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Career High School Debate Team
Congratulations to the Career High School and Sound School debate teams for an outstanding showing at this year’s Yale Osterweis Alternative Debate Tournament! The tournament is a regional event that attracts people from New England and New York.
The Career Debate Team attained a stunning 8-1 record. After the preliminary rounds, one of Career’s teams, consisting of Tanvi Patel and Maissane Tarou, broke to the semifinals. They went on to the finals and, in a 4-1 decision, won the tournament. 


Congratulations to our finest middle school poets who wowed the city at last night’s Youth Poetry Jam at Co-op High School. Last night’s jam featured original poetry from students at Fair Haven and Columbus schools.
On Friday, April 25, the THE WORD Youth Poetry Jam will expand for the first time as a citywide showcase for high school poets, in partnership with The Future Project of New Haven. Coordinated by Wilbur Cross senior Alec Rice and Wilbur Cross Future Project director Frank Brady, the April 25 event will feature the original poetry and performances of New Haven public high school students and music by DJ Alkatrax.  The event will take place at 6:00 p.m. at Wilbur Cross High School Auditorium, with doors opening at 5:30, and costs $5 for adults and $3 for students.
 Click here for the flier for Friday's event.

The Institute Library launched The Word in January 2013 to enhance poetry education in New Haven public school classrooms. Directed by award-winning hip-hop poet, playwright, and educator Aaron Jafferis, the program is intended to help close Connecticut's achievement gap in education and energize our city's youth through the power of poetic expression. Building on the experiences of its teaching artists and origins of its host institution, the Institute Library, The Word has helped students learn to read, critique, write, and perform poetry in a variety of traditional and nontraditional forms, from Japanese haiku and Elizabethan sonnets to intricate hip-hop poems.  The library thanks its partners at New Haven Public Schools Department of Performing and Visual Arts and The Future Project and its generous sponsors, Seedlings Foundation, NewAlliance Foundation, and Connecticut Humanities.
To learn more about the Institute Library, please visit or To learn more about The Future Project, please visit or


The effort to open schools during break is part of a broader plan to keep youth positively engaged and safe in the wake of recent gun violence
Mayor Toni N. Harp, Superintendent Garth Harries, Police Chief Dean Esserman and Fire Chief Allyn Wright gathered with community, school and city partners to announce a plan to keep six schools open during April break next week so that young people have somewhere to go to be safe, eat a hot meal and engage in positive activities. The effort is a major component of the latest outreach plan to positively engage youth in the wake of recent gun violence that took the lives to two local teens.
The following schools will be open from 2 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 14, through Thursday, April 17, (Friday is a city holiday):
·         Clemente Leadership Academy, 360 Columbus Avenue
·         Martinez School, 100 James Street
·         Troup School, 259 Edgewood Avenue
·         Ross-Woodward School, 185 Barnes Avenue
·         Wexler-Grant School, 55 Foote Street
·         Hillhouse High School, 480 Sherman Parkway
Each school will have youth programming ranging from Parks and Recreation Department-sponsored sports and activities to workshops facilitated by local community organizations committed to youth empowerment, youth voice, and nonviolence. New Haven Public Schools Food Service Department is arranging to provide hot dinners for young people at all six locations from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
“The connection to be made between idle time and troublemaking is not automatic: many, many people convert idle time into amazingly productive time," Mayor Harp said. "We think by keeping these schools open next week and providing some structure and some programming we can help more young people in New Haven learn that idle time is an opportunity for growth and development and productivity, and we’re looking forward to that.”
“By keeping schools open next week, we are giving our young people a safe place to gather with friends, a hot meal and a chance to interact with each other through workshops exploring non-violence, youth empowerment and the arts. These are the kinds of positive experiences that will help our kids grow and rise to success in everything that they do. I encourage as many of our students as possible to take advantage of these opportunities next week,” said Superintendent Harries.
Workshops will take place each day from 2:15 to 4:15 p.m. facilitated by New Haven youth and community organizations, including: Community Action Agency, CT Center for Nonviolence, the Teaching Peace Initiative, FAME, Driven2Inspire, The Future Project, SpeakLife, Ice the Beef, and Walk in My Shoes. Parks and Recreation will be doing board games, kick ball, dodge ball, speed ball, wiffle ball, touch football and baseketball.
To get the word out to parents and students about the Open Schools plan for next week, the school district will send an automated phone message home to all families this evening. A letter will be sent home on Friday with a full schedule of events and we will post all information on the district website and Facebook. Internally, the district will reach out to students through teachers, guidance counselors and student leaders.
The following is a description of some of the organizations that will be presenting workshops in schools next week:
Community Action Agency of New Haven offers a variety of programs designed to educate, motivate, and support our clients on their pathway to prosperity. CAANH is committed to delivering excellence by helping those in poverty change their lives. This change is achieved through attaining the skills and knowledge necessary to overcome the challenges that stand in their road to success. Our hope is that the passion and vibrancy in which we offer these services is reflective of our commitment to the community.
The Connecticut Center for Nonviolence (CTCN) is a leader in Nonviolence education. We are dedicated to bringing people from diverse communities together in dialogue and creative expression to explore the root causes of violence and to learn constructive methods of developing and applying alternative solutions. 
Driven2Inspire strives to uplift and empower individuals so that they will be equipped with the essential tools necessary to conquer the obstacles of life mentally, physically and emotionally. 
FAME – Youth empowerment group that stands for Fortitude, Aspiration, Multiculturalism and Empowerment. We do workshops and programs on cultural diversity through performing arts and dance.
The Future Project - At The Future Project, we're fighting to revolutionize the education system, transforming schools into places of inspiration, passion, and action. We do this by bringing Dream Directors into High Schools. Our Dream Directors work hand-in-hand with principals, teachers, and communities to help inspire students to believe in themselves and to start taking action towards their dreams.
Ice the Beef - We are a Team of brothers and sisters coming together to ICE THE BEEF! Our mission is to aim to break the cycle of anger in our community by bringing friends, families, enemies, and the community together to sort out their differences. We focus on youth empowerment by providing mentoring programs, motivational speaking, mediation and much more!
The Teaching Peace Initiative will be leading a workshop for high school students centered around teaching nonviolence, conflict resolution, and tolerance in communities. TPI will lead the high school students through empowerment and visioning activities, teach them to engage peers and younger students in conversations about nonviolence and safe communities, and train them to teach TPI's award-winning peace curriculum. The workshop will culminate with the high school students teaching a lesson about nonviolence and conflict resolution to a class of middle and elementary school students.
Walk in My Shoes Program is dedicated to teaching young urban females the importance of positive self image, and complete wellness. This is done by educating them about the history of fashion and fashion icons, introducing them to successful women in their community, and discovering what makes/made them successful as well as making sure the participants begin thinking about how they will leave their mark on the world.


It’s that time of year again for the TAPS Awards, with which we recognize and celebrate teachers, administrators, parents and support staff who go above and beyond in their efforts to help all kids rise to success. And save the date for the TAPS Awards ceremony on May 28.
Please use the attached link (below) to the 2014 TAPS Award Nomination Form to submit your nominee. This form has been designed to collect and submit your response automatically. So when you are finished completing it, please click the submit button at the bottom left corner of the page.
* Please observe that this year, we have added a category for you to nominate a stellar community partner or organization that you believe has contributed to the rise of student success and development. One award will be given to a Community Partner/Agency/Provider.
If you have any questions or difficulty accessing or using the link provided, please email Renee Osborne at  
We thank you for your interest in TAPS and appreciate your taking the time and interest to acknowledge the great work people do with and for our youth.
Applications are due by Friday, April 25, 2014. All entries will be included in the judges’ packets and carefully considered by all readers.