An Urban Experience at Prince Hall Elementary School

Ashley Kishbaugh Kristina Grey Sarah Petty Tracy Riedinger Tina Marie Rey

Before Prince Hall

Inside Prince Hall

Pre-K (Head Start) – The Environment
Very warm, welcoming and friendly Inspirational posters on the wall Many Shelves and Boards for manipulative and to display children's work

Pre-K (Head Start) – The Teachers
Followed Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (Head Start) Very warm, open and friendly Open to having us work with the children Able to read to the children and sing songs

Pre-K (Head Start) – The Students
Out going Some children were older than others (ages 3-5) Very smart and bright children

5th Grade – The Environment Social Studies Class
Steiner’s “Aesthetic Environment” Lacking in the classroom: Unorganized Dark and dreary No sense of belonging Rules and consequences Evident in Ballroom Dancing: Spiritual-Music Physical-Dance Intellectual-Counting dance steps Emotional-Social, building relationships

5th Grade – The Teachers
White and African American Loud, firm and serious Lacking Montessori’s “Prepared Environment” Computer Lab Relaxed Worked independently Lacking Dewey’s “Democratic Education” Teachers are decision makers Discipline through control Effective Teaching Methods Overhead projector Question/AnswerPiaget’s “CD”-Vygotsky’s “ZPD”

5th Grade – The Students
African American Dress Code Separated by gender-Experimental Program Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” Basic (food/Shelter) Safety Participation Classroom Ballroom Dance •Content “Happy?”

Outside Prince Hall


Gang Structure
O.G. Hardcore Regular Members Wanna-be's Could-be's

Gang Initiation
Beat or jumped in Armed robbery Drive-by shooting Assault Rape Blessed in Sexed in Murder

Gang Sects
People Folks Family

Gang Beads
Folks People •All blue = gangster •Red, white and black •Multicolor alternating •Red = gangster every six = moving up •Multicolor alternating in rank six of each = moving •Blue, white and black up in rank = regular soldier: killing •Multicolor = killed someone someone •Blue and black = vice •Red and black = vice chief chief •All black = retired or •Black and white = chief chief or retired

Gang Signs
symbols "bling" jewelry graffiti tattoos hand signs clothing weapons language "gang lit"

Gang Facts
• 760,000 kids in 24,000 different gangs. • Two major gang alliances LA-based Crips Chicago-based Gangster Disciples Bloods Latin Kings • Gang signs
Jacket hanging off left shoulder-Crip Pittsburg Steelers - cap-colors of the Latin Kings Kansas City cap-“KC” means “Kill Crips” MOB-member of Bloods

• Modified rosary beads - most faithful gang members

Gangs – The Reality of It
• Many

student’s have begun pretending that they are a part of a gang, they want to feel like they belong to something. Teachers should know the difference between wanna-be’s and the real thing. •The keys to keeping kids out of gangs Starts at home Keep up with their children Keep track of their friends What activities they are involved in As teachers it will be useful to send home information about gangs warn them of the dangers

Gangs and Girls
Why? For protection It provides a sense of belonging. The majority have brothers or boyfriends in gangs. Some actually enjoy the violence and excitement. Drugs are a common crime convicted among female gang members. Some even turn to prostitution. Many girls hold drugs or weapons for male gang members. Females are typically “sexed into a gang”. Females have become more involved in the gang role, many have large tattoos and battle scars just as the men do. Varrio Locas are part of the Varrio Locos Cripettes are part of the Crips

Gangs and Female Violence
• • Some female gang members are initiated by “beating in or crime in” like the guys. A review of arrests from 1984-1993 showed that murder was up 78%, robbery was up 89.4%, and aggravated assault arrests were up 108.9% The majority of violent crimes are committed by the males. 3 times more likely to be involved in “property offenses” and larceny. Taken a pole of 100 female gang members the most common felony for which they were incarcerated were for drugs, theft, assault, and robbery. Female gang members usually wear pants, not dresses They have foul mouths, sometimes worse than the guys Disputes between girls are usually calmed after they have time to cool off, where as the guys tend to hold a grudge

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Beyond Prince Hall

Something to think about…
Do you want to reach a child? Do you want to be remembered as a great teacher? Do you want to motivate children? Do you want to be a teacher so you can change the life of a child?

You can do all those things and more in an inner-city school!

What Can One Person Do?
Don’t be an 8 – 3 teacher Not just class rules! Hang students work Make it work! (be creative!) Give them a sense of ownership & belonging Be firm but fair


No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness, and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure. Emma Golmam

Bibliography NEA Today magazine April Edition, 2008