No Sleep Til Brooklyn Sings

By Keturah Raymond ’15 & Charlynn Trish Ben ’15

It was the battle of the M’s. The night was cold and dreary, but the heat was on in the Edward R. Murrow High School Joseph Anzalone Theatre on March 8, as they battled it out in Brooklyn SING. At this event to aid the fight for cancer, Midwood, Madison and Murrow High School participated in the competition, with all the proceeds of the show going to the American Cancer Society.

Push Start Helps Hornets Succeed

By Fatama Zohra’15
Skipping class, roaming the halls, dodging teachers and security guards to not get in trouble—many students tend to do that, but a new program has challenged those days for some students and has given them a little nudge in a new direction.
The Push Start program, run by Mr. Richard Franzese, began in the spring of 2013, but initially the idea was proposed ten years ago. Due to budgeting issues, the program was unable to progress then, but currently it is in full swing. This program targets “hall walkers”, and students who show a pattern on attending some classes but not others.
“It’s not that they are bad kids, some of them just have obstacles going to class or being in class,” said Mr. Franzese. “The whole idea of this is, in order to go one step forward, we need to take two steps back.”
According to a CNN article, Why Students Skip School, a study showed that pupils who skip more than ten days are 20 percent less likely to get a high school diploma and are 25 percent less likely to enroll in higher education.
Mr. Franzese explains, “When a student cuts, it’s a reaction to frustration. The kids may not understand the class, are bored with it, may not take their education seriously or some don’t really know how to take education seriously. With the support systems implemented in the school, we are able to give the kids who cut the services and support they need to make better choices.”
The high schoolers in this program are isolated in a room where the teacher comes to them, rather than them traveling go from class to class. This method limits the chances for cutting.
“I had very bad anxiety and that led me to cut class,” said Sasha Bor ’15, a current member who chose to be in Push Start. “I actually left school to be home schooled and when I came back, I thought this was a good program for me because it’s confined. It really restricts your way of getting out of the school.”
People in this program are mostly offered a seat by selection. The parents of the pupil who is selected then have a meeting with Mr. Franzese and decide on the placement of the child to be in the Push Start program or to deny it. According to Mr. Franzese, most parents agree to place the child in this program and think it is one of the best things to do for a situation such as this. Each student is welcomed to talk about this program with Mr. Franzese, and some have even decided to opt for it themselves.
“It was almost an addiction to cut last year,” said Jaun Pozo ’17, a former pupil of the program. “It was too easy to cut and so I just did, but this program helped me to understand to take things more seriously.”
Teachers for this program are carefully selected and even a couple of deans teach the program.
“The teachers are so dedicated to the students,” said Amanda VanHorn ’15, another former student of this program who cut because she wasn’t focused on school. “ I felt like I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time, since I didn’t want to be in a school environment, which also made me cut. This program helped me because the teachers made sure you were focused and pushed you with each task.”
The three students said that they were encouraged to come to the program because it felt like the teachers actually cared and didn’t treat you harshly because of the cutting problem. VanHorn also states that the classes were fun and everyone is connected.
From last year, credit accumulation increased 30 percent within the program.
“Last year, I had almost no credits at all, but this year I’m passing all my classes,” said Pozo smiling.
In regard to others, who are not in the program, who have similar cutting problems, Sasha Bor’15 said, “I recommend telling your teachers that you have a cutting problem. You can cut for a week and then the next week you won’t feel like going because it’s so easy not to go. The teachers won’t look at you the same and their standards for you will fall. You should tell them about the problem so you can work something out with the teachers so you don’t end up failing.”
All three students interviewed would recommend this program to any Hornet struggling with cutting class.
Everyone works together in the class and it feels as if… it’s a little team, said Pozo.

NYCSEF Winners Prepare for Final Competition

By Saba Sakhi ’15 & Marisol Morales ’15 

Science projects varying from Microbiology to Behavioral and Social Sciences were displayed at this year’s preliminary round of New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSEF) on Sunday, March 2 at The City College of New York. Students competed in the hopes of making it to the finals.

Chancellor Fariña Praises Midwood

By Irissa Cisternino ’14 and Shanna Huang ‘15

Chancellor Carmen Fariña radiated warmth and kindness when she sat down with Argus reporters on Thursday, March 13. Despite a busy schedule, she took the time to give some interesting insights into her life as the Chancellor and what she hopes to accomplish in the near future.

Frozen Brings Out Your Inner Child

By Jennifer Ferd ‘15

Just in time for the snowman-building season, Disney’s 3-D animated film, Frozen, will bring out the kid in you as you take a musical adventure through the icy kingdom of an everlasting winter wonderland.

New Judging System Denies Badges

By Taulant Kastrati ’15 & Charlynn Trish Ben ’15

Under the new judging guidelines, most seniors in the Science Research program have only earned entrant badges in the Intel STS (Science Talent Search). This digital award, which is one of many, is given to every participant; however, last year’s eleven seniors won more badges than this year’s senior research class.

No fat for you! Bake Sales Limited

By Jesse Grossman ’15 and Diana Grinberg ‘15

There was once a time when one could walk into school and buy a warm bagel and a nice baked good. Now, bake sales are limited to once a month. According to a New York Times article from October 2009, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg restricted all bake sales to once a month.

Alumnus Edits Book On Oil Spill

By Sandy Chen ‘15

Mike Rosen, an alumnus of the Midwood class of 1977, is the editor of the graphic novel Oil and Water. When he graduated from Midwood he thought he knew what he wanted to do in the future, but being an editor was not one of them.

Skedula Becoming Valuable Resource

By Yana Shtapel ‘15

With the help of new online tool named Skedula, students can obtain information faster and easier than before, including an earlier release of student class schedules and report cards.

Speech on Constitution Wins $1,000

By Thomas Tang ‘15

Giovahni Verdieu ’14  was  the only student from Midwood    who competed in the American Legion Oratorical Contest that was held in Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Elmot Long Island.