TRCS Monthly NewsletterAPRIL 2011 
Mighty Milers
Going Green with Help from CJ
Off to Africa
Special Happenings
Cluster Updates
Rensizzle Week!
TRCS Sports Desk
Featured Article: Science and Sports Camp
Upcoming Events
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Dear Friends and Families,


Spring is always a busy time at Renaissance--from our fabulous Rensizzle Week, to the Spring Drama Production, to end-of-year art and music exhibitions...and the unprecedented "Freedom Ride" opportunity we have on the horizon.   Read On!  

Mighty Milers Win Big!

Congratulations and a big "thank you" go out to Arabella Powell and her Mighty Milers. This group of 5th graders ran enough miles to help TRCS receive 50 new books from Scholastic! Miles For Books is a community outreach program run by the New York Road Runners.  A special shout out also goes to Danisha Brown, a TRCS 11th grader, interning with the Mighty Milers, who wrote the Mighty Milers Music Grant, winning Renaissance a new music system, an MP3 player and an iTunes gift card.  Great teamwork!

Going Green with help from CJ Thomas

CJ Joseph

Renaissance is continuing its' efforts to become more green and no one is spreading the message more than CJ Joseph.  Her original song "R to the E to Cycle" has been chosen by the  New York City Board of Education as their official "recycling" song and she appeared at the Green Schools NYC event held April 9th at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Educational Campus in Manhattan.  The following week she was asked to perform at the 4th annual Get Green South Bronx Earth Festival.  Follow this link to read a great article about CJ and watch her music video  CJ and "R-to-the-E-to-the-cycle" 


Off to Africa 

Vilma Gamarra
The College Office is proud to announce that TRCS junior Vilma Gamarra was admitted to the YMCA Global Teens for the Summer of 2011.  Vilma will travel to South Africa with 14 other NYC public high schools students. There, the students will stay with host families, perform community service and participate in cultural activities. Vilma was awarded  75% need-base scholarship and is actively fundraising through family, friends and her elected officials.  We wish her the best of luck, and look forward to hearing about her experiences and seeing her photos next fall!
Special Happenings
Renaissance held its' first Art Auction on Thursday, April 14th and raised over $1,400 to help support our arts programs.  The evening started with a wine & cheese tasting, featuring wines from Table Wines of Jackson Heights and a viewing of over 35 pieces of art.  The many paintings, drawings  and photographs were generously donated by many Jackson Heights', and other, artists, along with some of our student artists.  We finished the evening with some great door prizes and raffle prizes.  It was a wonderful evening for a great cause, so be sure to attend next year!  Special thanks to the artists who donated work, including alumni parent Barbara Mutnick and parent artist Niizeki Hiromi.   
Cluster Updates

 K-4 Architecture in the Classroom 
K-4 enjoyed welcoming a new architect to classrooms during Rensizzle week for a wonderful built-environment project.  K-4 students and teachers worked with Howard Stern from the Center for Architecture to create models of famous NYC buildings and others. 
5th and 6th grades worked with two of our cultural partners, the Metropolitan Opera Guild and Carnegie Hall's American Roots teaching artists.  American Roots explores the uniquely American Gospel music, and how the songs reflect the American experience.  The "MOG Squad" teachers, Michael, Allison and Cristine, welcomed Opera Guild teaching artists to help students add music to their original  plays based on myths, literature and social-studies themes from their classes.
7th and 8th grades spent the weeks after Rensizzle buckling down to prepare for the state exams, and planning their end-of-year trip to Quinipet in Long Island, June 7th-9th.  Check out the middle school wiki at trcsmshw.wikispaces.com for more information.  
Highschoolers are similarly studious, preparing for mid-term exams and Regents.  10th graders will be going to Hofstra University on Long Island to participate in a day of science exploration, and 11th graders are planning a talent show and a Mother's Day Dinner and Dance.  Look for upcoming fliers and invitations! 
Rensizzle Week!

rensizzle banner

The week of March 28 through April 1 was our famous "Rensizzle Week", a chance for our 7- 12 grade students and staff to pursue a hands-on educational experience over a full school week. 
This year we had 20 clusters ranging from studying the "Legacy of Colonialism in Latin America", to figuring out what "Happiness" means, to immersion in such sports as Soccer, Rugby and Cycling.  All week long awesome food came from The Greek Taverna and the middle school's Culinary group.  Students traveled all over the city to parks,  museums, restaurants and our partner B.R. Guest's bakery in Long Island City.  The presentations on Friday were filled with student work, from animations and video gaming to power-points,  displayed on dvds, wiki pages, and poster-board.  We had exciting live performances from Music Production, the Hip-Hop Workshop, and a spirited live "trailer" for the Spring Drama Production (see below.)  The week is important to who we are as a school, and we applaud our students and adults for coming up with some great ideas, and group leaders for taking on the challenge.  Please check out the "Rensizzle Week Wiki" to learn more from our students, at http://rensizzle.wikispaces.com/.
TRCS Sports Desk



          Baseball is fully underway now - HS Boys won their recent games against Frank Sinatra HS and August Martin HS.  Middle School Co-Ed Baseball has a new coach, Jorge Barcia, and has played their first game against 2-time defending champs I.S. 61.  Special shout-out to intrepid Lani Rivera, the only girl on our co-ed league!

          Elementary Basketball just started, playing their first game against Promise Academy Charter School.   

          HS Girls Volleyball Club will get started for a short season next week.  

Featured Article - Science and Sports Camp

   Seventeen upcoming 10th and 11th grade students from The Renaissance Charter School will attend a two week residential Sports and Science Camp at Colgate University from July 5-16th

Students will be housed in Colgate University dorms, eat in the college cafeteria, utilize college athletic facilities and have access to the library, computer centers and outdoor education facilities.  Students will be supervised and taught by high school teachers from participating schools, Colgate University student science researchers and athletes, and Colgate University professors.  

Throughout the two week program, students will work in science laboratories conducting experiments with Colgate University professors and research students.  In past years, Sports and Science participants performed in-vitro fertilization of sea urchins, collected local plants to test their utility in killing bacteria, synthesized and analyzed colorful organic molecules, bred zebra fish and collected fossils in the local quarry.  Students viewed three amazing three-dimensional digital presentations in Colgate University's state of the art planetarium.  Throughout their two weeks, students will engage in experimentation and be exposed to faculty research in a wide array of scientific fields and areas of research.   

            At the same time, students will be learning and practicing skills in soccer, basketball, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, squash, and water polo. By exposing students to new athletic challenges, we hope to encourage fitness, build sportsmanship, a healthy competitive spirit and to nurture a love of playing.  Students will be camping, hiking, learning survival skills and challenged to complete low-ropes courses, to build communication and team-work skills. 

            Students have been selected for participation on the basis of their applications, essay and teacher recommendations.

            See the website at Colgate science and sports camp for more information and pictures.  

Upcoming Events:
Spring Drama Production - 3 Comic One-Acts

   dramaOur Wednesday Theater Arts Elective class has been rehearsing 3 comic one-acts by Jonathan Rand since the beginning of the school year--one day a week. Starting with Rensizzle, when the cast and crew got to work all 5 days on their production the rehearsals have been ramping up and costume, props and set pieces have begun to grace the auditorium stage.  The most exciting news of all came before Spring break, when playwright Jonathan Rand contacted Renaissance to ask if he can come to the production! Actors and Directors Curtis Anderson and Rebekah Slotnick are excited and proud to show him the fruits of their labor. 

          Mark your calendars and come support the theater department, and enjoy a night of comic relief!  "The Least Offensive Play in the Whole Darn World", "Hard Candy" and "Check Please" will make you laugh--the actors guarantee it!

           Thursday May 12 and Friday May 13 at 4:30 and 7:00 PM.  Tickets are only $8 for adults and $4 for students!   

NYC to Mississippi Freedom 50th Bus Ride

freedom riders 

          We are very excited to share with you the details of our upcoming project: the NYC to Mississippi Freedom 50th Bus Ride. Renaissance, in conjunction with three other NYC high schools, will be participating in this activity to commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides. Eight students will represent TRCS on a bus ride through the South, stopping at various historically significant Civil Rights points, with the ultimate destination being Jackson, Mississippi. Once in Jackson, the New York delegation will participate in the Mississippi 50th Freedom Conference from May 22nd-26th. There, students will interview and learn from the original Freedom Riders and other Civil Rights activists. The conference will feature performances (spoken word/poetry, music, and dancing) that honor the Civil Rights Movement and make connections to the issues that NYC youth are facing today. This incredible experience is scheduled to be highlighted by the keynote speaker, our very own President of the United States, Barack Obama!

          So that students may fully engage in this experience, preparation will include attending weekly discussion meetings to learn about the Civil Rights Movement, reading books and articles about the Freedom Riders, and setting the foundation to create a follow-up project, based on their learning experience. Upon returning, students will share their experiences with their respective communities about their life-changing trip. One goal of the NYC to Mississippi Freedom 50th Bus Ride is to spark a citywide dialogue on the modern day civil rights issues that youth face each day, including youth violence and educational equity, beginning with their school and then expanding into the larger community.

          Several fundraising initiatives are being planned to cover expenses that include transportation, food, and lodging.  If you would like to make a donation, please drop off or mail to the school, c/o Ali Rosow, checks made out to TRCS, with "NYC to Mississippi" in subject line.  Thank you for your support and look for updates and pix in next month's newsletter! 

Mark Your Calendars!

May 2011

Tues-Thurs, 5/3-5/5 - 3rd-8th grade ELA Exams
Friday, 5/6 - Mother's Day Dinner/Dance
Weds-Fri, 5/11-5/13 - 3rd-8th grade Math Exams
Thurs-Fri, 5/12 & 5/13, Spring Drama Production, 4:30 & 7:00 PM
Friday, May 20 - Freedom Riders leave NY
Saturday, May 21 - TRCS Flea Market

Thurs-Fri, 5/26 & 5/27, Arts Exhibitions

Make an investment in children, education and the future of our world.  Safer, better-educated communities are great for business; they improve the quality of life for everyone. Renaissance's hard-working, high-achieving students strive to make that happen and with your help that goal is closer to being a reality:  Please visit our website for more information, and lick on the red DONATE button on the bottom of each page: http://www.renaissancecharter.org/.  Thank you!


The Renaissance Charter School