is rarely read. As English teacher Melissa Kantor puts it, “To Kill A Mockingbird is the last girl and then 7th and 8th grade is all boys.”
The Saint Ann’s English curriculum is, as Ruth Chapman, head of the English department, describes it, “organic.” She said that instead of having one set curriculum for each grade, there is a list of suggested books, another list of a few books that are mandatory, and the largest and perhaps most importantly, a list of “frozen” books. These books are, as Ms. Chapman puts it, “in the freezer for that grade and we ask no teacher below that grade to take them out of the freezer just so they’re always available.” This list is reviewed each year. She noted, however, that the books read in English classes are mainly dictated by the teacher’s interests as well as the given group of students. Read the rest of this entry »
Please read this. Please follow these instructions. Then, smile.
Never forget to breath. The trees need your carbon dioxide.
Never forget to pause. Don’t just look. See.
Never forget to brush your teeth. Especially in the morning.
Never forget to say thank you. It won’t go out of style.
Never forget to fall in love. And fall and fall and fall and fall…
Never forget to have your heartbroken. Bonus: Find someone to put it back together.
Read the rest of this entry »