Spark. Grow. Unite.

2019-2020 CEEAS Initiatives

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Sign up for our December Initiative!

Sending Some Love is back again for the 2019 holiday season! This project is a great way for our young people in confinement to have an opportunity to be merry, connect with loved ones, and combat their feelings of loneliness and isolation during the holiday season.

Participants are recorded as they read a holiday book aloud. They then send the recording and the book, as a gift, to a child—perhaps their own child, a younger sibling at home, or a child at a nearby daycare center.

If you work in a secure youth facility and are interested in signing up for Sending Some Love, please visit our website for more information and register below CEEAS will provide book bundles to the first 60 school sites that register! Don't wait, get your students excited about the holidays and sending some love home now!
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November: DIY Initiative Month

Thank you to all the teachers and students who participated in Unsung. November is a ‘Do It Yourself’ Initiative. We have lots of former initiatives to choose from, and we encourage you to explore some of the options below:


Coding

Start from Scratch: This curriculum teaches students how to use Scratch to design animations. The animations are centered around restorative justice and can be a great therapeutic storytelling device.



Code Combat: Do you have your own Code Combat licenses? Host a school-wide competition for a week-long coding initiative. See which students are most inclined to pick up the skills of Python in this game based coding program. Don’t have licenses? Write a donorschoose or email us to purchase some.



Makerspace/STEAM

Cardboard Challenge: This challenge is one that anyone can launch in their school. Reach out to the cafeteria and ask them to save all of their cardboard boxes for your students. After that, you are ready to engaging students in this STEAM activity to build arcade games out of cardboard boxes. View the website for some additional materials that can enhance their building process. This is a FAN FAVORITE! Looking for a way to securely cut cardboard?...try these safe cardboard knives. Don’t forget to watch the video!



Academic Bowl

Academic Bowl: This is a wonderful way to build a sense of community in your school. Select some questions and run a school-wide Academic Bowl. We suggest you use LIVE Quizizz mode to conduct the rounds. Don’t forget that your questions can be anything...academic, sports, theme based on holidays, or pop-culture. Order some trophies and watch those brains go to work!



Please share your work with us! We think giving students feedback on their work is a critical part of the learning process. If you have selected a project and send us your top three final products, we will get some of our reviewers to provide your students with written feedback.


If you are excited about incorporating all of these ideas into one month...no need to worry, there is another DIY month in May!


We will be back in late November for our December initiative, Sending Some Love!



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The Unsung 2019 Album!!!

Below you will find the individual songs from this year's top five winners. Click here to listen to it as a playlist on YouTube. We will be publishing the songs to iTunes and Spotify this year! Please share the songs with anyone and everyone!!!


**We will include 3rd place soon.

Unsung 2019 1st Place War
Unsung 2019 2nd Place Diary of Changed Man
Unsung 2019 3rd Place Flashback
Unsung 2019 4th Place Juvenile Life
Unsung 2019 5th Place Pick Up the Love

Unsung 2019 Top Five Album Dropping Tomorrow!!!

A shout-out to Christina for using our student-created art from Douglas County Youth Center in Nebraska to create this year's album cover. We will send you our YouTube playlist so you can enjoy the top five songs and share them with everyone!
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Unsung Top Five Winners!!!

Congratulations!!! We are in the process of pushing the songs out so you can all listen to them. We are so proud of all the students and teachers involved in Unsung.

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Unsung Podcast!

Christina and I were asked to be a part of a podcast to talk about Unsung. Below is the YouTube video. We shared three songs from this year's submissions. We hope you enjoy it!
Odo Sound Podcast Episode 6 - UNSUNG with Kat and Christina

A story from Houston...

This week I was working with teachers in the Houston Detention Center. After our training, I got to see this incredible banner that the students designed for their gallery walk about Unsung. Valerie shared a story with me and I asked if we could videotape it. Thankfully, she agreed and I wanted to share it with you guys. I also got to meet two of the students who made it into the top ten and they serenaded me. I really appreciate all that you do!


We have incredible sponsors who make all of this work possible. These stories help us bring them into the classroom with you and see the impact of Spark Grow Unite! Keep them coming!!

Impact of Unsung: The Voices of Youth Justice

Your Top Ten Finalists...

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The scores are coming in...

Be on the lookout for this email! We have had two out of the twenty-five reviewers turn in their scores. If your song receives a perfect score we will be sending you an email with a Perfect Score Certificate.


Next Wednesday we will announce the top ten finalists. We can tell there is going to be a lot of competition already. We really appreciate how hard you have all worked on your songs. We have listened to every song in the contest and we are blown away by your talent!

ANNOUNCING a Finalist Reviewer from the NBA!!!

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Greg Taylor Senior Vice President, Player Development National Basketball Association

As Senior Vice President of Player Development for the National Basketball Association (NBA), Greg Taylor manages the league's initiatives that promote the personal, professional and social development of NBA players. He is responsible for NBA programs designed to orientate and educate rookies during their transition into the league, and advise team directors on overall player development, including best practices for managing off-the-court player matters. Taylor also leads yearlong programs assisting players in continuing education, financial management and career transition throughout their NBA careers and beyond.


Prior to joining the NBA in February 2013, Taylor served as President and CEO of the Foundation for Newark's Future, working to forge private and public sector partnerships to support education reform policies in Newark, N.J. During his tenure, Taylor led the foundation in several groundbreaking investments that transformed and improved educational opportunities for children in Newark.


Taylor also worked as Vice President for Programs of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where he led a series of innovative initiatives that empowered community leaders and organizations through early childhood education, racial equity and family economic security programs. He has also been a longtime youth basketball coach and is a current board member of both Athletes for Hope and the Newark Charter School Fund.


Taylor received his B.A. from Hunter College, City University of New York and his J.D. from the Bloomington School of Law at Indiana University. He is a native of New York City.

YJAM Feature on Unsung!!

Check out this piece from YJAM about Unsung. It features some lyrics from our launch contest and great artwork made by you!


http://cfyj.org/2019/item/guest-column-youth-justice-awareness-month-educational-opportunities-that-allow-youth-voice-to-be-heard

October 7th is the LAST day to SUBMIT songs!

You are no longer Unsung! Submit your songs below to enter the contest.


I will be visiting a school tomorrow and your email response may be delayed. Best of luck!!!

The Submission Portal is OPEN!!

The submission portal is open and will close on October 7th at midnight. Each school may submit up to three songs.


Submission Portal

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Announcing Marcy Mistrett...

Marcy Mistrett has been the CEO of the Campaign for Youth Justice since 2014. The Campaign for Youth Justice advocates to end youth being charged, sentenced and incarcerated as adults. In the decade since the organization opened, more than 35 states have changed their laws making it more difficult to treat children as adults by launching campaigns that are anchored in the experiences of the youth and families most impacted by these harmful policies.

Trained in social work, Marcy began her career working in community-based legal aid with court-involved youth. She worked as part of the legal team capturing psycho-social histories and contributing to mitigation reports for youth, particularly youth tried as adults. After 7 years in direct service, Marcy worked at a national funding collaborative, the Institute for Community Peace, focused on developing community-based responses to violence prevention. As the Director of Training and Evaluation, Marcy trained grantees on effective coalition building, promising practices in violence prevention, resident engagement, structural racism, and sustainability strategies. Marcy also oversaw $2 million in evaluation grants to measure the collective impact of the community-driven initiatives.

Marcy left the Institute for Community Peace to open the D.C. office of The Posse Foundation, a national college success and leadership program that identified and trained young, urban leaders from diverse backgrounds, leveraged full-tuition college scholarships at top tier colleges and universities, and supported them through college graduation and into careers, with a 90% graduation rate.

Prior to coming to CFYJ, Marcy was the Executive Director of a cooperative, play-based preschool in Washington DC and partner at Onward Consulting, a non-profit consulting practice in the District. She has her BA from American University and her AM in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago.


Introducing...Amy Lopez!

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New Final Reviewer: Amy Lopez!

Amy Lopez began her career as a public-school teacher and then administrator in Texas, her home state. She found her way into correctional education as the Principal at the Al Price juvenile facility and then Superintendent of Education for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. In 2015, Ms. Lopez was recruited to initiate education reforms for the 160,000 inmates in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice by the Windham School District, and in 2016 was appointed by Obama-era Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates to build a school district within the Federal Bureau of Prisons where she served as the FBOP Chief Education Administrator. Ms. Lopez’s career includes serving as the Deputy Director of College and Career Readiness, Professional Development, and Special Projects for the District of Columbia Department of Corrections and the Director of Programs for the Lone Star Justice Alliance. For three decades, she has focused on serving youth and adult students in public and confined settings, as well as the staff who work with them. Her approach to providing educational and career readiness opportunities to students and staff is innovative, motivating, and effective. She has served on the U. S. Department of Justice’s Leadership Excellence and Achievement Program as a mentor, on the White House Leadership Development committee, and on a variety of reentry and workforce councils in Texas and for the federal government. Ms. Lopez is a frequently-invited guest speaker and lecturer on leadership, correctional education, and incarcerated youth. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University, earned her M.Ed. from Lubbock Christian University, and is currently a Doctoral candidate at Sam Houston State University.

Returning from last year...Aloe Blacc!

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Aloe Blacc

With the release of his major-label debut Lift Your Spirit, Aloe Blacc moved and inspired audiences across the globe through his powerful fusion of soul, folk, R&B, and pop. Arriving in 2014, the Grammy Award-nominated album spanned from feel-good anthems like the platinum-selling single “The Man” to intensely charged tracks like Blacc’s acoustic version of “Wake Me Up”—the massive hit he sang and co-wrote for Swedish DJ Avicii, which topped the charts in more than 100 countries. Now at work on the follow-up to Lift Your Spirit, the L.A.-born rapper/singer/songwriter has expanded his emotional terrain to capture an even more personal element of the human experience.

Coming Soon!!!

Next week we will introduce you to a new finalist reviewer each day of the week. We have some really BIG names to share with you this year.


***The submission portal will open October 1st!

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Student Art Inspired by Unsung- Douglas County Youth Center, Nebraska

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Congratulations!!!!

S.M. at Hogan Street in Missouri won the Launch Contest! Ms. Rosen's class will get a microphone and S will get a lyric journal. We are looking forward to seeing what you create for the contest!



Only 15 labeled as a menace

Pulled into the streets, watched my homies rest in peace

Talking to my family once a week

In a cell starving, nothing to eat.

In and out of court, with a judge who hate me

Look me in the eye while she say im guilty.

Then its back to the cell, with no one to hold

My counselors say they care, but they don’t really know me.

Justice is corrupt, and that ain’t even just for me

Everybody got a situation, we just want to be free.


Launching Unsung:

Unsung will officially start on September 16th!


We will be kicking off the first week with a launch contest. Click here to access the additional launch materials. The winning student and classroom will each receive a prize! Students will receive a lyric journal and you will receive a microphone for your classroom to help record your students’ songs! (one entry per student) The launch contest submission window closes September 20th.

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The deadline for submitting songs to the overall Unsung Contest is October 7.


We will announce the top ten finalists on October 17th and the top five winners on October 24th.


Please note the following change in contest rules: Schools will be allowed to submit a maximum of three (3) songs. We encourage schools to host an internal song contest amongst your students to determine your top three for entry into our overall contest.


Soundtrap accounts are coming soon. All schools will have their student accounts by September 16th!


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A huge CONGRATULATIONS to Hope Shepard at the Cypress School in Florida. She had her Donors Choose project fully funded! Don’t forget to create your Donors Choose fundraiser and share it with us-- we’ll do our best to help you get funded.
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Launching Unsung Materials

We are so excited to launch the Unsung materials!


Don't forget to sign up.


Get started with the contest materials:

We have created a series of activities that are completely customizable to meet the needs of your students or the time you have available for the initiative. You do not have to complete all of the activities and you can add to them to bring in additional standards and content.


Curriculum Activities- Google Slideshow

***Need a Powerpoint version? Email us: sparkgrowunite@ceeas.org



Teacher Video Guide-

Youtube

Download


Click below to learn more about the contest guidelines:


Contest Guidelines



Get ready for the technology:


Technology Guidelines


Technology Video-

Youtube

Download


If you don’t have the technology or the internet...don’t worry! We don’t want access to technology to be a barrier for students. You are welcome to participate and capture your student’s songs and submit MP3 files. Some schools are going to record on a teacher computer or a tablet with a microphone. Get creative!

Welcome!

We are looking forward to working with you this year. As we prepare our launch of Spark. Grow. Unite. we would like to help you connect to all the resources. Follow the steps below to get started.


Checklist to Get Started:



  1. Sign up here!
  2. Bookmark our Website
  3. Bookmark the S'more.
  4. Join our Slack Community.



We will be in touch soon!


-Kat and Christina

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Spark. Grow. Unite.

Bringing Highly Engaging, Culturally Relevant, and Technology Enhanced Curricula to Teachers in JJ Facilities All Year Long