Please fill out our short FOCRLS community survey! (1/24/2012)

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Please take a few minutes to fill out our short FOCRLS Community Survey — your feedback really matters to us. The feedback of all our stakeholders — teachers and administrators, parents, students, alumni, and other community supporters — will be critical in this process. So, please weigh in.

Friends of CRLS (FOCRLS) has been growing by leaps and bounds in its first five years, and for this reason we’ve undertaken a strategic planning process to map out the next five, and we need your help.

As you know, FOCRLS is an all-volunteer parent-community partnership organization which supports programs to  broaden opportunities for and recognition of CRLS students and teachers, including: The Unsung Heroes student incentive program, Faculty Innovation Grants, Student Travel Fellowships, First Scholars Awards, The Dr.Christopher Saheed Scholarship Fund, and Faculty Distinction Awards. FOCRLS also acts as fiscal sponsor for other CRLS fundraising entities, such as the CRLS Arts Committee and school-sponsored overseas travel.

Thanks in advance for filling out the FOCRLS Community Survey!  

FOCRLS Awards Student Travel Grants (1/14/2012)

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The FOCRLS Student Travel Fellowship Program has recently awarded $9,000 of Travel Fellowship grants to support seven students, six who are traveling to Turkey in April, and one who is heading to Panama for the January Panama Jazz Festival. This fellowship program provides cash grants to academically-qualified students from low-income families to help cover the costs of educational travel programs.

High school trips to distant locations give students a first-hand opportunity to become immersed in the people, language, cities, landscapes, sights, sounds, smells and tastes of another culture. These trips can heighten cultural awareness, break down stereotypes and create lasting friendships, both among CRLS travelers and with their foreign hosts. And of course the trips incorporate a strong academic component. Those awarded fellowships are asked to keep a written and photographic journal of their activities.

The CRLS trip to Turkey will be a 9-day visit to a land that is rich in cultural and geographical significance. The 20 students who are expected to participate will visit ancient buildings and ruins, such as the Hagia Sophia Church and Museum in Istanbul that dates from 500 AD, and the ancient Greek ruins in the city of Izmir. The students and their faculty chaperones will immerse themselves in the culture, staying two nights in the homes of Turkish families. This interaction with the culture is a crucial piece of the students’ education because of the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of Arab and Muslim peoples.

The Panama Jazz Festival is a prestigious event that brings together jazz greats from around the world who will share their knowledge with the members of the CRLS World Jazz Ensemble who will attend, a “once in a lifetime experience” according to the FOCRLS travel grant recipient. By day, the CRLS students will be in classes taught by faculty from Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, and Princeton University. By night, they will get to “play and jam out with people from Panama and around the world,” making friends and enhancing their skills.

Read the Cambridge Chronicle article here.

FOCRLS Fall 2011 Faculty Innovation Grantees Announced (12/20/2011)

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FOCRLS congratulates its seventh cycle of Faculty Grantees!

An eight-person review panel comprised of CRLS parents, alumni and community members considered the proposals received in November. Their work resulted in the funding of 10 grants of up to $1000 that benefit a dozen faculty and hundreds of students.

The Fall 2011 FOCRLS Faculty Innovation Grantees are:

· Alvaro Amaral and Shantu Salvi (physical education teachers) – “Alternative Fitness
which aims to expose students to fitness programs such as yoga, tai chi, aquatics, core and bodyweight strength training and zumba.

· Chandra Banks (peer mediation coordinator) — “Interrupt Us in Cambridge
which funds a screening of “The Interrupters,” a 2011 documentary about gang violence in Chicago. The CRLS Mediation Program will host a post-screening discussion.

· Jennifer Fries (Cambridge School Volunteers) — “Computer Upgrade
which provides new computers to support CSV’s tutoring, writing and math labs.

· Clare Garman (career counselor, RSTA) — “Real Jobs for Real People
a video project to inform students of growth industries in Massachusetts.

· Conrad Hauck (engineering instructor, RSTA) — “FIRST Robotics 2011-2012 Season
to support the Robotics Team in its efforts to design a robot and compete in regional and national competitions.

· Jodi Mace and Dan Weathersby (guidance counselors) — “Improving Access to College Campuses
to fund transportation for area college visits.

· Elizabeth Menges (visual and performing arts teacher) — “Student Midterm Art Show
to provide new display materials.

· Monica Murray (visual and performing arts teacher) — “Supporting ‘Hairspray’
the fall theatrical production, with an alumnus/assistant choreographer/director.

· Larry Rubin (business education teacher) — “The School Store
to provide start-up funds for a student-managed school store.

· Barbara Weaver (history teacher) — “Research and Advocacy in Washington, D.C.”
to aid the History Club in promoting history education among legislators.

Read the Cambridge Chronicle article here.

Fall 2011 Unsung Heroes Feted (11/18/2011)

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On the morning of November 18, sixteen CRLS students — one from each learning community, from each grade — were honored at the CRLS Falcon’s Nest in front of deans, teachers, and proud parents. Students are nominated each term by teachers, counselors, and deans for their emergence as achievers, based upon academic progress, improved attendance, citizenship, stewardship, and athletic leadership. FOCRLS is proud to provide funding for this program, and we salute the Unsung Heroes for their well-deserved recognition. Now in its fourth year, we celebrate 72 Unsung Heroes recognized to date!

Alumni Take Center Stage at Grendel’s Den

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We put out the call and people came! The very first alumni fundraising event to benefit CRLS through Friends of CRLS was held on Sunday, March 27th at Grendel’s Den. Owner Kari Kuelzer (CRLS ’88) generously donated a delicious brunch, served to a group of alumni crossing the spectrum of class years from the 1950’s through 2000 – with graduates from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and its predecessor Cambridge High and Latin School.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will support all FOCRLS programs. Click here to see alumni photos and learn more about the brunch!

FOCRLS Fall 2010 Faculty Grants Awarded

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Faculty grant recipients reflect the commitment and vision of both faculty, CRLS, and FOCRLS to the academic and social development of all of our CRLS young people, and a deep interest in the ongoing professional development of the teaching community at CRLS, as reflective practitioners and stewards of the school and its students.

This year our growing number of FOCRLS contributors made it possible to offer two grant cycles, both now in the fall, as well as our traditional spring grant cycle! We thank our many donors: family, friends, alumni, and business leaders, for supporting the power of the ideas of our exemplary CRLS educators.

•Kathleen Fitzgerald (Internship and Service Learning Specialist) “Storied Landscapes – Exploration and Sharing of Cultural and Natural Resources Across Urban and Rural Youth Communities

•Conrad Hauck (Engineering Instructor, RSTA)
Funding for Robotics Club: FIRST Robotics 2011 Season

•Matt Landry (Media Instructor) “Experimental Media Lab

•Michele Watson Maxwell (Commercial Design Teacher)
Anti-Discrimination Poster Awareness Campaign

•Deborah Milligan (Photography Teacher) “Mix It Up – Cook it Up

•Robert Ponte (Instrumental Music Teacher)
Contemporary Jazz at CRLS

•Jaci Rubin (Cooperative Education Instructor)
Create a Press Kit for Cooperative Education

•Jessica Young (Art Teacher) “Animation Sound Studio

Another Successful FOCRLS House Party!

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The latest FOCRLS House Party was a great success. Guests and speakers included members of the CRLS Leadership Team (Dr. Chris Saheed, Dean of Students Jamalh Prince, Dean of the 9th grade Campus, Allan Gehant), faculty members and students who have been recipients of grants and awards through FOCRLS, current, prospective, and former parents of CRLS students, Rindge alumni, school committee members, community members with an interest in public education, and volunteers with Friends of CRLS.

CRLS Photography teacher Debi Milligan also brought a slide show of faculty members who’ve received grant awards for innovative projects from Friends of CRLS. Pulling it all together was a delicious array of food and beverages generously donated by Petsie Pies, the Middle East Restaurant, the S&S Deli/Restaurant, the Wine and Cheese Cask, and Zing Pizza.

Behind every great school is a committed community of supporters and supporters-in-the-making such as this great group!

We hope you’ll join us for the next FOCRLS House Party!