Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Watched by Marina Budhos


Naeem is a Muslim immigrant. He knows that his community is heavily watched by the cops. But he can’t help himself, he’s not the role model kid and he likes to hang out with his friend Ibrahim who is not necessarily the best influence. After getting caught with some stolen merchandise and abandoned by who Naeem thought was his best friend. The cops cut Naeem a deal; spy on his community instead of going to jail. This deal inevitably takes Naeem down a dark road within his own community, forcing him to make choices that will impact everyone around him. --Claudio Leon

Budhos, Marina. Watched. New York: Random House LLC, 2016. Print.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Famous Ladies Vol. I-III by Alexandra Beguez



Charming illustrations and excellent production make this series a perfect fit for incarcerated and detained youth, and school librarians may wish to order several sets to share with students.  

Each volume is printed on a single sheet of 11 x 17 lightweight cardstock and features fine-lined portraits of six historical female figures, some long since dead and some contemporary heroines.  The only text between the covers is  the names of the women, making the content fun to browse and giving the developing reader plenty of space.  The back covers feature three to four lines of handwritten text summarizing each woman’s accomplishments.

Younger readers may be confused as the descriptions are written in the present tense, however the educator can use this possible confusion to spark an inquiry project.  Highly recommended.--Jessica Fenster-Sparber



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Tags: art, women’s history, zines

Monday, June 17, 2019

Disappeared by Francisco X. Stork


Sara and her brother Emiliano must make a run for the border. Sara fears for her life after discovering a dark truth connected to the disappearance of her best friend. Emiliano chooses to leave everything behind, including a new job offer that could change his life, in order to see his sister to safety. Disappeared is a great read for those that can withstand the slow-paced beginning of the book where Stork takes his time developing the characters and setting the plot. However once the pieces are in place, the book becomes a page turner as Emiliano and Sara must rely on each other to cross the deadly terrain and make it to the Mexican-American border. Students interested in underground crime syndicates and conspiracies will enjoy the overall plot and the plot twist reveals that this book delivers.--Claudio Leon

Stork, Francisco X. Disappeared. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2017. Print.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

One Punch Man by Yuske Murata



What if there was no opponent in the world that could withstand a single punch from you? What if you defeated every opponent you encountered with a single strike? This is what life for Saitama is like. After being attacked for protecting a young man and nearly dying, he vowed to become the strongest hero in the world. But now that he is the world’s strongest superhero and there is no one strong enough to challenge him, life seems to have lost its meaning. Until he encounters Genos, who asks to become his apprentice. Could training Genos lead Saitama to a life of fulfillment? Or will he eventually find someone strong enough to challenge the One Punch Man? Students that have finished Dragon Ball Z and are looking for more hand to hand action should pick this one up.--Claudio Leon

Murata, Yuske. One Punch Man. San Francisco: VIZ Media LLC, 2015. Print.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Guest Post: Blackout Poetry


Student creates an original blackout poem after reading selections from Kleon's Newspaper Blackout.  Photo credit: Jessica Fenster-Sparber
Student receives scaffolded support from Special Education teacher Ms. Nadel.  Photo credit: Jessica Fenster-Sparber


Student works alongside YC Ms. Sigourney and ELA teacher Mr. Villaronga to generate original blackout poetry.  Photo credit: Jessica Fenster-Sparber
On Thursday April 11 in celebration of National Poetry Month, the boys and girls of SCO high school class at Belmont participated in a Blackout Poetry activity. 

Beginning  with activating schema that got them thinking about how to make a remix, the students then watched a short video explaining the process of making blackout poems. 

Finally, using Scholastic Readers and markers,  the students created their own blackout poetry.  Then they pasted their blackout poems on construction paper and all are now displayed in their ELA classroom.--Erica Nadel

Monday, March 18, 2019

PD Notes: Wellness at Work!

Photo credit: Rebecca Krieger
Today a bunch of us adults at Belmont came together for a second workshop in a pilot self-care lunchtime series provided by several members of the mental health team in collaboration with the library.  Mindful coloring, led by Mr. Morgan, helped us destress, re-focus, and connect in the middle of the workday.  Refreshing! --Jessica Fenster-Sparber

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Guest Post: Zine Project in ELA Class


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Photo credit: Ms. Ernyey
Photo credit: Ms. Ernyey

This month ELA students in NSD at Belmont embarked on a zine project.  This project was a creative way for students to express themselves through expository, narrative, informative, and persuasive writing using descriptive language.  Students sharpened their writing skills by moving through the writing process (drafting, editing, revising, and publishing.)  The final products were single-sheet zines comprised of appropriate content the author felt a personal connection to.  The writing was assessed on criteria outlined in a rubric.—Jessica Ernyey, ELA Teacher

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Programming Spotlight: Knitting It Together!







On Monday, February 11th, School Outreach Librarian Leigh Hurwitz brought a little bit of the Brooklyn Public Library to Passages Academy's Belmont site through a knitting program for our placement girls groups.  Leigh described all that BPL has to offer including programs for teens.   They distributed needles and yarn for the girls to keep and instructed them in the craft of knitting.

Said one student participant (T., age 17) who had just received a new library card from Leigh: “I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t go to the library before on the outside.  But now I’m gonna go to keep myself from getting in trouble. Honestly, I like to read.”

Thank you to Leigh and BPL for initiating the program, and to LIT for the funding to ensure all participants left with knitting needles and yarn!--Jessica Fenster-Sparber