Where in the World?

The Global Gap Year Fellowship (GGYF) at UNC-CH has been in existence since 2011 with five people in the first cohort who graduated in May of 2016. There are currently eight students in the 7 cohort. This program allows for students accepted into UNC-CH, to take a Gap Year abroad before starting their studies with support of a $7,500 stipend. One may wonder where GGYF received its funding? There was an anonymous donor who had children who had done GAP years and wanted to create an endowment for others to have a similar opportunity.

In order to be eligible, students need to be accepted early action (non-binding) to UNC-CH and be at least 18 by time they leave on their GAP year. What are the deadlines? One needs to apply early action by October 15th 2017. UNC-CH will get back with applicants about their status during the last week of January. Deadline to apply to the Global Gap Year Fellowship is about a month after early action decisions have been released. They are looking for students having already done exciting things (e.g. perhaps created an international club and/or done something with a focus on social justice) but prior travel abroad is by no means required.

If chosen as one of the fifteen finalists, students are invited to Carolina for an all expenses paid weekend. Afterwards, seven are chosen as Global Gap Year Fellows who will have at least six months of service abroad. Additional months of domestic service can also be incorporated. They will receive a stipend of $7500 with which they are expected to develop a proposal that stays with that budget. They are given support developing the proposals, making connections with organizations around the globe and with ironing out the details.

What if a student wanted to wait until they had been at university for a few
years? Well, there is an option to take a GAP year between Sophomore and Junior year called a Bridge Year (http://
globalgap.unc.edu/about/bridge-year/). Currently there are only one or two spots available, but there is hope that funding will increase over time (perhaps another endowment), thus allowing more students to be impacted and have an impact.

CHS has had four students to become GGY Fellows. Leah Berolzheimer (2012 CHS Graduate), Lee Mook (2014 CHS Graduate), Kristen Lee (2012-2013 CHS Student Body President, 2013 CHS Graduate) and Leah Simon (2015 CHS
Graduate).

Any of these four students could expound upon what their GAP years has mean to them. Having a global perspective as you formulate what you want your life’s path to be is invaluable.

Are you ready to be the fifth student? http://globalgap.unc.edu/about/global-gap-year-fellowship/

Information in this article gathered through interview with Sarah Smith (Director of Global Gap Year Fellowship).

Carrboro Music Festival

On September 23 and 24, the streets of Carrboro were lined with 29 artists and
bands.

Many students from Carrboro High School joined in on the fun, including Anna Kemper, senior, Clara Ruth Logan, junior, for the festival.

“At the festival everyone was dancing, everyone was really excited and people were paying attention to the bands and were having fun together,” said Logan.

“It was just really cool to see them all perform, and it was all local bands.”

Some of the most popular artists the Carrboro Music Festival had seen were the hip hop groups, and the classical music, and even jazz.

“There was mostly classical music and guitars, the jazz was fun to listen to,” said Kemper. “This man in Superman underwear walked out.”

Clara Ruth spent Sunday night at Cat’s Cradle, where they were having the hip hop variety show.

“Something surprising to me was there was a whole bunch of people at Cat’s Cradle,” said Ruth. “It was really full [in the backroom].”

The hip hop rap was a big hit. Many food trucks, and local restaurants were near the action, ranging from Glass Half Full to the Napoli pizza truck.

“At Open Eye, it was nice to get coffee and listen to music,” said Kemper.

“Carrboro citizens were riding their bikes and walking around, it was nice to see everyone in the community. There were even people with rollerskates, and wearing funky outfits.”

Both Logan and Kemper felt that the Carrboro Music festival brought the community together. Next year they are excited to see new faces in the crowd.

Students plan eleventh Underworld

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. On October 31, the Carrboro High auditorium transforms into the Underworld, continuing a tradition as old as the school itself.

The event is a presentational tour during which attendees will see Latin students portray various mythological characters.

Former Latin teacher Sara Clay launched the Underworld to teach students about the mythologies that inspired modern storytelling. Since 2007, the event has contemporaneously educated non-Latin students and showcased the Latin classes’ knowledge and creativity.

Seniors Ben Gerhardt and Sophie Wise, Latin Club co-presidents, organized the Underworld for their second consecutive year. Both hold fond memories of their first Underworld—Gerhardt played Hades, god of the Underworld, and Wise played Tiresias, the blind prophet.

“I remember it was just so much fun to see everyone get really excited,” said Gerhardt. “Sometimes with these group events, people come in and are talking or on their phones, but people really engaged; [the presentations] start so quickly that people just get sucked into it.”

According to Wise, Latin students spend at least a month preparing for the event. Students create a list of characters but remain flexible, adding more characters to account for students’ interests. Once students know whom they’ll portray, they write short scripts.

Students rehearse during lunch before creating a set for the Underworld.

“After a few rehearsals, we decorate with dark cloths, several different rivers and the gates,” said Gerhardt.

Though the process is the same overall, Gerhardt outlines one key difference in this year’s performances: Latin students will hold an additional tour for ESL students. According to Gerhardt, the presentation will involve more conversation and less presentation.

The co-presidents sent an email invitation to teachers in early October, encouraging teachers to register their first- through fourth-period classes. They concluded their email with a suggestion for all students.

Said Gerhardt and Wise, “attendees are encouraged to bring a penny for admittance as this mirrors the practice of being admitted into the actual Underworld.”

Heterogeneous classes for CHS

This fall, Carrboro High School introduced heterogeneous grouping—combining standard and honors courses—into ninth grade English and World History classes. The initiative, intended to help incoming students make informed decisions about their enrollment, may also help reduce the achievement gap.

Within the first nine weeks of the school year, students are able to switch their enrollment between standard and honors. Teachers of these classes define what constitutes honors work and standard work, therefore allowing students to have a better understanding of the level of rigor they want. For example, in English 9, students received a sheet detailing what signified honors level work and how they would earn honors credit.

Within heterogeneous classes, students can help one another. English teacher Anthony Swaringen commented on the change in classroom culture.

“I’ve noticed that students are reinforcing positive behaviors in each other more than what I’ve ever seen in the past,” said Swaringen. “When you don’t have students who are modeling good student behavior—such as how to study, how to effectively read, or how to hold a class discussion—it’s hard to get that going in a classroom.”

World History and Psychology teacher Jacqueline Cerda-Smith added her perspective on blended classes.

“I really enjoy the class climate more this year,” said Smith. “I feel like everybody is more focused, and I’m seeing way less behavioral problems in class overall.”

Blended classes may also help close academic, social and other gaps between students.

“Everyone needs equal opportunities to be successful and not have their opportunities artificially limited by systems,” said Swaringen.

There are also students who want to take honors-level work but don’t see students that look like them and, as a result, find those classes less welcoming.

“A lot of students register for classes based on where their friends and family are registering,” said Swaringen. “I think that’s another place where we see those patterns of segregation, both racial and economic.”

The teachers involved in heterogeneous classes put careful thought into its implementation.

“You can have everybody together in a class and do a pretty terrible job of it,” said history teacher Matt Cone. “People have been pretty thoughtful about what are the different strategies we might use to have success.” He added that simply grouping students by enrollment would be ineffective.

Cameron Ferguson, a history teacher, added how he differentiates work for students.

“For me the difference is how independent students have to work,” said Ferguson. “I will give both students an honors level reading and the honors kids will be responsible for doing it on their own, and I will sit there and help the standard kid.”

Ferguson assured that all students are exposed to honors level instruction within heterogeneous classrooms.

Teachers of heterogeneous classes are also piloting Actively Learn, an online platform where teachers can give students the same reading with different questions or supports. Additionally, students can take separate tests in blended classes.

No concrete plan exists for implementing blended classes in other grades.

“Right now we have the hard research about the transition from eighth the ninth grade, but there’s not a lot of research about heterogenous grouping in upper grades,” said Swaringen. “We kind of have to produce our own case study to show this is something we think would work.”

Meet Carrboro’s new SGA advisors

Annual changes in student government officers are common, but SGA also welcomes new faculty advisors for the first time since 2014.

Last year was social studies teacher Jamie Schendt’s final term as SGA advisor. Replacing Schendt are Candacie Schrader and Sibel Byrnes, representing the Arts and English Departments respectively.

“Mr. Schendt had talked about how he was going to charge up the AIS, so Ms. Byrnes and I had talked about working together,” said Schrader. “We have a good dynamic to offer—I’ve got a little bit more of the artsy side, and she will help me with organization.”

Byrnes believes advising for SGA will help her engage with CHS in a more meaningful way. An enthusiast for all things school spirit, Byrnes showed her C-Town pride before becoming advisor.

“I always feel as though I have a lot of school spirit,” said Byrnes. “I’m one of the teachers who dresses up really crazy during spirit week.”

Similarly, Schrader, an Ohio native, remembers her high school’s large pep rallies and hopes to promote more spirit in C-Town. She’s excited to work with SGA to revamp pep rallies, planning to decorate the gym and lead class competitions to boost morale.  

Other changes await CHS as well. Every two weeks, student government awards the Jaglight to a stand-out student, the first of whom was senior Diamond Blue.

Neither Schrader nor Byrnes participated in student government as high schoolersByrnes explained that she was too shy at that age, and Schrader explained that SGA was somewhat absent at her school.

Said Schrader, “[at my high school] athletes were more of the leaders, so I’m really happy to see student government leading.”

Despite what the advisors see as positive changes, like a more diverse group of elected student leaders, Byrnes sees room for improvement. “Our group is so passionate, but we will need to focus on staying organized going forward,” she said.

On Columbus Day, town of Carrboro celebrates alternate holiday

While much of the country is commemorating Columbus Day on October 9, the town of Carrboro has taken a stance against the national holiday. Carrboro adopted the alternative holiday, “Indigenous People’s Day,” in 2015. Indigenous People’s Day was first celebrated on October 10, 2016. Lydia Lavelle was mayor at the time.

The concept of Indigenous People’s day stems partly from the idea that Columbus did not discover America the way some perceive. He and his crew landed in modern day Haiti and the Dominican Republic; while his journey contributed to the subsequent colonization of North and South America, Columbus never actually set foot on either continent.

Many history curriculums and textbooks paint Columbus as a hero who discovered the Americas. However, this portrayal of discovery ignores any dark side of Columbus’s expedition as well as the actions of the Indigenous People of North America, who crossed the land bridge from Eurasia to what is now Canada 15,000 years ago and populated the Americas. In recent years, this concept has been especially debated because of the way the discovery of America is portrayed in schools.

Annie Williams, a social studies teacher at CHS, discussed the complicated history that established Columbus Day. “In the late 20th century [the Italians] wanted to create a holiday for their ethnic group…they picked Christopher Columbus because he was Italian,” said Williams.

The holiday was intended to acknowledge the importance of Italian immigrants to the United States; in years prior, Italians faced a substantial amount of persecution and felt underrepresented.  

As time has passed and the meaning of Columbus Day has evolved, communities like Carrboro are establishing new traditions. Indigenous People’s Day is a concept communities across the country are slowly adopting. The effort to diversify holidays, on both a local and national level, is increasing, and Carrboro was one of the first towns to do so.

Al’s to host fundraiser for Puerto Rico

Al’s Burger Shack, a restaurant on Franklin Street, will be hosting a fundraiser to help Puerto Rico this Sunday, October 8th. Al’s will be serving classic Puerto Rican dishes all day, such as tostones (fried plantains), smoked chicken and roasted pork with mojo sauce and black beans and rice.

All of the proceeds will be donated to an organization, called United for Puerto Rico, started by the First Lady of Puerto Rico. Many well known corporations, such as Burger King, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and AT&T help to sponsor this organization. Our local fundraiser will provide help to those who have been devastated by the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and María.

Photo courtesy Al’s Burger Shack

Puerto Rico, in the weeks since the hurricanes struck, is still recovering from the lasting damage. According to CNBC, many residents are still without shelter, water, or other basic necessities. As reported by USA Today, Hurricane María also impacted the island’s electrical grids, economy, and the health system.

On October 4, USA Today reported that the Red Cross had collected only $9 million dollars in donations for Puerto Rico, compared to $350 million for Texas relief efforts.

Other nearby businesses are also participating in the Al’s fundraiser, including Beer Study, Belltree Speakeasy and Baxters. They will be serving specials whose proceeds will go to the cause. Live music from bands such as the Grateful Dads, Pete Joyner Quartet, and Liquid Pleasure will be performed outdoors as well.

The event itself is free, but there will be plenty of opportunities to donate at each location.