?? >> buenos d?as y bienvenidos. good morning. welcome once again to "tiempo." i'm joe torres. this morning, we take a look at a free -- that's right, free -- soccer camp in northern manhattan where there is a significant immigrant popu no news there. the camp, however, is in need of a little help. take a look at the field there. well, camp organizers want elected officials and community leaders to revamp the dyckman fields where the kids play. the details on that coming up in just a few minutes. right now, though, we focus once again on education. the new school year, just weeks away. and there is a model school in washington heights. the new heights academy truly sets the bar high for schools everywhere by preparing
get into college. how great is that? this past june, 100% of the graduating senior class was accepted to four-year colleges and universities. all right, the question we have -- how do you do that? and what can other schools learn from the new heights academy charter school? here to discuss their approach to education -- christina brown, executive director of the school, and milenny then, a latina instructor from the school, teaches italian. i'll hear about that in just a second. >> because that is something that -- it sets the bar high, does it not, for other schools. >> it does. >> is it at the point where you're getting phone calls from administrators and teachers at other schools that hear a statistic like that and say just what i said, "how do you do that?" >> not yet. >> not yet? >> but i bet we're working toward it. >> you're working towards it. give me some basic rules or techniques that help you reach that stunning figure. what is it that you and milenny and the staff at the school
>> 85. >> "all 85 kids in this year's graduating class are going to four-year colleges." >> well, we instill that in our students. >> yeah. >> they have to understand that they are scholars first before they're anything else and that we believe in them, their parents believe in them. and then we make sure that they all apply. we have amazing counselors who work with every single junior and senior to make sure that they're prepared for applying. >> you say you have to convince them that they're scholars first. it sounds like they don't come in there convinced. >> i think that a lot of our incoming fifth graders -- and have been walking around believing that, "maybe i can do it, but maybe i couldn't." and it's like our community sort of embraces them and says, "you can, and you will." >> mm-hmm. what are some of the ways that you go about lifting them up, if you will? >> well, for me, personally... >> yes. >> ...being that i was born and raised in washington heights and i'm a dominican, i relate to them a lot, because the majority of my students are dominican. so having someone in front of them that looks similar to them and has similar stories definitely helps a lot.
and their success. >> that's nice and that's wonderful. but i don't think i'd have any teacher anywhere that says, "oh, no. i don't care about my students." but you demonstrate that care in ways that i don't think other schools do. so, talk to me about one or two of those approaches, whether it's literacy, whether it's data-driven instruction, that demonstrate that level of care. >> absolutely. so, we've had a focus on literacy across the curriculum for the past three years. so, in every classroom, you'll see close reading, students using writing and textual evidence... >> m articulate their thoughts in writing and be responsive to whatever they're reading. >> close reading. >> close reading, that's our strategy. >> talk to me. what is close reading? >> it means evaluating the text very closely -- paying attention to all that the text is saying to you, and being able to sort of pull meaning from the text. >> as opposed to...? and i don't know if you've taught or been in other schools where it's done differently. what is the normal, more accepted approach, if you will?
is enough for some places. and what we're asking our students to do is to be fluent readers, but to also be able to pull meaning from a text and make meaning with that. >> i see you nodding your head. >> yeah. definitely agree. i think, sometimes, you think when a child can just read a text, you're like, "well, they're successful now." >> yes. >> but when you go to college, one of the things you do is annotate your text a lot. and that's something that the kids are really learning to do now. >> does that demonstrate to you that they've mastered what they've read? not in the sense of, "i got from the beginning but, "i got from the beginning to the end, and i understood everything in between"? >> definitely not. >> okay. >> it's not as easy as just, "wow, you annotated the text." however, through reading it over again and having class discussions, you do get that information. and you start to get it out of the children. >> well, i guess you have to get to a point where you can say, "okay, he's got it, she's got it." >> mm-hmm. right. >> how do you know when you've hit that point? >> it's a matter of what they annotate.
to get from the text, and they're underlining and circling and moving around the text in a particular way, that's how i know that they got it. >> yeah. >> that they understand what the text is saying to them. >> all right. data-driven instruction was something i saw in the notes that you guys said to us, "helps us identify and then address the areas where scholars need help academically." what do you mean, data-driven instruction, milenny? >> so, basically, what we try and do is assess the children as frequently as possible. so, we try to assess them daily so that we can see how they're doing and not wait till the end of the test and then see that they failed. >> okay. does "assessment" mean tests? i hear "assessment" and -- >> assessment can be many things. a form of assessment might not mean a test. it might not equate to a quiz. it may just be a thumbs-up, thumbs-down. did you get it? do you understand? or it could be writing in response to a particular question and you're reading it to understand whether or not the students got the concept that day. >> okay. i can almost hear teachers
at different paces." >> mm-hmm. >>, so if you assess, or you test, and half the class is here, and the other class is here, what happens next? how do you move forward? >> we use that data and try to review the next day to kind of catch them up. a lot of our teachers offer tutoring after school. some are willing even to come in on the weekends to make sure that the students are where they need to be. >> mm-hmm. >> many times, we pull students from advisory, and just help them out to make sure that they're caught up so that we're able to move forward. >> okay. so that everyone moves from down here to up here. all right. many more questions. sit tight. when we come back, more on how the new heights academy charter school gets new york city kids ready for college. still ahead on "tiempo," a free -- and i'm gonna keep saying that -- free soccer program in northern manhattan needs help revamping the fields where the kids practice.
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>> welcome back to "tiempo." the new school year, just weeks away. we've be d techniques used by the teachers and staff at the new heights academy charter school, where 95% of the population is latino. joining us, christina brown, executive director of the school, and milenny then, a latina teacher who teaches italian. she's an instructor at the school. i know you've got three -- what was it? -- approaches in the classroom that are so, so key. and one of them -- gradual release of responsibility. walk me through that. >> sure. >> it sounds like,
we're allowing students to sort of explore more with the learning, explore more with whatever the skill, the content is the teacher is teaching. >> right. >> they get to play with the information with their friends. they get to play with the information on their own. and then they get to sort of be guided by their teacher through that process. >> is that a different approach? that doesn't happen in other schools? >> it does. it happens in many schools. it's a well-known technique, and many school use it. >> have you seen this practice before in other places? >> i have, i have. >> okay. >> and i've seen it work well. >> and is it something that you brought with you when you came to the school, that said, "all right, here's the approach we're taking, and we're gonna run with it"? >> yes, that is. >> it is? okay. i mean, yes. one of three instructional priorities is what i was trying to say right there at the beginning. the other one we talked about, close reading, and...? >> writing using textual evidence. >> yes. for you, literacy -- for both of you -- is not just the domain, i love this, of english teachers, correct? >> no, it is not. it should never be. >> and it should never be?
taken across the board? >> our students need to be involved in reading in every single subject. they should be reading in math, in science, in history. they should be getting information from what they're reading, and they should be doing something with it. and that is essentially our approach to having literacy across curriculum. >> okay. you teach italian, so i want to ask you that. i'll ask her this, but i want -- >> she's responsible for it, too. >> understood. all right. >> yeah, it does happen. >> in your class, how do you make sure -- >> ...in the language classrooms, because take their regions in italian, or take the ap test in italian or japanese, because that's the other language we offer. and we do reading all the time in the classroom, as well, to expose them to as much vocabulary as possible. >> okay. my question is -- all right, how do you go about reading in math? >> that's a great question. >> yeah. >> so, word problems come up on every assessment, right? >> sure. >> and students need to be able to break down those word problems to figure out the mathematical function of the problem.
to use an approach called "keys" to help our students break down word problems and help them understand what the problem is asking them to do, which math function they should use to solve it, and then to, obviously, explain their answer. we want to know what their mathematical thinking looks like. and so we ask them to write that down. >> this is obviously working, when all of your students graduate. give me some of the colleges that the students got accepted to and will be attending in the fall. >> sure. we've had u penn. >> oh, ivy league. >> ivy league, yes. >> sure. >> we have students going to suny schools, suny albany. we have a couple of students that went to del state. >> university of virginia. >> yeah, great school. sure. >> we have some students going to wheaton, dickinson. >> milenny, how many years are you there at the school? >> this is gonna be my seventh year. >> how'd you get involved? >> so, i started teaching, and i actually started teaching in georgia. i got my master's and thought i was gonna leave teaching, found this italian job, and it was perfect for me
community where i can connect to the students. >> okay, you went a little fast for me. "it's perfect for me." you're a dominican girl from the washington heights. you probably speak spanish and english fluently. >> yeah. >> yet they tell you you're gonna teach italian. did you head spin around and say, "how am i gonna teach italian?" >> no. >> and "why i am gonna teach italian?" no? >> no. that was my major in college. >> okay. >> i fell in love with the language, and when i found a job in a community where i could, you know, connect with my students and teach what i love, it was the perfect fit for me. >> mm-hmm. >> mm-hmm. >> and you have a latina... and so many -- 95% of the population is latino. >> mm-hmm. >> do you find that their spanish helps their italian? >> of course. >> yes. >> i think the success of our ap scores in italian is the reason -- is because of spanish, because they're able to get through the text a lot faster. >> do you incorporate that into your approach? that, "listen, it's a romance language. it's all from the same base." >> yeah. definitely, definitely. and they do have some challenges, but they definitely do well. i mean, last year, we had 12 out of the 16 students pass --
>> wow. well, continued success to you guys, because you're off and running. and this is just fabulous. and, yes, the phone, i'm sure, is gonna start ringing from other administrators that say, "tell me about you do it" because of this. >> we welcome it. >> okay. you got it. thank you guys very, very much. >> thank you. >> coming up next on "tiempo," the uptown soccer academy, a free after-school program, wants community leaders to help them make the park where the kids play better. that's the park. you'll hear from the staff when we come back. hi guys! got the birthday girl a drum set. drum set? he's kidding! [laughs] oh you guys must have time warner cable. this is gonna be some party. yeah, their free home wifi lets us connect all our devices at the same time. and there's no data cap, so... the kids must love that, huh?! hey, there's the birthday girl!
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a free soccer training program for children ages 6 to 16 living in the washington heights and inwood neighborhoods of new york city. there you see them in action. this soccer program is unique. why? well, it provides kids with high-level coaching at no cost. but academy organizers say they need a little help here, really. they would like community leaders and elected officials to revamp the park used by the kids. so here to discuss the free program and what they ne cynthia carrion, and ricardo robles, a player in the program. we'll get to ricardo in a second. so, this is your baby? you this how long ago? >> so, we started in 2009, just because there really wasn't anything. and, you know, i -- soccer and sports changed my life. >> yes, i wanted to get into how soccer was a part of your upbringing. >> yeah, and it's because, you know, i grew up listening to [speaking spanish] >> yeah, sure. >> and, you know,
opportunities sports can really give to young people, and especially girls. and so, my husband is a soccer coach -- a high-level soccer coach. and we saw that there was just a need in our community. >> mm-hmm. >> and so, we just -- we started volunteering at first. and then we realized that we needed to pay for insurance. like, each kid needed to be insured. >> of course. >> and so we had a small grant from new york citizens committee. and that's how we started the summer camp. and that's how we kept it free. >> i did play. >> you played in college? >> i did. >> wow. forward, wing, back? >> i was a left halfback. >> left halfback? >> i did. i will also be honest, in case any of my former teammates are watching. i also spent a lot of time on the bench. [ both laugh ] you know, but there's something there -- you get a confidence when you how to kick a ball. >> yes. >> when you know how to run, when, you know, like -- when you can play with the boys. and that's why we have the girls and the boys play together. >> yes. and as your ethnic heritage
>> i point that out because not necessarily is soccer a sport associated with the two islands. baseball, yes. boxing, yes. soccer -- and for females -- not often. >> yeah. i -- definitely. but i love to run. >> mm-hmm. >> and then putting a ball in front of me wasn't so hard. but, you know, what's interesting is that, even playing in uptown soccer, it is a majority -- you know, you see a lot of mexican... >> latino. largely latinos. >> lots of latinos, but we also too, that play with us. >> understood. >> we also have eastern european immigrant families that come and play. >> i want to get ricardo involved in the conversation. but let's talk about the field, because that's why we're here. how long you been playing, ricardo? >> i've been playing for, like, my whole life. >> yes? >> i've been playing for like... in uptown, i've been playing for, like, four years. >> four years. you play on a team? >> yes, i play on a team. >> okay. what position do you play? >> i play either striker or midfield. >> so you're the scorer? >> yeah. >> you like to the put the ball in the back of the net?
>> what it means to me? it means to me a lot. you know why? >> okay. why? >> because, when i go to uptown, i see all my friends. i see all -- my mom, my dad supporting me. and i see other friends of mine that have their family, too, supporting them. >> mm-hmm. if you had to pay to play, would you still be able to go to the uptown soccer academy? if it was part of a -- if it was a big expense, like many other soccer camps are... the opportunities for you and others would still be there? probably not. >> no, probably not. >> and that's why -- correct? -- it's free. so, my question to you is, who provides the funding? how do you keep going with the insurance, with the fields, with the balls, with the equipment? where does that come from? >> so, we hustle. right? >> okay. >> we hustle like everybody. all the donations that we get go straight to the program. so, there's no administrative costs. the only thing that we do pay are for our coaches. >> yep.
and high-quality coaches. so, we do have some -- we do have partnerships with the yuri yakovich foundation, as well as, we did get money from a city council member, so thank you, ydanis rodriguez. >> okay. he's been a guest here on "tiempo" before. we got about a minute left before we go to a commercial break. the field -- what condition is it in right now? >> sure. so, we play on the northernmost tip of dyckman fields. >> yes. we're looking at it now. >> and so, what happens at that water pipes or anything there. so, there's no... >> irrigation. >> no irrigation. also, you know, there's no bathrooms for the kids. so it's about half a mile before you can get to a comfort station. also, you know, it's a dirt field at the moment. >> this video here though, i just saw some that look like a turf. you play at other locations, too? >> no. that's really our home base. during the winter, we do go indoors. >> got it. so --
leaders to do? >> so, also want to stress that the parks have been a great partner to us. >> understood. >> you know, it's all about the money, right? because there's no capital money that the parks directly uses. we need funding to get irrigation down to that field. we would love to see an astroturf field there. you know, we know that -- yeah. i mean, bathrooms. parents came together to pay for a porta-potty, just so that we would have something closer. >> all right, sit tight. i want to ask you a couple more direct questions because we're gonna make this happen, okay -- together? >> yes. >> more on the uptown soccer academy when we come right back.
marco...! polo! marco...! polo! marco...! polo! marco...! polo! marco...! s?? polo! marco...! polo! scusa? ma io sono marco polo, ma... marco...! playing "marco polo" with marco polo? surprising. ragazzini, io sono marco polo. s?, sono qui... what's not surprising? how much money amanda and keith saved ico. ahhh... polo. marco...! polo! fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. polo! >> welcome back to "tiempo." we've been talking to the good folks from the uptown soccer academy in northern manhattan. here with us, program co-founder cynthia carrion, and ricardo robles, star player of the program. and we'll hear about his favorite team in just a second. i wanted to ask you, in the
have you come up with what you'd like to see? are we talking grass? are we talking astroturf? how much? those questions. >> so, i would say yes to all of it, right? >> [ chuckles ] sure. >> you know, you want to ask me, but, like, i think that in our community is the next messi. right? like, we have them there. we have those players. we just need to get a way to train them and to also introduce the love and game of soccer to everyone. >> but you mentioned irrigation before, so "irrigation" says to me -- okay, they're looking at a grass field. >> so, yeah, we're looking at us get bathrooms to that part of the field, which is important. astroturf would be great because then we can play all year long. >> mm-hmm. >> and, you know, we also want to make sure that, as the park gets improved, that the park also stays for the community. we know that as soon as there's available... >> it's a public park, yeah. >> ...you know, soccer fields, everybody tries to come. >> yes. >> and so we just want to make sure -- and the parks department has been really great with us -- to making sure that our free soccer program stays for the community
>> so, is that part of your pitch for... you say, "yes, we'd love the financing. however, we got to remain there. we need to remain in place. we need to have time slotted for the uptown soccer academy." >> we do, and we also do, you know, not just soccer, but we also do park conservation. >> yes. >> our students get to really understand that the love of soccer is also about being a community member, and so those are the values that we instill. >> i'm gonna ask you a little bit more about that in a second, but i want to get back to ricardo. okay, favorite team? >> has to be. >> favorite player. >> messi. >> messi? from argentina? >> yeah. >> but your family heritage is from...? >> mexico. >> so, tell me, you do follow the mexican tri? >> yeah, of course i do. >> "of course i do," he says. okay. and the park -- you got a lot of good friends at the park, right? >> a lot of good friends. >> is it much more than just playing soccer? >> yeah. >> why so? >> because now i have, like, friends that became family. also, sometimes we go hang out, and we also have trips.
the united nation with other of my friends, which was very fun. and we went to the inter milan game against estudiantes. >> que bueno. good game. >> yeah, it was a really good game. >> you know, i have him talk about that because i'm guessing that this is much more than just soccer. this is social development. this is friendship. this is fellowship. this is many other things. is that part of the mission? >> it is. we know that soccer's also a community sport. and so, when you come >> mm-hmm. >> and, you know, our parents are really the heart and soul, too. they're the ones that really make sure that the kids get there. they support us in making sure that -- you know, they're our advocates as well, and they're the ones that also have been pushing for us to get better fields. >> do you guys have a web page? >> we do. >> you do. i'm gonna put it up on the screen just in case anyone's watching and would like to contribute financially to help the dream come true for a new field. there's the website. you can see it on the screen -- uptownsoccer.org. and i'm sure there's more information there, right?
>> thank you. >> and let us know when the new field comes, okay? >> we would love to have you. >> messi -- great player. love him. >> yeah, yeah. >> but andr?s is good, too. >> yeah. >> before we go, how about a look at the tiempo community calendar for this week. today in the bronx, bring your dancing shoes to orchard beach for "salsa sundays." it is a 50-year tradition of salsa dancing every sunday through labor day. the event is held at pelham bay park in sections four and five. it starts at noon. que bueno. this wednesday in manhattan, at bloomingdale park, presented by el museo del barrio and new york city parks. the park there is located at 907 amsterdam avenue, between 104th and 105th street. the event begins at 3:00 p.m. best part of all, it's free. thank you for spending part of your day with us. we had a lot of fun today. remember, if you missed any part of our show, you can watch it at abc7ny on the web, on your tablet, or even on your smartphone. i'm joe torres.
>> "here and now," the program featuring the news and interests of the african-american community. here's your host, sandra bookman. >> coming up, a look at the contentious campaign for the white house. also ahead, an initiative that's connecting suffolk county cops with young people in the community to help them avoid the vicious cycle of gang violence. later, a wellness program that's tackling childhood obesity new york city school cafeterias. and will the classic new york city game of handball become a gold-medal sport? that's all ahead on