GovsPlus Week 5

Oh how the time flies! The kids really focused on practicing for their final show most of this week. On Monday, in the morning the rising 9th graders took their final math exam, while the rising 8th graders talked with Dr. Laurie Quimby, who is a local doctor. Then in the afternoon, the rising 8th graders took their math exam and the rising 9th graders worked on their final speeches. On Tuesday, the rising 9th graders presented their final architecture projects to a board of real builders and architects! While the rising 9th graders presented their awesome projects while the 8th graders had their final chemistry class with Ms. Storer. As the day winded down, the 9th graders had an intro to high school class with our counselors and Eli Anderson-Song who is a Governors alumni. As the 9th graders asked different questions about the high school experience, the 8th graders put their final touches on their dances. Then for the rest of the afternoon the kids headed to the PAC to continue rehearsing for the final show. Wednesday, was our last day of camp before our big show! The kids filled out a survey about their GovsPlus experience and then for the rest of the day we headed to the PAC to perfect our show. We would like to thank everyone that made this summer able to happen, to our donors, teachers and all the volunteers. We ended GovsPlus with an amazing show on Thursday and to end the summer we head to Canobie lake for a final day of making more memories!

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GovsPlus week 4

Week 4 flew by as the kids started to prepare for the final show! On Monday, in the morning the rising 8th graders had a class on SSATs with Mrs. Piatelli a Govs teacher. While the 9th graders had their normal math class. Then in the afternoon the rising 8th graders had a class with Mr. Carson who is the Govs new Dean of Multicultural Education. Mr. Carson talked to the 8th graders about social justice and race issues. In the afternoon, the rising 9th graders worked on their architecture projects while the 8th graders started to finalize their dances for the final show. On Tuesday, the rising 9th graders worked with Mr. Soule on sustainability. In the afternoon, we were lucky enough to have both Chris Robinson and Shane Mullen. Mrs. Robinson taught the rising 9th graders 3D art while Shane and the rising 8th graders launched their bottle rockets. Then after that the rising 8th graders had a debate on capital punishment led by our camp counselors, Adeliza and Louisa. On Wednesday, we had even more awesome guests! In the morning we had the computer science catalyst program with Doctor Brayshaw. Afterwards, zoo keepers came to visit our students and brought some animals. Including, snakes, chinchillas, bugs and owls. To end the day our students kept up with their practice in their dances and performances. On Thursday, the rising 9th graders took a class with Dr. Palmer and learned about how people are portrayed in social media based on their race. Then in the afternoon the rising 9th graders put their final touches on their architecture projects while the 8th graders did some free art with Mrs. Robinson. As the week winded down we headed to the Franklin zoo on Friday! Week 4 ended in success and the kids can’t wait to end GovsPlus with a bang!

GovsPlus week 3

Week 3 flew by as the kids started to prepare for our final show! On Monday, we had the honor to have both Mr. Taveras and Mrs. Howson come and teach. Mr. Taveras taught the rising 9th graders about the high school transition while Mrs. Howson talked about the process of applying to high schools. Then on Tuesday we had more amazing guests, including Mr. White, Mr. Soule, Shane and a Professional bachata dancer. Mr. White continued to teach the rising 9th graders about architecture, while the rising 8th graders continued their work on their bottle rockets with Shane. Then the rising 8th graders got to work with Masih, a professional dancer, while the 9th graders got to work with Mr.Soule and learned about sustainability. Then to end the day, we all pilled into the PAC to see a Mad science show by Omar. On Wednesday, we made our way to Boston for a field trip. In the morning the kids went to a workshop at MIT and then in the afternoon we went to Museum of Bad Art. Thursday was a pretty normal day and then in the afternoon Mr. Long, who works in admissions at Govs, came to talk to the kids about interviewing skills. While the rising 9th graders continued to work hard on their architecture projects. Then the rising 8th graders went to learn more chemistry with Mrs. Storer while the 9th graders started to memorize their speeches with Omar. To end the day the kids played tennis with Mrs. Storer, archery and football. On Friday in the morning the kids had a computer programming course with kids from Govs. To end the week we had a water afternoon with water slides, a dunk tank and color wars! We ended week 3 with a bang!

GovsPlus Week 2

We started week 2 strong with our usual math, English and public speaking classes. Then in the afternoon on Monday the rising 8th graders were with Mrs. Hemphill discussing nutrition and personal health. The rising 9th graders discussed toxic masculinity with Alondra, a counselor from Govs. As the second Monday went down in the books, we finished strong by playing basketball, indoor soccer and volleyball. On Tuesday, we had Mr. Soule an engineering teacher from Govs come and teach the rising 8th graders about sustainability. We also welcomed one of our volunteers back to GovsPlus, Shane Mullen, who taught the rising 9th graders how to make bottle rockets. On Wednesday, students enjoyed their day off for 4th of July. Students were eager to come back on Thursday and jump back into their classes. We were lucky enough to have Mr. Soule return and teach the rising 9th graders about sustainability as the rising 8th graders had dance classes with our camp counselors. To finish week 2 off strong the kids headed to Salem for an interactive witch show and then went to the Peabody Art Museum. To end the day they toured a house which was owned by the first millionaire in Massachusetts. Overall, week 2 went by super fast and we are all looking forward to another successful week!

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GovsPlus Week 1

Last week was the first week of GovsPlus and the campers are excited to be back! On Monday, we started with ice breaker games and welcomed our 25 new eighth graders. As the week continued we started to get back … Continue reading

Week 5: It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye..

Where did the summer go? As GovsPLUS entered the final week of the program, students worked hard to finish up their courses. They completed their final math and humanities projects and presentations. We also worked hard to prepare for our Closing Ceremony performances. We did stop to have one amazing last field trip to Canobie Lake Park though!

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SI Miguel with his adorable little brother.

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Valerie, Rixandra, Stacey, and Erika waiting in line.

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Big crew shot #1.

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Big crew shot #2.

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Then on Friday, we celebrated the accomplishments of our GovsPLUS scholars with a Closing Ceremony.

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The lobby of the Wilkie Center looked beautiful and ready for GovsPLUS families to arrive from Lawrence!

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GovsPLUS ladies and their friends getting ready before the show.

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Chabeli and Erika.

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Dressing room selfie!

GovsPLUS students are so talented! From singing to dancing to sharing their poetry, these scholars really put on a show for their friends and families.

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GovsPLUS 2015 staff.

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Julian performing his poetry.

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Erika, Stacey, Valerie, and Rixandra dancing.

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Anderson on the piano.

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Adeliza performing her poems.

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Manases performing his poem.

After the show, we ate a delicious dinner from El Pez Dorado (a Dominican restaurant in Lawrence) and then headed to the award show. Ms. Cruz and Ms. Honorato were pleased to hand out certificate of completion awards to all GovsPLUS students, as well as special awards honoring the hard work of a handful of students. These included:

-Award of Academic Excellence in Math: Chabeli Garcia

-Award of Academic Excellence in Humanities: Adeliza Rosario-Vasquez

-Award of Excellence in Art: Ryan Coughlin

-Award of Academic Excellence in Creative Writing: Alisa Colon

-Most Academic Growth Award: Jeremy Cornelio & Maria Paulino

-Citizenship Award: Lisa Paredes

-Spirit Award: Ralfy Morales

We also said goodbye to our graduating GovsPLUS scholars who are entering high school. Please make sure to keep in touch so we can hear how you are doing!

We are so tremendously proud of the work GovsPLUS scholars accomplished this summer! Thank you all for an amazing year. We look forward to the the monthly events we will host during the academic year and hope all the 8th graders return next summer. Until the end of September!

Week 4: A Jam-Packed Blur!

The fourth week proved to be the biggest blur of them all. The entire week whizzed by in what felt like two or three days that were all pretty jam packed with activities. Not only was it a successful week but it was a productive one as well.

On Tuesday the students finished reading Kekla Magoon’s novel, The Rock And The River. The students loved the book. It was an emotional roller coaster as they watched the protagonist, Sam, grow up as a young black boy in 1968 Chicago. GovsPLUS students were generally pleased with the story’s tumultuous and bittersweet ending where Sam assures the reader that he embodies both the rock (steady and unmoving) and the river (always flowing and changing). Students were passionate about the book and welcomed the opportunity to learn about the civil rights movement and the Black Panther Party through a 13-year-old’s perspective.

GovsPLUS scholars highly recommend Magoon's first novel!

GovsPLUS scholars highly recommend Magoon’s first novel!

Later that day we were joined by Ray Long, Govs Associate Director of Admissions who gave GovsPLUS students a thorough explanation of what to expect in high school and job interviews and how to best prepare. The students put all these tips into practice on Thursday in a series of mock interviews that not only proved very helpful, but extremely fun!

Mr. Long uses Frankie to teach students how NOT to give a handshake at an interview.

Mr. Long uses Frankie to teach students how NOT to give a handshake at an interview.

On Wednesday, GovsPLUS took a field trip into Boston that was a huge success and filled with plenty of walking and sightseeing. GovsPLUS visited the Museum of African American History, which is hidden away in an alley on Beacon Hill. There the students learned much about the first African American groups, such as the African Masonic Lodge, which originated in Massachusetts, the first state to outlaw slavery in the early 1700s. They also spent some time in the African Meeting House, the heart of Boston’s 19th century freed black community.

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Our tour guide Samantha Gibson teaches GovsPLUS students about the flourishing freed black community of Boston in the historic African Meeting House.

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The main exhibit on African American writing at MAAH.

Francesca learns about black writing throughout history.

Francesca learns about black writing throughout history.

After the museum and lunch in the Boston Common, we headed out on the African American Patriots Tour (an African American history version of the Freedom Trail tour) led by amazing guides dressed in period costumes. It was an enriching experience, one that staff and students alike will cherish. While it was one of the most tiring days of the week, it was also the most educational and fun.

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A free black woman turned tavern wench lead one group on the walking tour of Boston’s African American history. 

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The headstone of Frank, John Hancock’s beloved slave.

Friday was another jam-packed day! Both students and staff were running out of gas as the week was winding down, but with a few guests visiting we all found the energy for just one more day before the weekend. Following math and humanities courses, rising 8th graders attended a presentation on Abbott Lawrence Academy, the new accelerated school at Lawrence High School led by Principal Stacey Ciprich and Assistant Principal (and Govs alum ’05) Raul Cruz. GovsPLUS scholars seemed very enthusiastic about this new, free high school option and many plan on applying this fall.

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Mr. Cruz and Ms. Ciprich from Abbott Lawrence Academy.

Meanwhile, the rising 9th graders participated in a workshop with Govs Associate Dean of Faculty and Director of Multicultural Education, Trina Gary. During the workshop on identity and the transition to high school, Ms. Gary encouraged students to advocate for themselves, all the while reminding students, “mistakes are going to happen, and that is okay.” After a much needed lunch break, the rising 9th graders continued the “transition” workshop, while Govs Associate Director of Admission, Carolyn Kimball, visited the rising 8th graders to provide them with tips on finding information about independent schools and beginning the application process.

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Mrs. Gary on the transition to high school.

Mrs. Kimball on applying to independent high schools.

Mrs. Kimball on applying to independent high schools.

In addition to all the hard work and speakers we had this week, GovsPLUS students also enjoyed their free time playing group games in the field house, cooling off in a water balloon fight, painting the “little free libraries” for Lynn’s REAL program, and tie dying t-shirts!

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Once again, week 4 was a success and both students and staff are more than ready to bring in the weekend. Next week, we anticipate a bittersweet ending to the program. We look forward to our Closing Ceremony, where thirteen 8th graders will graduate, students will present their creative writing pieces and give live musical performances, and where we will honor each student’s hard work this summer!

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Celebrating the end of week 4 (and Carolina’s last day) with a group photo!