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On March 26 students from over 20 CEC sites converged at Brooklyn's Genesis to do battle. When it was all over no one was hurt, and although there were some unhappy faces, everyone had enjoyed the excitement.

The occasion was the annual Spring Spelling Bee organized by Genesis coordinator Beverly Woods-Hill. Ms. Woods and Genesis student Stephane Williams welcomed guests from various sites and wished them success.

CEC principal Sherry Zekowski complirnented Ms. Woods for the excellent organization of the event, and noted that students and teachers had devoted a tremendous amount of time in preparing for the days contest. Genesis teacher Kenrick Wharton introduced the moderator, Dr. Helga Weiss, and Ms. Ellen Poje introduced the judges... Ms. Gwen Roth, Mr. Clinton Jackson, Ms. Joan M. Indart, and principal Sherry Zekowski.

The battle raged fiercely and the contestants struggled till the end. So close was the competition that only a "sudden death" test was able to turn up a single winner. Desire Powell of Amboy was the winner. Urban Strategies again was the runner-up with Samantha Mathurin, and in third place was Nieisha Allison of Saratoga. Defending champions South Bronx Job Corps failed to make the top three this year.

After presentations by Mr. Kenrick Wharton, it was time for lunch. Vatea students under the guidance of Ms. Michelle Heit served a delicious meal which included menu items such as shrimp scampi, curried chicken, lasagna, and rice.


Island Family Inn

The Island Family Inn, located on Staten Island is closing its doors, and with that the CEC educational unit comes to an end. CEC established a GED program at the Island Family Inn seven years ago and it remained productive to the very end.

Thirteen students graduated with GED diploma during the 1998-1999 school year and seven others are awaiting results. Congratulations and best wishes go to graduates; Narcisa Paredes, Ericka Babb, Tiffany Dargan, Lolita Thomas, Toty Cacres, Ph6ebe Osman, Delynette Deliz, Pauline Bright, Lillian Reureaux, Karma Brown, Krotoumou Trapre, and Barbara Samtels. Several of the graduates are preparing to take college courses, and some of them have already made contacts for employment.

Staff members Geneva Vera and Steve Konaplanik said a heavy-hearted farewell to graduates and the entire staff of the Staten Island site. "There are two people who we will especially miss." says Steve. "The Co-Administrators, Ms. Grace Vitale and Ms. Deborah Moore were caring people who supported every project that CEC initiated at Island Family Inn. We wish them the best in the future."


Looking for a new way to present biographical information about famous Women and Black pioneers was challenging. Students were turned off by the usual book reporting." So what emerged was a "Living History Strolling Theater Group."

Students read about a famous individual then chose certain facts to present. They charted the information without mentioning the name of the person leaving it up to the audience to figure out who the character was from the information provided. In the future the" Strolling Theater Group" plans to expand its activfties and provide shows to other units at the Harbor.


On Thursday, March 11, 1999 the students of CAPA went to the museum of Natural History. "It was a cool trip" exclaimed Veronica Calderon , a student at CAPA. The students and staff saw quite a few very interesting exhibits. They saw exhibits on human biology and evolution, gems and minerals, and African mammals. David Rosen, a teacher at CAPA explained "that it was an exciting and informative day for the students and the staff. It is exciting to see things that one normally can only see in a textbook."

The students particularly enjoyed the Sony IMAX movie of the Amazon River. "The movie was very interesting," Sarntrah Majid stated, "I really liked seeing the glaciers on the huge screen eyen though it gave me a headache." The students and staff had such a good day that plans are already being made for more trips in the future.


Black History Month at- the Clinton Family Inn was celebrated through the poetry of Langston Hughes. The students learned about his life, that he lived in Harlem and was an important artist of the Harlem Renaissance. By examining the imagery in his poems: Dreams, Dream Deferred, Mother to Son, and Dream Variation, the students learned about similes, metaphors and the power of words to create imagery. " Langston Hughes is a very special and powerful poet for many of our students" notes coordinator Angelita Untalan. "His life experience is similar to theirs. He speaks their language, and tells them they are not alone."


HELP I students visited their sister site Hegeman on Friday March 12, 1999 and took part in an educational lesson on STD ' s(sexually transmitted diseases). The lesson was given by the group A.D.A.P.T.  Students left with a wealth of information and giveaways.

At HELP I on March 30, 1999 the first Black/Women's History month extravaganza was held. Activities included poetry reading, skits, talent show, and food which was cooked by our skilled students. A few sites were invited to the celebration and enjoyed participating in the activities

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