2012 Alternative Break Project
During the 2011 National Convention it was announced that the 2012 Alternative Break Project would be taking place at two locations; SPARK Academy in Newark, NJ and KIPP Spirit College Preparatory in Houston, TX. The project took place in both locations May, 13th to May 19th.
Spark Academy was founded in 2009. During our time at Spark, there were 100 students per level in Kindergarten and 1st grade and grows a grade level per year. The school is open to any students in Newark. Students are academically focused, but also encouraged to excel in additional areas as well. The school has a number of afterschool programs and clubs to encourage outside interests. As part of the KIPP network, they are very college-focused and talk a great deal about college. 87% of students are on free or reduced lunch programs.
KIPP Spirit College Preparatory
KIPP Spirit is a Charter public school. The school was in its 5th year when we visited. Like all KIPP schools, it grows a grade level per year, but grades 5th-8th were fully operational when we visited. KIPP Spirit sits on a shared property with a KIPP elementary and high school. They have an afterschool program during the “extended time” that consists of athletics, dance, and art. They’re looking to expand to also include clubs as well. Again, KIPP is very college focused and that’s evident in their values.
On May 14th, Team Newark and Team Houston made their way to their respective city to begin a week of service. Sarah Alderman, Assistant Director of Member Services, and Ryan DeGuzman, Director of Expansion, led 13 Brothers in Houston. The project in Houston consisted of building an outdoor theater/classroom where students perform plays. Krista Kay, Director of Leadership Advancement, and Nick Christy, Region Consultant, led a team of 8 Brothers in constructing a mural to make the location more kid-friendly, as well as to reflect the values and mission of KIPP. Both teams were able to explore their respective cities after a week of interacting with students and Teach For America Corps Members.
The Alternative Break Project Corps Members
- Tamara Dansby, Epsilon Nu
- Nicole Delhagen, Alpha Epsilon
- Ashley Edmondson, Sigma
- Denise Errickson, Alpha Epsilon
- Jessica Iarocci, Epsilon Nu
- Allison Kirstein, Upsilon
- Aimee Landry, Gamma Theta
- Lauren Lippert, Upsilon
- Meghan Mangrum, Epsilon Delta
- Nicole Nightlinger, Epsilon Omicron
- Macy Terrebonne, Gamma Theta
- Christopher Triplett, Gamma Sigma
- Marjolyn Varano, Delta Kappa
- Sarah Alderman, National Staff
- Ryan DeGuzman, National Staff
- Robert Airey III, Upsilon
- David Berardi, Gamma Chi
- Kaitlyn Ceuninck, Gamma Chi
- Debby Harnishfeger, Beta Zeta
- Nick King, Gamma Pi
- Ellie Crout (Laughinghouse), Tau
- Elisabeth Loeck, Gamma Omega
- Alexander Mosier, Zeta Xi
- Krista Kay, National Staff
- Nick Christy, National Staff
To learn more about the project day to day, visit the 2012 Alternative Break Project Blog.