On Thursday, September 10th, The New Century School‘s Head of School Alicia Danyali met with two esteemed guests on important school business. Councilman Jim Kraft and Shriver Peaceworker Fellow Katie Miller joined Ms. Danyali to discuss what among their contests and other initiatives might work well for the TNCS community. Councilman Kraft is unique among Baltimore Councilmembers for his school partnerships. “I take a lot of pride in this because no other council[member] does this,” he said.
This kind of meeting is not new for Ms. Danyali, although it is likely the last with this particular pair of visiting dignitaries. She has met with Councilman Kraft annually to make sure that TNCS is both on his radar and to take advantage of the many opportunities his office offers First District schools. (See TNCS and Councilman Kraft: Outreach for Our Shared Community and TNCS Wins Southeast Baltimore City Recycling Competition! for the fruits of past tête-à-têtes.) Alas, he is an “outgoing” member with only 14 months and 27 days remaining in his term as of today—not that he’s counting, he joked.
But while he’s still a sitting councilman, he remains committed to the students in his district—a district he envisions as “safe, smart, green, and growing.” For Fall 2015, one special event and two contests will spark interest among the TNCS community.
First is a chance to meet and talk with Councilman Kraft himself at his 13th Annual Cookout on Saturday, September 19th from 4:00 pm–6:00 pm on the Crab Deck at Captain James Restaurant. This free event includes hot dogs, hamburgers, and adult and kid beverages for anyone who registers in advance by calling (410) 675-3074 or emailing email@example.com.
Healthy Harbor Poster Contest
And now on to the student contests! Councilman Kraft’s Healthy Harbor Poster Contest is well known around Southeast Baltimore and very popular among the K–8th-grade set. Young artists (ecological leanings helpful, but not a must) should draw their vision of what a healthy harbor should look like on this submission paper and email or mail to the address given by November 13, 2015.
Posters will be judged in three levels: K–2nd grade, 3rd–5th grades, and 6th–8th grades. The winning posters will be displayed at the Enoch Pratt SE Anchor Library from the Thanksgiving through Christmas holidays. Additional prizes include an award ceremony at City Hall as well as movie tickets to the Landmark Theatre with popcorn and all the trimmings!
New for this year is TerraCycling—an updated take on Councilman Kraft’s Recycling Contests of prior years (and which TNCS took first prize for in 2013!). TerraCycling aims to “eliminate the idea of waste”—in other words, start to think of everything as potentially having another useful incarnation. And when they say “everything,” they mean everything—down to the lowly cigarette butt!
The contest works in three steps: First, TNCS students identify the kind of waste they want to target (e.g., empty juice pouches); second, the “brigade” collects and sends the waste in to TerraCycle; and third, TerraCycle awards points based on volume collected. Councilman Kraft will then select winning schools based on both overall most points earned as well as by most points earned per capita to give smaller schools like TNCS a fair chance at the prizes.
Prizes? Lucky winners get a trip to the Baltimore Aquarium and lunch at the Top of the World restaurant, courtesy of Councilman Kraft. But that’s not all—TerraCycle gives back, too. With the collected materials sent in from all around the country, TerraCycle “scientartists” upcycle the goods into clever, functional products or even objets d’art. See their website for details.
And that’s still not all. TNCS can designate a non-profit to whom TerraCycle will give $0.01 for every point earned (2 pts. per item)!
All in all, Fall 2015 looks very promising for the TNCS partnership with the Office of Councilman Jim Kraft. Thanks for all you do for First District schools, Councilman Kraft!