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Chicago Students Learn from Katten Law and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship


March 11, 2015

Posted by NFTEChicago

Through a long-standing partnership with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (Chicago), students at Perspectives schools match up their A Disciplined Life learning with entrepreneur skills learned from local business leaders and professionals.

A Disciplined Life is a school culture, a curriculum, and a common language. It helps us all develop positive self-perception, healthy relationships, and personal productivity.

Perspectives Leadership Academy Seniors Meet Empowerment Project Filmmakers


March 11, 2015

Lindsey Schwartz, a teacher and peace ambassador at Perspectives Leadership Academy, organized a screening of the Empowerment Project film for the entire senior class.

The students watched the 50-minute version of the film and then participated in a Q&A with the filmmakers Dana Michelle and Sarah Mosh.

The Empowerment Project is the incredible journey of a crew of female filmmakers driving across America to encourage, empower, and inspire the next generation of strong women to go after their career ambitions.

Driving over 7,000 miles from Los Angeles to New York over the course of 30 days, the documentary spotlights 17 positive and powerful women leaders across a variety of lifestyles and industries.

In celebration of the all-female focus in front of and behind the camera, the filmmakers turned the cameras on themselves, capturing their transformational journey.

The film challenges the audience to ask themselves, "What would you do if you weren't afraid to fail?"

Perspectives Basketball Showcase 2015 Highlight Video


Highlighting the Perspectives Basketball Showcase 2015 from Perspectives Charter Schools on Vimeo.

For Perspectives Charter Schools, a highlight of any winter is the Perspectives Basketball Showcase. On one Saturday each season, all 14 Perspectives basketball teams gather to celebrate camaraderie and competition.

“It’s a great tradition we’ve started,” PCS athletic director Vinay Mullick said. “It’s a great showcase for our athletic department, a great day for our student-athletes and coaches.”

Mullick started the showcase in 2009 with a handful of middle-school teams. The event grows bigger each year.

On Feb. 7, the seventh annual Showcase featured 11 games from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Learn more about Perspectives Athletics on Twitter via @pcs_athletics

PerspectivesAthletics, Cheer Squads Dial Up Spirit


Perspectives Athletics, Volume 5, Issue 2
By Barry Temkin

PCS cheer teams had another successful and fun year of performing, especially at the annual Perspectives Basketball Showcase.

Perspectives Joslin’s team was led by juniors Alana Green and Maushea House and freshman Katrina Dorsey.

“I loved the team unity and the positivity from my juniors,” head coach Sheena Baskerville said. “They stepped up like it was their last year.”

Senior Darnesha Ferguson and junior Kenesha Williams were the top contributors for the MSA cheer team under co-head coaches Denise Moore and Jennifer Coyle

PLA/Tech head coach Damiya Perkins’ key performers included seniors Shalafonte Walls and Yasmine Stanford and sophomores Adia Temple and Jael Coleman.

Perspectives Middle Academy head cheer coach Kanisha Boyd praised the work ethic of her team, whose top athletes included 8th-grader Wylencia Boyd and 7th-graders Khaylah Dotson and Mikayla Peden.

“I have a group of dedicated young ladies who work hard and don't mind being pushed to work harder,” the coach said. “It was a pleasure to work with each and every one of them.”

Eighth-grader Khaiya Martin and 7th-grader Wanita Watson led the way for head coach Amber Morgan’s MSA middle school squad.

PerspectivesAthletics, Cubs Donate to Perspectives


Perspectives Athletics, Volume 5, Issue 2
By Barry Temkin

The Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908, but they are certainly champions to the baseball and softball players at Perspectives Charter Schools.

Thanks to the Cubs’ generous $20,000 grant, those athletes now are able to dodge Chicago’s periodic harsh spring weather and practice effectively indoors using state of the art equipment.

Perspectives used the funds to purchase a pitching machine, two indoor batting cages, two indoor pitching mounds and other equipment, including protective padding. This has benefited both the Auburn Gresham and MSA high school programs.

“This has been a huge resource to our programs to be able to train when the weather is not cooperating,” PCS Director of Athletics and Programs Vinay Mullick said. “We are very grateful for the Cubs’ support and their commitment to youth baseball and softball, and we can’t thank them enough.”

In addition, the Cubs recognized several Perspectives players and coaches at a game last season.

PerspectivesAthletics, Basketball Showcase 2015


Perspectives Athletics, Volume 5, Issue 2
By Barry Temkin

The Perspectives Basketball Showcase continues to get bigger and better. In its seventh annual edition, the one-day extravaganza expanded to include a shooting skills competition modeled after an NBA All-Star Game event.

That—along with more event sponsors—enhanced the 11 boys and girls games Feb.7 in a packed gymnasium at the Auburn Gresham campus. The Showcase included every high school and middle school team across the PCS network.

“It was a very successful event,” Director of Athletics and Programs Vinay Mullick said. “We’re grateful for the coaches, staff and student-athletes who made it happen and the support of the community, parents and fans.

“Were just very happy that the event continues to grow and move forward.”

PerspectivesAthletics, Middle School Hoops 2014-2015


Perspectives Athletics, Volume 5, Issue 2
By Barry Temkin

The Chicago Unity Basketball League championship game has become a regular stop for Perspectives middle school boys teams.

MSA recently made its fourth trip there in the last five years and won its third title in that span. Its opponent, Joslin, was making its third championship game appearance in the last four years.

MSA, under head coach Marlon Jackson, won its last six games to finish with a 14-4 record. Top performers included 8th-graders Dajuan Gordon, Yree Sheppard, Akil Coleman and Xavier Riley.

Co-head coaches Marcellus Phelps’ and Emmanuel Tillman’s runner-up Joslin team posted a 14-4 mark behind 8th-graders Marlon Young, Antwon Thomas and Ottro Guibero.

Jamari Massie and Dajon White, both 8th-graders, were among the top performers for head coach Eldridge A. Brown’s Perspectives Middle Academy team, which finished with a 7-8 record.

The MSA Middle School girls team finished at 7-3 under head coach Gabe Hernandez. Top contributors included 8th-graders Dasa Gordon and Ladonna Ivery.

Joslin finished 2-9, but co-head coaches Meg Goethals and Mary Hilker praised their players for their perseverance and sportsmanship throughout the season. Seventh-grader Ranyiah Roberts was their top performer.

Lakenya Starks, an 8th-grader, and 7th-grader Carrissa Lofton led the way for PMA, which was 1-7. Head coach Chasity Wilson praised her athletes’ growth and ability “to play together as a team.”

PerspectivesAthletics, U.S. Women's Soccer Star Visits Perspectives


Perspectives Athletics, Volume 5, Issue 2
By Barry Temkin

Danielle Slaton has been a scholar, a leader and a winner, which made her a perfect choice to speak to a March meeting of Perspectives’ A Disciplined Life Leadership Council.

Slaton, who conducts workshops for the Positive Coaching Alliance, was an All-American and the 2001 NCAA Scholar Athlete of the Year while starring for the Santa Clara University women’s soccer team. In 2000, she played on the United States’ Olympic silver medal-winning team and went on to play professionally and coach before becoming a television soccer analyst.

The leadership council consists of 60 nominated student-athletes representing all the high school teams at the three PCS campuses.

“Danielle did a great job of reinforcing the principles of A Disciplined Life,” Director of Athletics and Programs Vinay Mullick said. “She talked to our student-athletes about elevating your game and being a good person, athlete and teammate at the same time.

“She encouraged them to take her message back to their teammates to initiate positive change within the culture of their teams. It was good to see.”

PerspectivesAthletics, Varsity Boys, Girls Hoops 2014-2015


Perspectives Athletics, Volume 5, Issue 2
By Barry Temkin

The Perspectives Leadership Academy/High School of Technology boys basketball team finished with a solid 14-12 overall record and a particularly impressive 8-2, second-place mark in the Chicago Public League White South conference.

Senior captains Darian Whiteside, Treyson Johnson and Charles Griffin led the way for head coach Curtis Strong.

“The progress these young men made over the course of the season, not only as basketball players but as young men, is amazing,” Strong said of his team.

The PLA/Tech sophomore team was 15-9 behind sophomores Bartee Taylor, Derrion Lockett, Lashon Gist and Kavonte Cole and freshman Jackie Crawford.

“Through the ups and downs the team continued to play hard,” sophomore coach Curtis Williams said.

The Warriors freshman team built a strong 19-10 record, including a seven-game winning streak, with leadership from Tyvon Jones and Michael Daily.

“This team was a bunch of kids who never played on a team and came together to push one another to have an outstanding year,” freshman coach Antonio Reese said.

The Perspectives/IIT Math & Science Academy/Joslin boys team was 13-13, which included a runner-up finish in the Lisle Thanksgiving Tournament and third place in the ICCP/Westmont Holiday Tournament.

Head coach Waybon McConnell’s top contributors included sophomore DeAndre Lightfoot, freshman Marquan Williams, senior Kameron Williams and junior James Jordan. He particularly praised Jordan’s improvement and the effort of senior Kentrail McKinney, who, he said, “demonstrated a strong work ethic while only getting limited minutes on the court.”

The MSA/Joslin sophomore team was 12-9 overall, 5-5 in the White West, and sported an impressive victory over traditional city power Simeon.

Sophomores Jaquan Lawrence and Montrell Kennedy and freshmen Rakwon Roberts and Montreal Willis led the way for coaches Marcellus Phelps
and Marlon Jackson.

The Perspectives Leadership Academy/High school of Technology girls basketball team finished 15-11 overall, 10-3 in the CPS Metro conference under head coach Stefan Fisher.

With leadership from senior Crystal Lackey and junior Tatyana Albritten, the Warriors also reached the state tournament regional finals while giving three freshmen significant playing time.

“They have excellent potential to be really good,” Fisher said of his young players.

In her first year as head coach, Chasity Wilson’s PLA/Tech sophomore team finished with an outstanding 8-0 mark. Top contributors included sophomore Latanya Pitts and freshman Diamond Jones.

The MSA/Joslin girls team was 4-18 overall in Bill Yadron’s first year as its head coach but demonstrated a champion’s attitude.

“These young ladies played with a lot of heart,” Yadron said. “Our motto was, “We don't get tired.’ They love the game and each other.

“We were a very young team and expect to improve dramatically over the next year.

Leading the way this past season were juniors Tashana Tyler and Kayla Buchanan and sophomores Damia Williams, Akina Watson and Armone Bingham.

Joslin Goes to Selma, a Field Study During Black History Month


CHICAGO--February 26, 2015--Even a slushy and snowy morning could not dampen the spirits of students and staff at Perspectives Rodney D. Joslin Campus who crowded the Ford City AMC Theaters to see Selma during Black History Month.

"Selma," nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, chronicles the civil-rights movement protests that led to the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Central to the story is the Alabama march from Selma to Montgomery. It took several tries to complete the protest, with state troopers assaulting peaceful black participants during the first attempt, and ultimately the effort compelled President Lyndon Johnson to endorse the bill.

In partnership with DonorsChoose.org, Google offered to cover the cost of movie tickets and transportation expenses so that teachers could show students the Oscar-nominated film that details Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights campaign in 1965.

The students at Joslin are learning valuable lessons from the Civil Rights movement that apply to modern day challenges they face today. "Almost 50 years have gone by, and people think about Martin Luther King more within the context of a textbook," principal Stephen Todd said. "I felt this was a great opportunity for our young people who are regular movie-goers to bring to life the story of the Civil Rights movement.”

After the film, students were shuttled back to their classrooms where they engaged in critical conversations to reflect on the movie. “Our teachers led simultaneous class discussions to encourage thoughtful reflections about the film,” said program manager Maribel Moreno. “The responses of our students reflect how mature they are when it comes to making insightful parallels of 1968 America to that of their current day challenges right here in Chicago.”

Like many of her peers, Chaise, a sixth grader at Joslin, felt very emotional in response to the film’s portrayal of tense race relations, inequality and the frightful side of cruelty. “I was very upset to see humans treat other humans like trash and beat them like they’re wild animals,” said Chaise. “It made me angry to know it took so long for society to realize that every person matters.”

Students were compelled to think about the theory of nonviolence promoted by Dr. King and many of them practice the theory in their "I Am for Peace" movement to promote peace. Many felt encouraged by the film to treat others with dignity and respect and to use skills like negotiation, demonstration and marching to achieve their goals of a more peaceful Chicago.

At Perspectives, we live the 26 principles of A Disciplined Life to help students develop positive self-perception, healthy relationships and the tools for productivity. One of the 26 principles is to “be generous” and we recognize and appreciate the philanthropic gesture that Google made to make this learning experience a reality for our students and staff. Another principle of A Disciplined Life is to “show gratitude.” Thank you Google and DonorsChoose.org for the opportunity to watch Selma and incorporate it into our lessons about the Civil Rights movement.