Thursday, December 30, 2010

Basketball: UNCG vs. Duke

After a busy schedule the past few months, I took a few days for some R and R. I went down South and got lucky enough to catch a good game. I am sure Chester Basketball fans can appreciate this event. Yesterday an old Chester High School friend took me to see the game at the Coliseum in North Carolina. Wow! Going to the game was a big deal. This game was sold out. It was fun to see Duke, the top team in the country, play with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Both teams are good but apparently Duke is top dog. I was rooting for UNCG but I somehow had Duke's colors on and ended up sitting in the Duke's section. My friend actually played for Chester High School and UNCG back in the day. My sons thought it was cool for me to get to see the game. One said, “It was next level stuff.” I loved the Coliseum. The game was a little lopsided with Duke winning by 46 points. The score was 108-62. Nolan Smith, number 2 on the Duke Team, whose father Derek Smith played with the 76ers in 1989 and 1990 maybe a contender for the team.  

This is the time of year when some 12th graders might be considering these schools. Watching the games, may help some with the decision on where to go to school. Seeing the game was fun, fun, fun for me. See some highlights of the game on a separate post below.

Basketball: UNCG vs. Duke Highlights

Warming Up

Still Warming Up

National Anthem

Play Ball

Scrambling for the ball

UNCG just couldn't get a break


Sold Out

Wrapping it all up

Final Score

All eyes (cameras) on Coach K, The Man

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Xinos and Kudos Skating Party

80's Skating Party:
Location: CN Skating Palace, 247 Concord Rd., Aston, PA
Time: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 at 6:30 PM-9:00 PM
Cost: $10.00

The Xinos and Kudos Skating Party is still on….bored and need something to do, come skate and hang with us. If you don’t have any 80’s gear then come as you are.

Need some ideas on what to wear:
Ladies in the 80’s use to rock those big hoop earrings, leg warmers, bush hair style, name earrings, tights with the miniskirts, skinny jeans, sweaters with the ripped neck lines, big rope chains, square hoops, lots of bangles, run DMC wear, dark shades, colored hair styles and bold make up.

The homies in the 80’s use to rock those graffiti hats, bandanas, box haircuts, Run DMC wear, rope chains, nugget rings, kango hats, plaid clothes, addidas, flava flav look, name tags, faded jeans, and you can always rock a sideways cap with some jeans.

Xinos Calendar Girl Ball

XI Chapter Xinos 
Presents the 2011 Miss Calendar Girl Ball
Where: Ramada Inn, 76 Industrial Hwy, Essington, PA
When: January 15, 2011 at 1:00 PM
Cost: $30.00
Contact: Regina at (267) 970-7625

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays

It looks like school is out for the holidays. I wanted to thank everyone who has shared the Good News in the short time this blog has been up. About one month ago this blog got live feed with 32 postings and over 1000 visits so far. Thank you all for the positive comments and your encouragement. Like I have said before, the other guys can report that other stuff. The Good News is dependent on whatever Good News Chester Schools want to share. So I am hoping for more Good News in the New Year. If you have any Good News, please share it with us. You can contact me through the posted email address.

Again, thank you. Happy Holidays! And Good News in the New Year!  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Adopt a Family

Key Club Advisor Farela Howie with Key Club Members
The Student Government in cooperation with the Key Club at Chester High School adopted a family for the holidays. They donated a basket with food, clothes, and toys. The Student Government Advisor is Deborah Bogle and the Key Club Advisor is Farela Howie. The Student Government provides for elected student’s officers with school responsibilities. The Key Club is sponsored by the Kiwanis. The mission of the Kiwanis International Foundation is to financially assist Kiwanis International in serving the children of the world. Both the Student Government and the Key Club are student-led groups and teach leadership through service to others. These groups give young people a chance to lead within their schools and in their communities. Members of these groups tend to cultivate life skills by leading groups, running meetings, and holding elections. They learn the value of leadership, character building, and a caring outlook for others.

Keep up the good work Student Government and Key Club.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Salome Thomas-EL on The Dr. OZ Show: Just a sample of what CUSD is getting

Salome Thomas-EL to serve as a Consultant in CUSD

I first met Mr. Salome Thomas-EL at our Vital Issues Breakfast on October 16, 2010. He was the Keynote Speaker for the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. Xi Chapter. He is indeed a motivational speaker because he sure got me and the crowd going. He gave a great speech that day. He is from Philadelphia. He has been an educator for over 20 years. He started as a teacher and chess coach at Vaux Middle School and has served as Principal at several traditional public and charter schools. He is currently the Head of School at Thomas Edison Charter School in Wilmington, DE and National Education Expert. He frequently appears on C-Span, CNN, and NPR Radio. He is also a regular contributor on The Dr. OZ Show. He is the author of the best-selling books I Choose to Stay, which the Walt Disney Company has the movie right, and The Immortality of Influence (Foreword by Will Smith).

So when I read the press release that Mr. Thomas-El was going to serve as a consultant to TCF, The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts, Inc., a non-profit organization that supports the Chester Upland School of the Arts, CUSA, I was pleased to hear the news. Founder of TCF and CUSA John Alston believes Thomas-EL “will be an invaluable asset.” Thomas-EL believes that “Every child needs someone to be crazy about them.” He has “transformed the attitudes and strategies of school staff, parents, and members of the community to help hundreds of troubled children…he brings to the process a powerful combination of passion, caring, and leadership to craft a refreshing, common-sense roadmap to help kids achieve their dreams, no matter the odds.” I think now we can continuing to feel and to keep hopeful.

For further reading, see my recent posting on CUSA.
For more on Thomas-EL, go to 
To see him on The Dr. OZ Show go to
For more information on the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, see recent posting on Xinos

The Chadwick Constitutional Education Program

In front: Professor Nathaniel Nichols; In the background: Law student Gregory Skolnik

Recently, Chester High School had a visit about the Chadwick Foundation. Nathaniel C. Nichols, Director of Clinical Programs and Associate Professor of Law from Widener University School of Law, came to the school to prepare students for law day.  Along with him was Gregory Skolnik, third year law student from Widener Law School, to explain the program. The purpose of the Chadwick Constitutional Education Program is to educate Chester High School students on constitutional law. Skolnik explains, "We do this by having the students practice moot court exercises. Moot court exercises are simulated appellate court oral argument. The students that participate are all volunteers. The students select a case, learn the legal issues, practice, and eventually will argue the case at Law Day in the Old Chester County Courthouse before real Philadelphia-area judges. Throughout the process they are instructed by Chadwick Constitutional Education Fellows. These fellows are law students at Widener Law in Wilmington, DE."

Professor Nichols said, "The Chadwick Constitutional Fellow awards two small stipends to Widener law students each year. As Chadwick Fellows, the students are to teach U.S. Constitutional Law to the public." For more than 10 years, the students have done this by teaching Constitutional Law, typically one or two of the amendments in the Bill of Rights, to students at Chester High School. "Students practice the law by taking the facts of a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court and do a moot argument before the judges of the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas." This is done on May 1st as a part of the national recognition of law day.  

The Chadwick Constitutional Education Program is a great way to learn about the law especially if there is an interest in working in the field of law. This program comes out of the Social Studies Department at Chester High School every year headed by Department Head Farela Howie in conjunction with Widener University Law School. Students are eager to participate in the program and earnestly await the outcome for law day. The Social Studies Department and Widener Law School makes a great combination.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Chester Education Foundation at Longwood Gardens

Chester Education Foundation will be taking students from the afterschool program today to Longwood Gardens. They will stop at Applebee’s for dinner before seeing the sites. This is a great time of year for a visit to see the Winter Wonderland, the Outdoor Light Festival, Holiday Fountain Show, The Nutcracker Ballet, Christmas Performances, and the Christmas Garden Railway featuring Thomas the Train. On New Year’s Eve, there will be a family celebration. The outing is nothing new for CEF, in addition to academics, they take cultural trips.

This information comes from their website:

Who are they?

The Chester Education Foundation (CEF) is a Local Education Fund (LEF) created in 1988 by a consortium of local and state leaders including Widener University, West Chester University, the PA Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, United Way of Southeastern Delaware County, the Pew Charitable Trusts, Sun Company, Scott Paper Company, Boeing and others. CEF’s mission is to support educational excellence and promote community revitalization in the Chester Upland School District (CUSD).

What do they do?

Each year, CEF raises over $1,000,000 to provide direct services and capacity building initiatives within the CUSD community. Our generous granters include state and county agencies, local businesses and more than one-dozen local foundations who believe that Chester's children deserve a good education. Since 1994, Chester Education Foundation has facilitated the 100+ member, Delaware County Communities That Care Network which has received state, national and international recognition for successful implementation of research-based prevention strategies, leveraging and sustaining resources and exceptional leadership of community collaboration.

Chester Education Foundation provides innovative educational programming to elementary, middle, and high schools of the Chester Upland School District. Chester Education Foundation provides a rich variety of educational services and programs to more than 4,000 students throughout the Chester Upland  community including during the school year, as well as, the summer months. Tutoring for those who need remedial classes in order to be prepared to learn more in-depth studies of core subject areas is a major function of Chester Education Foundation. Summer career training, jobs, mentorship opportunities and leadership training are also important programs the children take part in during the summer months.

From Stephanie Scappa-Hall, After School Program Coordinator:

Stephanie Scappa-Hall Afterschool Program Coordinator of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers said that 264 students are enrolled in the 21st Century After-school program at Chester High School. This month’s activities included: online academics (Empower 3000, Apangea, First in Math, APEX), homework and project assistance, discussion groups and clubs which include: Poetry, Drama, Environmental, Book (group reading and discussion), Engineering, 9th Grade Girls Leadership, Girls Snack Attack (Cooking) and the Guys Discussion Group. Other Afterschool Coordinators are Richard Knox and Natalie Delva. Teachers are Ms. Myra Lineberry, Ms. Farela Howie, Ms. Judith Kleist, Ms. Susan Byrd, Mr. John Simmons, Ms. Margaret Johnson, Ms. Sheila Cottingham, and Ms. Deborah Bogle.

At the top are Executive Director Cheryl Cunningham, Assistant Director Carita Morgan, Program Director and Workforce Development Elaine Greene-Upton, Program Director and 21st Century Community Learning Centers & Communities That Care Network Neilda E. Mott, and Financial Director Cynthia Hart-Griffith.

A few years ago, I got a chance to work with the Afterschool program so I know how wonderful they are. Enjoy your trip to Longwood Gardens. It will be fun. For more information on CEF go to

For more information on Longwood Gardens go to or click this link:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Xinos Christmas Party

The Xinos had their annual Christmas Party at the YWCA on Saturday. They played the usual games, exchanged gifts, ate, and had a festive time. The Xinos are a group of young ladies who attend area schools. They are mentored by the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, educators who encourage the development of the potential of our youth. The organization was founded in 1923, in Jersey City, New Jersey. Locally, the XI Chapter was formed in 1932.  The group serves as a mentoring and community service organization. More than 4000 members in 130 chapters throughout the country piloted a three point program identified by the acronym Y.E.S. Youth Guidance: Xinos-female and Kudos-Males grades 9-12. Education: Scholarships, Reading Power, African American History, Computer Literacy, Mathematics, Teach-A-Rama, Leadership Training, Public Relations, Academic Issues, Current Trends, and Commission on Civil Rights. Service: International, National, and Local Projects. The aims of the group were to inspire girls to achieve high scholastic records, to furnish guidance, and to enhance their cultural backgrounds.  Sorority members worked diligently to achieve these goals.

The Xinos are engaged in many worthwhile activities, including tutoring, discussions on careers, philanthropy, gifts to the needy at Christmas time, Service projects, and trips to cultural events as well as social gatherings chaperoned by their parents and sorority members.

Xinos have participated in many community service activities this year, including the Backpack giveaway with City Team, Applebee’s Fundraiser, Health Fair and Hanging of the Greens at the Y, and so much more. They work hard and keep up with their academics. The Christmas Party was a small gathering. So they deserve to treat themselves a little for all their contributions to the community. These Youths are making a difference in our community. Keep up the good work ladies. And thank you for your contributions to our society.

Friday, December 17, 2010

CCCS: Santa Brigade

Not to be out done, Chester Community Charter School was featured on Channel 6 News at noon today with Rick Williams. Santa came to the school to deliver gifts in the Annual Santa Brigade. The Santa Brigade has been an annual event for 12 years. The gifts were contributed by the school’s founder and his wife, Vahan and Danielle Gureghian. During Thanksgiving, they also donated money for the 11th year toward the Thanksgiving Gift Certificate program.

Good News for students at CCCS for the holidays.

CUSA: Chester Upland School of the Arts

CUSA is expected to appear on Channel 10 Good News segment with Dawn Timmeney on Friday, December 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm. I’ll be tuning in like everyone else. I can see why they will be appearing on the Good News segment. I stopped by the school the other day, located at 9th and Parker Streets in Chester. This building was the old Chester High School. The building has a rich history. I was greeted by the colorful well kept play ground out front. It took awhile for me to get in, security is tight. Once inside the entrance, I was greeted by warmth. The temperature was comfortable after being out in the cold. Inside was immaculately clean from what I saw in the entrance area. I did not tour the building but I remember the layout from when I worked there in a previous program years ago. It had been remodeled. The walls were covered with smiling pictures of the staff, Scholars Hall of Fame with perfect attendance and academic excellence from students, and Code of Conduct Awards of many students for the previous months. The wall colors were bright like sunshine and covered with student’s art work.

CUSA is a Pre-K to 4 grade level school with 240 students. CUSA was created as a result of a partnership between the Chester Upland School District and the Chester Fund for Education and the Arts, a charitable non-profit organization that was founded by Dr. John Alston, Swarthmore College professor and director of the 100 Voice Chester Children’s Chorus.  He remains actively involved in CUSA through his “Afternoon Sing,” a unique choral-music experience under his direction. He recently directed students in a holiday concert.

CUSA’s Principal is Anna Hadgis and Assistant Principal is Akosua Watts. The mission statement is to improve the community through high academic achievement and artistic excellence. The vision is to “integrate the arts into rigorous inquiry-based academic curriculum in order to empower students to become high achieving life-long learners…CUSA was founded on the principle that arts education is vital to each child’s learning process and development.” In addition to the standard curriculum of math, reading, writing, science, and humanities, students benefit in weekly classes with specialists in music, dance, visual arts, and instructional technology. Students also receive enrichment in the arts through field trips and visits from professional musicians and dance companies intended to enhance the student’s artistic development and growth. Students are expected to showcase their talents through performances in school assembles, seasonal concerts, and art and media projects which are displayed in the school and globally on the World Wide Web. Students also have the opportunity to participate in an Extended Day Program after the regular school day ends. The Extended Day Program was designed to include the additional learning hours in order to enrich the educational experience of all students.  

CUSA has AYP status, meaning it made Annual Yearly Progress. So be sure to tune in to Channel 10 Good News today at 5:30 pm. Assistant Principal Watts said they will be "talking about the unique aspects of the school." Congratulations CUSA and thank you for allowing me to highlight your excellent academic and artistic program for my Good News blog on Chester Schools.     

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dominic Pileggi Speaks to the Rotary Club

Guest Speaker State Senator Dominic Pileggi at the Rotary Club of Chester Luncheon at Harrah’s giving us an update on the State of Pennsylvania. Sorry I won't be able show all17 minutes of the video but you get the idea of what's going on.

Sorry if your computer does not allow you to view this video

Past President of the Rotary Club and Current Pennsylvania State Senator Dominic Pileggi with Current President of the Rotary Club Louise Burroughs

Thank you for the updates on PA Senator Pileggi.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rotary Club Student of the Month

Jasmine Barksdale, Dominic Pileggi, Andrew Davis, & Louise Burroughs
Students of the Month
Dr. Cavin with October's Student of the Month Jasmine Barksdale
Dr. Cavin with November's Student of the Month Andrew Davis
The Rotary Club held their luncheon today in the beautiful Cove Restaurant at Harrah’s Casino in Chester. We were greeted by past President and current Secretary Dr. Alonzo Cavin, Professor of Widener University.  The current President is Louise Burroughs. Special guest speaker was State Senator Dominic Pileggi who spoke about Pennsylvania’s current political status and took questions.

The purpose for our attendance was the recognition of Chester High Schools best students for Student of the Month. Jasmine Barksdale was recognized as Student of the Month for October. She is an honor student in the 12th grade. She is an active participant in the school with involvement in the Key Club and Rotary Club. She has already been accepted into Widener University School of Nursing. Andrew Davis was recognized as Student of the Month for November. He is an honor student in the 12th grade.  He is also an active participant in the school with involvement on the track team, Key Club, and Rotary Club. They are both active in Community Service in Chester. They were accompanied by Donna Scott-Brown, Rotary Club Advisor for Chester High School. We are looking forward to other honor students who are actively involved in school and the community to be recognized by the Rotary Club of Chester.

Thank you Rotary Club of Chester. We enjoyed the luncheon and the recognition today. Rotary members are indeed making a difference in the community.    

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Concerts and Events in Chester Schools

Chester High School
Band and Chorus
Winter Concert
Wednesday, December 15th, 2010 
6:30 p.m.
Chester High School Auditorium

Smedley Allied Health High School
CUSA will perform on
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
6:00 pm

Science and Discovery High School
Friday, December 17, 2010
6:30 pm-9:30 pm
2nd School dance

Columbus Elementary Concert
Chester Children’s Chorus
Monday, December 13, 2010
kindergarten and first grade students
Mr. Daniel Beal and Dr. John Alston
From Swarthmore College
directed the lower school

Columbus Elementary Chorus and Band
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Columbus Elementary School
Food drive and clothing drive 
for the community each grade 
level team has 1 family they 
will recognize

Toby Farms Elementary School
Holiday Ensemble Concert
Thursday, December 16, 2010
6:30 pm
With Band, Strings, and Stomp
Toby Farms Elementary School
Classroom Concerts
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
10:00 am and 2:00 pm

Stetser Elementary School
Holiday Concerts
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 
at 6:30 pm
Thursday, December 16, 2010, at 2:00 pm

Posting will be updated as soon as information becomes available.