Le Von White Brings His Special Brand of Mind–Body Fitness to TNCS!

The New Century School has a reputation for attracting multitalented, dedicated educators and other staff members. Le Von White, one of TNCS’s newest instructors who joined last fall, is the proof in the pudding.

Meet Le Von White

On spending mere moments with Mr. White, it’s immediately clear that he’s a true Renaissance Man. Among his many talents are acting, music, physical fitness, and meditation. He believes that the mind and the body are deeply connected, so to excel at anything, both the physical and the mental selves must be nurtured.

He radiates good energy!

Born and raised in Baltimore, Mr. White was educated in both public and private school environments. His experience at Calvert Hall College High School started him on his artistic journeys with acting and music, and he later majored in music at York College of Pennsylvania as well as earning a minor in political science. In addition, he served on the student senate and as a Resident Assistant and played trumpet in the college band. There he also ran track, establishing that mind–body connection that continues to sustain him. After taking a bit of time off after graduating, he earned a master’s degree in music from Morgan State University.

Mr. White at TNCS

Although classical piano is his passion, music is not what he teaches at TNCS. He started in the fall as a substitute teacher and is comfortable in all classrooms from pre-K right up through middle school. TNCS Interim Head of School Tad Jacks quickly saw that Mr. White needed to be a permanent fixture on campus, and now he does a little of everything, including teaching physical education, helping cover the front desk, overseeing recess, and doing aftercare. He remains part time, though, because if an acting gig becomes available, he must fly!

Teaching PE is a natural fit for Mr. White, who, again, believes very strongly in keeping both his mind and body in shape. During gym class, TNCS students do body weight strength training and ab work and also play games. Mr. White is waiting on some sports equipment to arrive so students can develop those skills as well.

“I really enjoy working out,” he said. “Physical fitness is very important and I feel like when I work out, I have the physical energy to do all the other things that I do, like recitals, acting, and so on. l want to be the best version of myself when I’m doing those things.” The connection, of course, works both ways. Not only do his workouts help fuel his mind, but his mental activity also helps him stay focused and motivated. Which brings us to yet another of his pursuits: meditation.

Physical fitness is very important to me, but mental fitness is just as important. If I keep my mind strong and clear, I’m able to inspire other people and stay motivated myself. Meditation makes all the difference to me, and when I began taking it or seriously, I felt my intellect expanding. I’ve always been able to play piano but now I understand the music better and can perform it better. Meditation really works on your prefrontal cortex, and that’s where concentration comes from. I’m big on telling people that meditation builds this part of our brain. Just like a bicep curl builds that muscle, meditation builds the prefrontal cortex so that you can really focus.

During his second year of graduate school is when Mr. White got serious about meditation. He says he couldn’t concentrate and felt like he was playing piano in a storm. He got back into meditating, which an uncle had introduced him to, and that “silenced the storm.”

If you are feeling inspired, Mr. White recommends starting simply. Sit for 5 minutes daily with your back and spine straight and focus on your breath. “Try to remain neutral, so that no matter what thought comes into your mind, you stay balanced and calm. That’s gonna silence the mind and stop the reaction process. In that silence, you’ll feel both more energized and more peaceful,” he explained. Another piece of advice? “Don’t judge yourself. If you don’t succeed right away, keep going. Walk your path to the best of your ability.”

Mr. White and Piano

So what about tickling the ivories? Before coming to TNCS, Mr. White taught music and music history in a city middle school, but he wasn’t reaching students the way he wanted to. He cared about his students, and it hurt him to see all of the obstacles they faced. On coming to TNCS, he found the right balance. “I really feel like I’m making a difference here. I feel like I’m inspiring the kids here,” he said.

He finds ways to work in some piano playing and gave a Black History Month concert for TNCS students last month. “I played some popular artists like Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin, the King of Ragtime Scott Joplin, and my personal love, classical music,” he explained. “Mozart, Beethoven, and other composers from Germany and Austria in the 1700s and 1800s are where my passion is. Schumann is my favorite composer, and I also compose some music.” He even whips out some Disney songs on his keyboard from, for example, the Aladdin and Winnie the Pooh soundtracks, when he’s in the pre-K classroom, making those students very, very happy.

Are you ready? Here are some clips of Mr. White’s piano playing (which, like his swath of talents, spans many genres):

You can also follow Mr. White on Instagram at Vandal_Savage1943, where he lists ventriloquist as yet another talent (see some TikToks below)!

If it seems like Mr. White leads a charmed life given his many gifts, like everyone, he has had his share of ups and downs. He recounts how he started skipping school in 6th grade. His mother, whom he credits for his success, made any sacrifice necessary to get him into a more regimented environment. She must be very gratified and proud at how her efforts paid off! He has found an outlet for his multitude of talents, and they have come together perfectly.


Mr. White sometimes gives piano lessons through City Strings if you’d like to avail yourself of his talents! You can also see him acting in various commercials (such as Disco Skincare for Men) and on the HBO Max series We Own This City, premiering April 25th, in which he plays a correctional officer. We hope this part gets him closer to his dream of making it to Hollywood!

Ventriloquism TikToks!

Get Lost in the Sauce: TNCS Celebrates Blacksauce Kitchen!

Once again, in celebration of Black History Month, Immersed is honoring one of The New Century School‘s most loyal and supportive families. The Moselys have been with TNCS for nearly a decade, with one of their now high school–age children having been one of the first graduates of TNCS’s Middle School, and the other (who currently serves as TNCS Student Council President) about to follow suit!

Apart from these amazing distinctions, the Moselys have been stalwart supporters of the school in multiple ways, and they deserve special recognition for the crucial fundraising they have undertaken through the years.

Dad Damian Mosely is founder, owner, and chef of Black-owned and TNCS parent–owned Blacksauce Kitchen, a mobile food business here in Baltimore (at 401 W. 29th St.), established in 2010. Mere mention of their signature homemade biscuits is enough to elicit a Pavlovian drool, and photos are almost unfair, so, sorry (not sorry).

(Need a biscuit? You can schedule an order now for pickup during your specified window!)

Blacksauce Origins

Chef Damian is originally from Virginia, and both of his parents grew up in Mississippi, so “I’m pretty southern in my DNA,” he says (hence the biscuits). “I ultimately came here because of my wife’s job. Having lived in a couple cities further north, Baltimore is an appropriate midway point for me, geographically and culturally.”

Blacksauce Kitchen was a natural evolution for Chef Damian: “Blacksauce was born out of my curiosity, my travels, and my family’s generations-long focus on food,” he explained. As for the name, that, he says, is a tribute to the African Diaspora, “the energies and cultures that inspire the food we’re putting out into the world. I’ve spent time in Mississippi and Louisiana, Senegal and Jamaica, Panama and Brooklyn. Blacksauce is a tacit synthesis of those experiences.”

Blacksauce: A True Baltimore Business

As Damian sees it, Blacksauce is more than food purveyorship. It’s a vehicle for active and meaningful engagement in and with the Baltimore community, and it’s not a finite transaction, but an ongoing relationship:

Being a restauranteur here means participating in the city’s economy and participating in a meaningful dialogue with the immediate, surrounding community. I call it a dialogue because it’s actually a back and forth. It’s not the sort of business where we’re sending our end-product out to the world at large but never having a meaningful interface with customers. We’re serving neighbors. We’re collaborating with adjacent businesses. We often know and work alongside the folks who grow our food on one end of the chain as well as the folks who consume it and compost the scraps on the other end.

Blacksauce and TNCS

Chef Damian applies that same relationship approach to TNCS. So just what is it about the school that prompts him to donate so much of his time, energy, and delicious food? “At first it was the simple idea of paying it forward, a creed that I grew up on. But over time I’ve noticed an interesting dynamic that gives me additional satisfaction: Because our business is so local, we’re often serving the teachers, administrators, and coaches who are guiding our kids at their respective schools; then, as our kids get older, those same teachers return to the farmer’s market or the shop and see those kids working, communicating, and serving.”

Past fundraisers have focused on making sure all 8th-graders were able to attend the annual capstone international service learning trip. Without Blacksauce Kitchen, those trips might have been out of reach. Here are some highlights from two recent “Breakfast with Blacksauce” events from November 2021 and May 2020.

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There was also that time when Chef Damian took over TNCS lunch to give then-Chef Emma a break. TNCS students thoroughly enjoyed their week of “Biscuits for Lunch“!


Look out this spring for Blacksauce tents around the city at Farmer’s Markets and other events . . . you just might get lucky enough to taste Blacksauce’s own favorite festival plate: jerk flank steak and smoked green beans.

Cooking Up Community: TNCS Celebrates The Land of Kush!

At The New Century School, heritage is important, which Black History Month offers plenty of opportunities to celebrate. As a school that champions diversity in all ways, appreciation of heritage is cooked right in.

And you know what else is cooking? The Land of Kush, that’s what—the vegan soul food (#VeganSoul) restaurant owned and operated by long-time TNCS parents Naijha Wright-Brown and Gregory Brown.

Naijha and Greg are not just school parents; they’re huge supporters, having held several biannual fundraisers as well as hosted special school events. Their most recent fundraiser netted $550 for TNCS Parent Council initiatives, in fact. Until the pandemic, the annual Pancakes & Pajamas was a TNCS student winter favorite! (Can we bring that back?)

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So, in honor of Black History Month and, frankly, because this post is long overdue, we celebrate these amazing TNCS parents and The Land of Kush!

Journey to The Land of Kush

In the first few moments of talking with Naijha, you’ll find yourself thinking, “I want what she’s taking!” She bubbles with vibrancy, passion, and all-around good energy. Her prescription, it turns out, is simple: humility, community, and veganism  . . . all of which are interconnected.

Naijha relocated from New Jersey to Baltimore in 2005 for her job at the time as a supervisor with Verizon Wireless. On getting herself set up here, she explains, which involved all of those practical things like finding a doctor, she learned she had high cholesterol. As if destined, a new supervisor joined Naijha’s group, who just so happened to espouse veganism, which, because it renounces consuming animal products, is inherently low cholesterol. Gregory Brown started explaining his vegan practice to Naijha, the foods he ate and why, and then shared with her that he dreamed of opening his own restaurant.

Naijha kicked into gear. “I’ve never worked in food service and didn’t know anything about food service,” she explained. “I came from working on Wall Street and in entertainment promotion. But, I told him I could probably help promote and do some outreach to educate people. Because I wanted to learn all about this, too!”

Here they are, 11 years later, with a nationally award-winning restaurant many times over and a major driving force in the vegan community. They co-created “Vegan SoulFest“—“one of the biggest vegan festivals in Baltimore entertaining over 16,000 people right smack in the inner city,” as Naijha puts it, as well as Vegan Restaurant Week, which is coming up next month, March 4th through March 27th!Along with Golden West Cafe in Hampden, they are also Bridging the Gap recipients, which, according to the Greater Baltimore Committee’s website “. . . is dedicated to evolving the business culture of Greater Baltimore by developing and fostering relationships between majority, minority, and women-owned businesses. In addition to promoting a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all organizations, the Bridging the Gap initiative provides targeted support and programming to help minority and women-owned businesses in Greater Baltimore succeed and grow.”

Other awards for Land of Kush and for Naijha’s work include:

Naijha was also featured earlier this month on FARM’S website: “Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) is a national nonprofit organization advocating for animal rights and veganism since 1976.” This profile also provides more of her background (such as growing up in New York City) and how it all came together for Naijha and Greg. Or there’s this one from VegOut: Baltimore’s Land of Kush Is Serving up Vegan Soul Food with a Side of Community. Or this one: They just keep coming.

One theme runs through it all, and that’s bringing people together and doing some good in the world. Says Naijha:

I love seeing how people can work together and especially learn how to eat to live. We can improve our health, contribute to a healthy environment, reduce animal cruelty, and even do something about global hunger. That’s why veganism is very important—all the food that we’re feeding animals, we could be distributing to people who are hungry around the world.

(Let’s not forget the collard greens, baked mac ‘n cheese, and vegan crabcakes, either.)

She says she and Greg are “yin and yang,” and that’s what makes this work. “We make a great team, and we understand each other. That’s how we were able to build The Land of Kush to be what it is today,” she said.

If you’re wondering where the name comes from, that, too is a good story. The Kingdom of Kush was a cosmopolitan ancient African civilization located in modern-day Sudan with ties to Egypt. “That’s the number question we get asked,” said Naijha. (Although many assume a different association.) “Greg studies the African diaspora and wanted to introduce the community to this knowledge. We get the opportunity to do so through that question. A historian wrote an article about the kingdom of Kush for Smithsonian Magazine and sent a copy to us. I got to interview the writer on my digital talk show. It was amazing. Everything comes full circle.”

LOK and TNCS!

Speaking of full circle, how does TNCS fit into the picture? And what motivates Naijha and Greg to give so much of their time, effort, and cuisine to the school? They wanted a vegetarian school, to start with, and there are surprisingly few in Baltimore.
The second thing is the environment of The New Century School. I was concerned about the diversity issue (people define diversity in a lot of different ways) because our daughter would be the only Afro-Latina in her kindergarten class. But she was welcomed, and that’s what you look for in a school. And the parental involvement, that was on the top of the list when we selected TNCS. That just took the cake. The parents are involved. They’re concerned about what’s happening in the school and what’s happening with the children, and we were able to meet and attend play dates and activities. Being accepted at the school is very, very important to us, and TNCS has done it.

Naijha recounts an episode when her daughter first started at TNCS: “Everybody had to dress according to their culture, but no one knew what Afro-Latina was, and I said, ‘well, it’s up to us to teach them’, which teaching the entire community has benefited from, several years on.

“I have to say one more thing about The New Century School,” she said. “I was very impressed with the way they responded initially to the pandemic. They didn’t miss a beat—we were out one week and back in session the next week. And even though it was really challenging, we didn’t experience what a lot of schools and parents and children are experiencing right now, so I really appreciate them for that.”

Safe to say, the feeling is mutual!

State of the ‘Rant

Despite all the awards and accolades, being in the restaurant business is never easy, and that’s especially true in the 2020s so far. The Browns liquidated their 401Ks to open Land of Kush and have kept it thriving on sheer conviction and determination (oh, and excellent cooking!). “This is a tough business. As secretary of the Board of the Restaurant Association in Maryland, I hear about all the struggles restaurants are going through, whether small, medium, or large. We are blessed to be here this long and surviving through the pandemic. And we’re here for the community,” said Naijha.

In fact, they will soon open their new Vegan Soul Bistro on Madison and Chester, on the east side of Baltimore near Johns Hopkins, a larger space (so, you know, even more yummy food to go around).

Even as Naijha and Greg look forward to that exciting development, “We remain humble. We appreciate all the love and support.”


Don’t forget to show that love and support to the amazing Black-owned/TNCS–parent owned Land of Kush during Vegan Restaurant Week . . . or now. Who knows, you might just be standing in line with likes of Stevie Wonder. (Not even kidding.)

TNCS Elementary and Middle School Students Hop To It in 2022!

The New Century School breaks the mold in so many ways that achieving new “firsts” has almost become the norm. Yet here we are with 2022 just having begun, and TNCS is already doing it again—this time with fur!

Out of the Hat and into the Classroom!

On Tuesday, January 18th, the TNCS Student Government headed to the Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Center, better known as BARCS, on a very special mission: to pick up a rabbit to be fostered in TNCS ELA teacher Gab Sussman‘s homeroom.

Seven Reasons To Foster
1. Fostering increases an animal’s chance of getting adopted.
2. Your own pets will learn more social skills.
3. You get to see if you’re ready to own another pet.
4. Fostering is temporary.
5. You can choose how to foster.
6. Fostering keeps animals out of shelters.
7. You are saving a life.

The idea for fostering a pet at TNCS originated with Ms. Sussman, herself a small animal lover. After making the arrangements with BARCS and finding Freckles’ biography on the BARCS website, the rest is TNCS history.

“Whether they have scales, feathers or hopping feet, BARCS is a safe haven for all animals in Baltimore City.”

Among the Student Government members to bring Freckles to her temporary home were Natalie Lawner, TNCS Historian, and Hanako Dillon, TNCS Public Relations. We have these two dedicated 6th-graders to thank for the following photos and interview.

Interview with TNCS Student Council Public Relations

Immersed: What does fostering a pet involve?
PR: Fostering a pet involves wanting animals to live in a loving home while they are still up for adoption. It is also very important to take good care of the animal as expected from the shelter. We are responsible for feeding, keeping her cage clean, and socializing her.
Immersed: How did Freckles get chosen?
PR: Freckles was chosen because she was the only small furry animal at the shelter at the time.
Immersed: Who named Freckles?
PR: We are not sure who named freckles but she came to us with the name.
Immersed: What is Freckle’s backstory—how did she come to BARCS?
PR: There is not a lot of information about how or why she came to BARCS but the came to BARCS on December 15, 2021
Immersed: How will students take care of Freckles?
PR: Students in Ms. Sussman’s class will help feed Freckles and clean her cage every day.
Immersed: What will happen to Freckle when school is not in session, such as over weekends?
PR: As of now Ms. Sussman will be taking Freckles home on the weekends, and will eventually begin to socialize Freckles with her own bunny Bunnicula. We are exploring what it would look like for students/families to take her home too.
Immersed: What would you like readers to know about this TNCS initiative? What is the takeaway message?
PR: We would love to share the importance of rescuing animals from shelters rather than buying animals from a breeder because there are so many animals without a home, and that you don’t have to spend lots of money to get a sweet and loving pet. We would also like to show people that fostering an animal is a great way to bring a pet into your family if you are unsure or unable to take care of an animal long term. By taking care of Freckles as a class we want to encourage kids to be more involved with taking care of pets and caring for them.

Freckles at TNCS

We know! We know! Everybunny wants to see how Freckles is doing! Just see for yourself . . .

Ms. Sussman says: “Freckles has already opened up in just the few days we’ve had her! When I had visited her a few times at BARCS, she always hid in the back of her cage and was not open to being picked up. Now, she is freely moving around her little cage, happily accepting pets from students, and is more tolerant of being held!”

She has delegated the care of Freckles to students, explaining, “there is a special job in my classroom dedicated to managing the foster pet! Two students feed Freckles twice a day, refresh her water, and clean her cage. Cleaning is not so difficult because Freckles has taken well to litter box training (yes, that’s right, rabbits can be trained to use a litter box!).”
But the real magic Freckles has brought to TNCS is this: “It has been such a joy seeing how loving and excited students have been since we took her in on Tuesday,” said Ms. Sussman. “I feel like Freckles is bringing us one more special reason to look forward to coming to school, which I know in these times can feel more stressful and exhausting for some.”

Looking for ways to help care for Freckles? We’ve got you! Check out Freckles’ wish list for items to contribute to her health and well-being.

Ms. Sussman says, “An extra special thank you to all those who have already contributed! We are excited to get her set up with supplies that will help us adequately care for her in the classroom. Even after she moves on to her new, permanent home, these gifts will stay so that we can continue fostering small, furry animals in our classroom from BARCS.”

Want more? Consider adopting Freckles and making yours her forever home! Ms. Sussman says, “Any TNCS family that is interested in adopting Freckles can email me at sussman@thenewcenturyschool.com to set up a little Meet & Greet after school one day (following all of the Wellness Committee’s guidelines, of course!).”

Book Review Number Two: Finding Courage and Growth in the Classroom!

With this final post of 2021, Immersed returns to an idea from Gab Sussman, English Language Arts (ELA) teacher for upper elementary and middle school students at The New Century School. Ms. Sussman thought it would be nice to feature stand-out book reviews by her students, both to recognize their hard work as well as to encourage others to give these worthy assignments their all.

Immersed sees yet another advantage to this scheme: highlighting the exemplary ELA program at TNCS. Ms. Sussman has worked hand in hand with TNCS school counselor Daphnee Hope and TNCS Dean of Students Adriana DuPrau to integrate her core class subject with the important social and emotional learning that has been emphasized this year. Reading books and writing about them is a way to connect to our inner selves as well as to the world outside, a truth Ms. Sussman holds dear. And this book? It’s tailor-made for teens in tough situations.

A Book Review of Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes: By Dez Horvath

Bronx Masquerade is written by Nikki Grimes, and was awarded the Coretta Scott King Award, which is awarded annually by the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table, and is only awarded for “the most distinguished portrayal of African American experience in literature for children or teens.” Nikki Grimes was also awarded the 2017 Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, and the 2016 Virginia Hamilton Literary Award. Ms. Grimes also has published other books, such as What is Goodbye?, Garvey’s Choice, and Coretta Scott King Author Honor books Talkin’  About Bessie, Jazmin’s Notebook, The Road to Paris, Words with Wings, and Dark Sons. Ms. Grimes is also the author of Meet Danitra Brown, and lives in Corona, California. Fun fact, Ms. Grimes had the idea for this book for 5 years before starting to write it down, and it’s a good thing they did because this book had such an impact. It has such an impact, schools started their own “Open Mike Fridays.” With all these awards Ms. Grimes has gotten, Bronx Masquerade has GOT to be good.

All of Ms. Grimes awards are amazing, but the only way to get awards is to have a good story. Bronx Masquerade’s partly main character is Tyrone Bittings, and I say “partly” because they are the only one that speaks after everyone else’s chapters, and they are the character that introduces you to the story. Tyrone is currently in high school, along with pretty much all the other characters introduced in the story. Wesley Boone, Chankara Troupe, Raul Ramirez, Diondra Jordan, Devon Hope, Lupe Algarin, Gloria Martinez, Janelle Battle, Leslie Lucas, Julianne Alexander, Tanisha Scott, Sterling S. Hughes, Amy Moscowitz, Sheila Gamberoni, Steve Ericson, Raynard Patterson, and Porscha Johnson. All these characters are important because they all interact and impact each other’s lives, there is also one or more chapters written from their perspective. All these characters are in an English class together, and their teacher, Mr. Ward, starts an exercise called Open Mike Friday where students read their poems aloud to the class. At the start, everyone thought of everyone a certain way, that didn’t fit who they actually are and everyone started as not caring about everyone else, but then over time, all the poetry encouraged people to open up, show who they really are, and bring everyone together. Everyone respected each other and grew afterwards. Then came the end of the school year, and the book, and an assembly was organized, and it would be the final Open Mike Friday. Tyrone got up on stage and shared how Open Mike Friday made them feel, and what it resulted in. “I just wanted to say I’m really glad I got to do this poetry thing because I feel like, even though the people in our class are all different colors and some of you speak different language and everything, I feel like we connected.” Then some final poems were shared, and the book came to a close.

The two themes I have found in Bronx Masquerade are “courage” and “growth.” The reason I have found “courage” is because at the end of every single chapter, there was a poem. In the book, the students had to go up in front of the whole class, and read their poem, in high school. That takes some courage. And a lot of the characters’ chapters showing their perspective stated they were nervous (I would give an example, but I don’t remember the people that said they were nervous, and I don’t want to have to read through the whole book). The reason I found “growth” is because at the beginning of the book, people thought school was dumb, some people were bullies, etc. and then grew and matured from the Open Mike Fridays. An example is on page 160, “The first time he got up there, I rolled my eyes like half the sisters in class, certain he was going to spout something lame or nasty about girls and sex, or gangsters. I mean, that’s all we ever heard him talk about, right? But there was nothing lame about this poem, and none of it was about sex. It was about what’s going on in the world, and about trying to make sense of it. It was a poem by somebody who really thinks about things, and that somebody turned out to be Tyrone.” Open Mike Friday really had an impact on all the students.

The events of the book really had an impact on the characters, but what about the impact it had on readers? The point of Bronx Masquerade is to, “ignite dialogue and facilitate discussion in the classroom on a wide array of topics concerning, and affecting, teens.” When writing this book, Ms. Grimes wanted schools to think about what might be going on with a teenager, and take action. You never know what could be going on in someone’s life, especially a teen’s. Ms. Grimes doesn’t mean just sit down, and have a small discussion. They aren’t even just saying to ONLY discuss it. There are many ways to facilitate discussion concerning teens, like “Open Mike Friday.” Nikki Grimes’ hope to impact schools in the way they wanted worked amazingly, and I bet if certain readers read the book, they might realize what a teen could be going through, and do something. 

Only some people can be impacted by Bronx Masquerade, knowing its message, and do something. A kind of reader I would recommend this book to is some sort of school staff so they could help Nikki Grimes’ hope of getting schools concerned about teens. An employee of a school could orchestrate something with staff higher in ability, and help any teens in their school. Another kind of reader I would recommend this book to is someone who likes poetry, drama, and school settings in books because Bronx Masquerade has all of that. Whoever enjoyed the things I listed would love Bronx Masquerade. What a person would need to know to enjoy this book is that people can change in general, but also for the better. They would need to know that people aren’t perfect. People can be good, they just need a certain push to do so. Everyone in Bronx Masquerade start off in the book with some kind of flaw about them. At the end, they’ve all grown, and realized their past ways were wrong, or they can do something about what happened to them in the past, and move on. Bronx Masquerade is a great book, the goal it was written for was accomplished very well, and you should go read it (there’s a reason it has a big award).

Courage: A TNCS Core Value!

If this rings a bell, it’s because courage was also a primary theme of TNCS student Shonbeck Glazer’s book report. Let’s find out why Ms. Sussman chose this review as the next to spotlight:

Dez’s book review stood out to me immediately. His appreciation for Bronx Masquerade is crystal clear, and it was wonderful to hear him share his reflections, both in class with his reading buddy, and through his writing. I know that this book provided many windows for Dez, and he highlighted so many important nuances of Bronx Masquerade. I’m excited for his hard work to be featured in Immersed, and in turn, be celebrated by the TNCS community. We’re so proud of you, Dez, and are grateful for your insight!


And we are grateful to you, Ms. Sussman, for helping TNCS students find their own courage and growth and ending the year on such a high note. Here’s to an even better 2022 at TNCS . . . one that includes in-class poetry slams, perhaps? (Hint, hint.)