As part of this fall's newspaper elective, Middle School students examined how reporters engage their audiences and create pieces that incorporate research and varying viewpoints. They also learned about the different forms of newspaper writing, including opinion pieces and investigative journalism. Below Lien, an 8th grader at Capital City, shares a piece she wrote for the newspaper elective class.
Advice for Aspiring Writers
By Lien, 8th Grader at Capital City
As an eighth grader, I plan to be a writer when the time comes for me to choose a profession. In an interview with Ian McEwan, he gives aspiring writers some advice. In the interview, he states that all writers should put aside time to write. “If setting aside time means attending a creative writing program, then that could be quite useful.” McEwan says. Even now I sometimes lock myself in my room and write whatever comes to mind, which is very random. I need to organize my thoughts. Ian also says that it is extremely important to have expectations laid on you as to what you’re going to produce. Some people find it difficult to write a couple stories.
Ian McEwan believes that undergraduate writing programs “seem too soon” for him. “Writers need to read.” he says. He says that writing should be for graduates, it shouldn’t be a course for undergraduates.
He wonders whether there are too many writers in the United States, that they are being cut off from some cities. I wonder that too, now that I’ve thought about it. Are there too many people who love to write in the world? Maybe, but I still want to pursue my goal of becoming a writer, or at least publishing a novel. McEwan also believes that a lot of the writers are English professors. I want to change that, change the face of the writing professors. I know it is a bit cliché, but I really want that.
Whether you want to be a writer or a mathematician or engineer, you should always listen to advice from others. You dont have to take the advice, but it helps not to jump into something without even a little knowledge or experience. Even though this may not be the career choice I actually choose, it’s nice to know what I’m getting into.
First Lady Michelle Obama: "With the education you're getting here at Capital City, you have everything you need to follow every last one of your dreams."
“At Capital City, every student is college material, and the goal is to get the very best education possible,” declared First Lady Michelle Obama, “And this should really be the model for every school in this country.”
First Lady Michelle Obama, as part of her Reach Higher initiative, visited Capital City on December 5th to congratulate seniors on completing college applications and motivate underclassmen to graduate high school and pursue post-secondary education. “Every young person in this country,” said the First Lady, “should have a team of teachers, and counselors and school leaders pushing them and supporting them like you all have here at Capital City.”
The First Lady’s visit coincided with Capital City’s College March in which all 75 seniors mailed college applications cheered on by the entire Capital City community. The seniors started by marching through the Lower School led by the drumline & moving into the gymnasium where 4th – 11th grade students, staff, senior family members, & representatives from Capital City’s Board of Trustees, Office of the State Superintendent for Education, DC Public Charter School Board, & Expeditionary Learning continued to cheer them on as they delivered their applications.
Gerson Quinteros, a 2012 Capital City alumnus who was featured in an articlelast year, had the distinct pleasure to introduce First Lady Obama to the packed gymnasium. In telling his own story, Gerson noted, “College isn’t easy, but Capital City and Expeditionary Learning prepared me.”
NPR's Tools of the Trade blog recently featured Lauren Horton's MS Fitness class and how she gets kids active.
This year, Capital City Public Charter School celebrates 15 years of innovation and excellence in education, and – as the Chair of Capital City’s Board of Trustees – I wanted to take the opportunity to give thanks.
As we reflect during this season of Thanksgiving, there are so many who have supported us in this fifteen year journey. Our work is possible because of the confidence and support with which you have entrusted us, and we are honored to work together to create a high-quality educational experience that graduates young adults who are self-directed, intellectually engaged and possess a commitment to personal and civic responsibility.
Over the past 15 years, we have had the opportunity to educate nearly 5,000 students from the District of Columbia, each of whom has had an opportunity to learn and grow from Capital City’s unique program that emphasizes critical thinking, creativity, and deep learning. Each time I walk through the hallways of the school, I am struck by what a truly special learning environment we have created.
Capital City is a place where:
• Our third graders are learning about the history of gold through the eyes of the Incas and the experience of the Sioux tribe and its relationship with the buffalo in our “Gold, Buffalo, and Identity” expedition.
• Our Middle School students are looking forward to sharing what they’ve learned and accomplished over the semester at their upcoming Celebration of Learning, which reinforces learning and cultivates presentation and public speaking skills.
• All of our high school seniors have mailed at least one college application with the goal of helping to keep Capital City’s college acceptance rate at 100% for the fourth consecutive year. We are also proud that, for the second year in a row, our High School has been recognized as a Tier 1 High Performing School by the DC Public Charter School Board.
We also continue to enjoy the positive learning environment that our new facility has provided us, and are pleased to share that our state-of-the-art facility was recently awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Clearly, we have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, which is a result of the efforts from our entire community—staff, parents, neighbors, volunteers, funders, and my fellow board members.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to personally thank you for your support of Capital City and its mission. We are truly thankful to have you as a member of the Capital City family and look forward to celebrating many more years of innovation and excellence in education.
Board Chair, Capital City Public Charter School
Our school colors may be yellow and blue; however, Capital City is looking a great deal greener these days. This past October, the U.S. Building Council awarded Capital City a LEED Gold certification recognizing our school building for its innovative and sustainable design. By using less water and energy, the building saves money for the school; protects our nation’s water supplies; reduces greenhouse gas emissions; and contributes to a healthier environment for the school community and the city.
The process toward this certification began long before our move to our new building in 2012 . As part of the 7th & 8th grade Green Building Expedition in 2011, students researched sustainable energy sources, “green” materials, and practices that they wanted to see implemented in our new building’s design. They presented their recommendations to our Board of Trustees and Facilities Team and also incorporated their ideas into a book they published called, “Green is the New Black”.
In 2012, working with our building project team that included the architecture firm, Shinberg.Levinas; project management team, Brailsford & Dunlavy; and general contractor, MCN Build; we renovated the former Rabaut Junior High School into our 168,000 square-foot Pre-K3 through 12th grade consolidated facility that currently serves 970 students.
“It was great to see so many of the ideas that were presented by the students implemented into the final building design,” shared Karen Dresden, Head of School. “The recommendations of the students were definitely on my mind when we needed to make decisions in the building process and this pushed us to make greener choices.” Students’ recommendations can be see in many areas of the building, including our energy-efficient, double-pane windows that allow for natural light in our large, bright classroom spaces. Natural light, the students’ research indicated, has the potential to reduce the school’s electricity consumption by 30-45%. Other implementations include the motion-sensor lights, and high-efficiency faucets, hand dryers, and toilets.
"Achieving LEED Gold certification is such an honor and really speaks to the hard work that my classmates put into the Green Building expedition four years ago," says Brandy, now an 11th grader at Capital City. "Seeing our recommendations implemented in our building shows that the school really cares about us and our ideas."