Tag Archives: Longfellow Middle School

Berkeley teen photographer takes aim at New Orleans

New Orleans. Photo: Andrei Crandall
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Longfellow eighth-grader Andrei Crandall is already making headway in the photo world, despite his young age. Crandall, who is 14, was invited to join the San Diego Museum of Art’s artist guild when he was just 12, after contributing his work as part of a blind juried competition. He has also been published in Southwest Airlines’ Spirit magazine.

According to his artist statement, Crandall was born in a small city in far eastern Russia. He moved to Berkeley as a 4-year-old after he was adopted by “two moms who love to travel and take me and my camera with them.”

Crandall has taken photographs in Fiji, China, France, Spain, Mexico and around the United States. His most recent trip was to New Orleans in April. Photographs from that trip are on view in an exhibit called “The Streets of New Orleans” at The Alta Bates Community Art Gallery, at 2450 Ashby Ave., through Nov. 23. Crandall also has photographs showing at The Homemade Café, 2454 Sacramento St.

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Berkeley offers free summer lunches, snacks for youth

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Berkeley is facilitating free lunches and snacks for under-18-year-olds this summer at locations across the city.

In the Berkeley Unified School District, 42 percent of students receive free or reduced lunch during the school year, which is easily accessible when school is in session but can become difficult to find during the summer. City Councilwoman Linda Maio recently sent an email to her district asking her constituents to spread the word about the free summer lunch program.

Berkeleyside has created a map, above, that shows where the lunches are distributed. Below is a list of the dates and locations of the free lunch and snack programs. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley school recycling gets back on track

A third-grade monitor at Oxford Elementary helps a classmate figure out what gets composted and what goes into the trash. Photo: Green Schools Initiative
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Berkeley schools are making a renewed commitment to recycling and composting after efforts slacked off over the past five years.

This year, a local non-profit, Green Schools Initiative, has worked with eight Berkeley schools, revitalizing recycling and composting programs. Green Schools was just awarded a grant for next year, so it can work with another eight schools in the fall.

According to Deborah Moore, executive director of Green Schools Initiative, recycling and composting are not only good for reducing landfill and greenhouse gases – they can also reduce the district’s spending.

“The Berkeley school district has potential to be saving $50,000 a year out of about $350,000 spent on trash pickup,” Moore said.  … Continue reading »

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Learning to write, one edit at a time

Coaches from WriterCoach Connection help more than 2,000 students in 10 schools throughout the East Bay
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By Mollie Hart

Andrea didn’t make eye contact with her writing coach right away. The 8th grader from Berkeley’s King Middle School brought out her rough draft of “An Open Letter to the Adults of our Country,” and started to read out loud, but kept her face turned away from the woman sitting next to her in the school’s designated “coaching” room.

“What did you think of the assignment?” the coach asked.

“It was okay,” said Andrea, without much enthusiasm.

Despite the young girl’s shy demeanor, the coach forged on. Soon the pair was talking about Andrea’s thesis statement, her conclusion, and how the American Revolution figured into the piece. … Continue reading »

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Sacramento Street neighbors reel from latest shooting

A piece of yellow police tape marks the spot where a woman was shot and killed while riding her bicycle on Tuesday night. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Update, 6:44 p.m.: The Berkeley Police Department has confirmed the identity of shooting victim Pamela Mullins, 50, of Berkeley. Mullins was killed in the 2700 block of Sacramento Street. According to a written statement released at 6:28 p.m.: “BPD detectives are continuing to work hard to gather information and determine a motive for this incident.”

Update, 5 p.m.: The Oakland Tribune is reporting that the shooting victim was 50-year-old Pam Mullins and that she died about 100 feet from her home. Cathy White of Oakland, who told the Tribune she was Mullins’ sister, said Mullins often rode her bike to and from her job as a caregiver, that she lived alone and had recently moved into the apartment.

Original story: The only signs Wednesday morning that a woman was gunned down Tuesday night as she rode her bicycle near Longfellow Middle School was a piece of yellow caution tape flapping in the wind, and three television news vans.

Otherwise it seemed like an average, if rainy, morning. Trucks delivered food to the school cafeteria, parents dropped off students, and stragglers rushed through the rain to make their early classes.

A woman who lives near the corner of Derby and Sacramento streets said she had heard what sounded like a shot Tuesday night but did not know a murder had occurred until she bundled her young son off to school in the morning. … Continue reading »

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Longfellow holds Hoodie Day in honor of Trayvon Martin

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Today was Hoodie Day at Longfellow School in Berkeley. Students and teachers at the middle school wore hoodies in memory of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, in Sanford, Fla. on Feb. 26.

The class of teacher Erin Schweng also had skittles and Arizona Tea, both items Martin was carrying when he died.

“We talked about what happened, and how what we’re doing today is just a small thing but that it shows solidarity and support,” said Schweng. “Our middle school students are young people with heart, passion, and a budding activism all their own.” … Continue reading »

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City Council looks for new Berkeley meeting space

The City Council currently meets in the Maudelle Shirek building but is looking for new meeting space.
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After looking at 11 possible locations to hold future City Council meetings, Berkeley city staff is recommending that the council select between the auditorium at Berkeley City College, the multipurpose room at the North Berkeley Senior Center, and the auditorium at Longfellow Middle School.

Those three sites are centrally located, have sufficient capacity to hold the crowds that come to council meetings, are convenient to public transit, and can be fitted with audio-visual equipment to broadcast and tape meetings, according to a report that will be presented to the council Tuesday night.

The City Council has been meeting in the Maudelle Shirek Building at 2134 Martin Luther King Way since 1909, but needs to find a new spot because the building is seismically unsafe, according to Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, a city spokesperson. The Berkeley Unified School District currently uses the building for its administrative offices, but will move to a newly refurbished building on University Avenue near Bonar in March.

The move of BUSD is prompting the City Council to move as well. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley school bands perform at Giants game

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On Thursday this week, Berkeley Unified School District’s high-school and middle-school bands joined forces to perform the Star Spangled Banner at the San Francisco Giants baseball game. The excitement was more than palpable — holler and shouting alert. Watch the musicians in action at the 1.55-minute point in the video above (which comes courtesy of BUSD’s Mark Coplan).

Oh, and the score? San Francisco Giants 3, Arizona Diamondbacks 2.

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Sell-out at Yoshi’s raises funds for BUSD jazz programs

The sax players in the Longfellow Jazz Band wail at Yoshi's. Photo: Doris Moskowitz
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Yoshi’s in Oakland, a legendary venue for the best in jazz, was packed on Monday night. The boisterous, enthusiastic crowd had come to hear the jazz bands from Longfellow and Willard middle schools. Fan — and mother of a baritone sax player — Doris Moskowitz reports that $1,200 was raised for the middle schools’ jazz program. More photos below the fold. … Continue reading »

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Longfellow students practice tolerance, compassion

A Longfellow school band plays a song to honor National Day of Silence
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When students at Longfellow Magnet Middle School go to school today, they will spend their first two hours in silence.

While they will be studying, they will not be talking. But they will be learning.

The students will be participating in National Day of Silence, a day devoted to standing up against the teasing and bullying of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning people. The silence symbolically represents all those who have been silenced because of their sexuality.

This … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s school lunch program is flawed, say insiders

"If They Cook It, They Will Eat It", one of the short films in the Lunch Love Community series. Photo: Sophie Constantinou.
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The successes — and shortcomings — of the Berkeley Unified School District’s revamped school food program received equal billing at yesterday’s première screening of a series of short films collectively known as the Lunch Love Community Documentary Project.

The audience at Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley were greeted with cinematic images of children contentedly nibbling on fruit, tucking into salad, and choosing produce at a school’s farmers’ market.  But, after the viewing, some adults provided a counterpoint to the rosy pictures showcasing Berkeley’s much-lauded School Lunch Initiative.

John Muir 5th grade teacher Stephen Rutherford was hands down the most critical. He talked about long, slow lines for lunch at his elementary school, the challenges for little fingers using swipe cards, the untended salad bar, the rush to eat, the vast amounts of waste, and a tense cafeteria environment.

Some of his concerns echo those raised by parents commenting on a recent Berkeleyside story on Lunch Love Community. “The day-to-day reality of feeding kids doesn’t resemble what you see on this screen,” said Rutherford. “We all had a vision of what school lunch could be and at my school it’s still very sad.” … Continue reading »

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Arts

Saxophonist Joshua Redman: Forged in Berkeley

Jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman/Photo: IMN
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When Joshua Redman was growing up in Berkeley, his mother took him to a bewildering variety of music performances: Indonesian gamelan, Japanese Taiko drumming, African drumming, Persian traditional music, and so on. “It’s quite possible that if I hadn’t grown up in Berkeley I wouldn’t have been the musician I am — or even a musician,” Redman says.

That eclectic musical upbringing did, of course, create a musician: one of the world’s most sought-after jazz saxophone players, who will perform with his quartet tomorrow night at Zellerbach Hall, where he heard many of those concerts in his youth. The New York Times, reviewing a Redman gig in 2008, enthused: “Joshua Redman is a saxophonist of such intelligence and energy that you could probably place him in any musical setting, and he would find a way to make himself at home.”

It wasn’t just the music he heard in Berkeley that helped form Redman. He took up saxophone in 5th grade at Longfellow, before going to Willard for middle school. “In the Berkeley public schools, there was a growing tradition for jazz,” Redman says. “Playing in the Longfellow jazz band I thought maybe someday I could play in the Berkeley High jazz band.” Redman reels off a list of great players that were at Berkeley High ahead of him: Craig Handy, Peter Apfelbaum, Benny Green, Will Bernard. … Continue reading »

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Busload of Berkeley students witness brutal shooting

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A busload of Berkeley elementary students witnessed the shootings on Sacramento Street this morning that killed one man and seriously injured another, according to BUSD officials.

A school bus carrying about 40 students on their way to Cragmont Elementary School was driving on Sacramento Street near Russell around 8:43 am when two assailants fired numerous bullets into two men walking on the street.

One man was killed and another was seriously injured. There was blood flowing down the street … Continue reading »

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