KIPPsters at the Capitol

Posted Tuesday, April 18, 2017

On Thursday, a group of KIPPsters from KIPP Denver Collegiate High School and KIPP Northeast Denver Leadership Academy attended the 2017 Colorado League of Charter School Advocacy Day. Students spent the morning learning about how bills become law in Colorado, and how they can make their voices heard on issues that are important to them. 

While at the Capitol, KIPPsters spent time on the floor of the State Senate, where they heard arguments about bills that dealt with taxes, healthcare, and privacy rights. Senator Angela Williams spoke to the students about what the Senate was working on that day, and about her support for charter public schools. Senator Owen Hill also joined the group to talk about the business of the day. 

After a tour of the Capitol, KIPPsters heard from the people who work in the Office of Legislative Legal Services about their role in drafting legislation. Observing the State House of Representatives and chatting with State Representative James Coleman rounded out the morning before KIPPsters headed back to school. 

Throughout, KIPPsters discussed the importance of Senate Bill 61—a measure that would ensure equal funding for charter public schools along with all public school choices. That measure had recently passed the Senate, and was waiting for a committee assignment in the House. 

For more photos of KIPPsters at the Capitol, click here

 

 

Tags: KIPP Denver Collegiate High School , KIPP Northeast Denver Leadership Academy

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Grit, zest, and a little love: KIPPsters learn to grow their own food

Posted Friday, April 07, 2017

 

For most high school students, springtime means warmer weather and the anticipation of summer vacation. 

But for students in Mr. Finch’s Outdoor Leadership class at KIPP Denver Collegiate High School, springtime means getting into the dirt and planting seeds that will turn into summertime vegetables. 

On Friday, KIPPsters took to the KDCHS garden armed with radish, spinach, lettuce, and pea seeds. Although the ground was blanketed in snow just three days earlier, students said they felt confident the time was right to plant the seeds.

“We’re not too worried because we made sure these plants are hearty and can survive some cold weather,” said Karla, a junior at KDCHS. “I’m excited to cook them, but I’m most excited about seeing them go from a seed to a whole plant.”

Emelyn, also a junior at KDCHS, said the garden project has impacted her in two ways. 

“This has made me think about how I could grow food and turn that into a business. But I also like to cook and am now thinking about how I can use these ingredients over the summer to help me be at my best for next basketball season.”

The garden is part of KIPP Colorado’s health and wellness initiative to improve the health and wellness of students, families, and the community. 

Mr. Finch believes the garden offers multiple benefits for the students.

“My students have been really interested in learning more about eating healthy and learning to cook using healthy ingredients,” said Mr. Finch. “They’re excited about the garden project and the sense of accomplishment from growing their own food.”

Other schools in the KIPP Colorado region are offering their own health and wellness activities and resources, including a cooking class for middle school students, a no-cost grocery program in Far Northeast Denver, and Zumba classes for parents. 

Andrea Rougé is the Director of Health and Wellness at KIPP Colorado Schools. She says programs like this are important for not just the physical health benefits from eating healthy food, but also for the mental health benefits from spending time outside nurturing a living plant.

“The vegetables that students grow themselves not only taste better, but they also get students excited about cooking and eating healthy foods and give the students a sense of pride and accomplishment.”

The vegetables are set to be ready for harvest before the end of the school year. Students from Mr. Finch’s class will be able to take home the bounty and use the vegetables however they choose. Many of the students said they were planning to find recipes that they cook using their fresh produce. 

For now, Mr. Finch’s class is just hoping there isn’t any more snow in the forecast. 

Tags: KIPP Denver Collegiate High School

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