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How Do Parents Influence Their Child's Outlook on Education

      Today, now more than ever, parents are influencing their child’s outlook on education. Everything from checking their child’s homework to just giving them a pep talk, everything a parent does affects their child. However, according to a New York Times article,

  There’s no question that a great teacher can make a huge difference in a student’s achievement…...But here’s what some new studies are also showing: We need better parents.     Parents more focused on their children’s education can also make a huge difference in a student’s achievement.

As stated above, teacher play a huge role in students education, but parents have an important part to play too. Parents influence their children in a big way, but many of them don’t even realize this. This leads me to my topic: How do parents influence their children’s outlook on education?

        This topic hits very close to home. Both of my parents never received a college education. Because of this, they could not receive well paying jobs. Even though they are able to get by steadily, they remind me everyday how much education is important in order for me to have a good future. I have met and still know many kids who have the same situation as me, but their parents don’t motivate them. Because of this, I see these kids, who have the potential to be great, set education as a non-factor. Not only is this sad to see, but it gets me, and probably other people, infuriated because their parents don’t step in. According to TIME magazine,                      

 What they need to do with their children is much simpler:   talk. But not just any talk. Although well-known research by psychologists Betty Hart and Todd Risley has shown that professional parents talk more to their children than less-affluent parents — a lot more, resulting in a 30 million “word gap” by the time children reach age three — more recent research is refining our sense of exactly what kinds of talk at home foster children’s success at school.

This quote shows that parents, even in the littlest ways, affect their kids. By just talking, some parents give their kids 30 million more words than parents who don’t talk to their kids. I know that every parent wants the best for their child. However, if they don’t take the time to support them or even just talk to them, they won’t see how great their child can become.

                                                     Without parents taking the time to notice their children, they may not see the true scholar within them.

     Another reason why this topic is so important to me is because of the fact that I have friends who I know can be great, but they don’t have any motivation. For example, I have a friend named Trapetas. She is one of the smartest people I know,however, her family doesn’t support or motivate  her in any way.  But even with no support, Trapetas still focuses on school and always gives 110% in everything she does. After noticing this, I knew that parents do not always have to influence their children. Trapetas could have been just like my many other friends who basically gave up on education. She went against what was expected to be her outcome and she inspired me to help people like her. What I mean is that if kids don’t have parents/elders to motivate them, could I give them support? Could I be their “parent” to advise and help them? Questions like these led me to choose this topic.

   In an article by the Washington Post, It states,

               Let’s begin by noticing that the whole question is framed by the extent to which educators think parents ought to be involved.  The parent’s point of view is typically absent from such discussions.  And, of course, no thought is given to the student’s perspective — what role kids might want their parents to play (or to avoid playing).  But then that’s true of so many conversations about education that we scarcely notice its absence.

Essentially, the author is trying to make the point that parent involvement is not really provided because student’s inputs are not looked at. When people think of parent involvement, it’s either two things: parents don’t do enough or they do too much. However, if students were able to make comments on how their parents should be involved, parents would be  to meet their child’s specific needs. But what if kids don’t have parents that are willing to listen? That’s where I step in. As I start to access the needs of students, it becomes clear that I can help them, if only I listen. Many people would look at kids in Philadelphia as kids who are not going to do anything with their lives. Those assumptions will not help them. The first step is must to listen and for these kids I believe in, I will be all ears.

      This topic has been on my mind for a while and now because of this project, I will be able to finally do something about it. I believe that you give everybody the benefit of the doubt until they prove you wrong. You give them a chance and that’s what I am going to do with these students. If everybody else has given up on them, I will be their support. Every child has something great to offer to the world, but they need help to see that and I am prepared to give them that help.

       As this project goes along, not only will I be able to figure out the problems kids face with education, but I will be able to build a support systems with these kids. Even if their parents don’t support them, I will show them that they still have people that care and will work hard to see them succeed. Like I said before, I believe that every child has something to offer to the world, but they need people to just push them to their own greatness.

        Thanks for reading my blog and watch out for follow- up blogs 2 and 3!

You can look at my annotated bibliography here.

My topic is hunger.

Hey, my name is Fodie Camara. My topic is hunger. I choose this topic of hunger because I want to know all about hunger and how it affects people  in differents ways. When I learn it, I want to tell people and try to stop hunger. I will spread the information around to teach people about hunger and many different.

We have many different groups in Philadelphia to stop hunger or support food to programs. We have Stop Hunger Now, Coalition against Hunger,  Philabundance. They all have one motto, is to stop hunger and feed people who don’t have enough meals in Philadelphia. They try their best to help people without food or in some type in trouble.

Stop Hunger Now works with  international partners that ship and gives meals in country.

Volunteers come and package the meals. They serves 70% of its meals to provide programs such as school feeding programs, vocational training programs, early childhood development programs, orphanages, and medical clinics. Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger program that has been promised to stop hunger for more than 15 years. They working with school and after school programs will try to stop poverty.

Philabundance was created in 1984. Philabundance works with families hit hard by the recession. They work with seniors trying to make ends meet. They are the largest hunger group. They are now able to address hunger through direct service such as food cupboards, emergency kitchens, shelters, and many more. Philabundance has take hunger really serious in Delaware Valley. They use Food donations, and the community. Philabundance helps 72,000 people per week.


Modern Effects of Teen Violence YATW BLOG 1

For one of our English assignments, we are to choose any issue in the world that we care about. After researching it more, we are to write about our topic in three blog posts and this is my first. For my “You and The World” project, I chose to do how a modern society plays its effect in the violence of youth, specifying Philadelphia. Youth violence is a young person either witnessing, commencing or being a victim of harmful behavior according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and each aspect of a modern society affects it. This drew my interest because of the people around me. The adults are always talking about how horrible and corrupt our future generation's mind are. Most times, they say how this was seldom to occur while they were being raised yet, is becoming increasingly common in today's society.


In urban cities especially, teenagers are beginning to play a more and more important role in crime rate statistics, a lot of times being the major contributors in data that include homicides, suicides, assaults and shootings. Younger age groups are also included in violent situations. In one story, a 10 year old boy punched his teacher in the face after having a BB gun in his locker the week before. With 10 being the youngest age which a child can be arrested, the boy was charged with assault and put on probation. His mother claimed that his neighborhood contributed to his violent behavior, which was said to contain many prostitutes and drugs. To view more situations like this, please read the Inquirer's article. Both the drug and prostitute businesses are growing, causing more to be around. If they were to be the cause of one child’s violence, imagine how more are becoming the cause of another’s.


The risk factors of a violent adolescent can range anywhere from a low IQ to a lack of family interaction to a low economic status. This means that almost anyone can participate in violent activities. It isn't helping any that peer pressure is becoming increasingly relevant in today's society. Peer pressure can take the form of a simple threat over text or post on social media. On social media, teenagers tend to brag about some of the bad things that happened to them, they saw happen or they did. This can influence younger people to want and take part in actions such as street fights and assaults, only creating a cycle of acts like this. A few years ago, in Audenried High School, a girl knew that a fight was coming, not only viewing the girls and boys preparing to fight, but reading the week before the Facebook post that was sent nearly promoting the fight. Click here to view the full article. Social media and technology is a large influence on violence in youth and is an increasing cause for it.


This chart shows the percent change of homicide victims from 2007-2012 for each year.


    Our generation of young people are affected by today’s society. They are the ones contributing to our violent environment. In the future, I hope to find more recent statistics to share. It’s a little challenging to find charts, graphs, and statistics that are about my topic because they aren’t recent. All of my questions aren’t answered either, so more resources would help too. I hope to find and check out books related to my topic so that I can continue to share information with everyone also. The more that I can find and share information, the better the chances are for a less violent adolescent group.




YATW Blog #1 Shortage of Donors for African American, Latino, and Mixed People


               The Shortage of Donors for African American,Latino and Mixed people with cancer


Hi my name is Niah Lombo and I go to Science Leadership Academy. I am a student in Miss.Dunn’s English class; In this class we were asked to research issues that are important to us and then express how we could bring awareness to others by starting a blog about it... This is the first of three blogs that I will be posting my thoughts & concerns. I choose to blog about the sad statistics of the shortage of bone marrow donors for African American,Latino and Mixed races with cancer.I am trying to bring awareness to this issue so more people will donate and save someones life.

Everyday thousands of people die from cancer because they can’t find a donor match.When you are diagnosed with cancer your family members have a 30% chance of being a match but the rest 70% is relied on strangers. Patients are most likely to find a compatible donor within their own racial and ethnic background.

"The truth is, when people of different backgrounds marry and produced offspring, it creates more types that are harder to match."

I am interested in this topic because when I was 9 years old my older sister was diagnosed with leukemia and later died because they could not find a donor in time.The doctors informed us because she was Latina, her chances were slim to find a match. There are so many other people with the same story; for example there is J’sons and Leni who is still looking for a match.The main issue is that minority children are dying because there are mainly Caucasian donors.

little Leni Hsiao, a 4-month-old girl who has endured incredible challenges since her birth.

This topic is significant because more children of ethnic backgrounds are diagnosed with cancer, and most of them die. In 2010 more than 400,000 African Americans, 300,000 Hispanic, and 290,000 mixed women’s died from cancer. Caucasians had the lowest number for death in 2010.

"So many donor programs has been pushing for years to recruit more racial minorities and mixed race donors. So far, multiracial volunteers make up just 3 percent of the 7 million people on the registry"

Caucasian patients have an almost 90% chance of finding a good match.  “ But minority patients have only about 45% chance” said Carol Gillespie, executive director of the Asian American Donor program in Alameda.

Percentage of ethnic groups on the national Registry:

  • African American, 7%

  • Asian/Pacific Islander, 7%

  • Hispanic, 10%

  • Native American, 1%

  • Multi-Racial, 4%

  • Caucasian, 73%

What I wonder is that how many more people need to die before everyone sees the issue that African Americans, Hispanics and mixed people are fighting for their lives every day hoping to find a match? As I go on with this project I hope to find ways that I could help to build awareness on this topic.

Bibliography here:


Water to Wine and Back Again, an article on marine pollution and protection of marine animals blog#1

protection of aquatic Animals & Environments

  The water on our planet works in a cycle, and every waterway connect to another. This grants many species to migrate throughout the world, but this also makes pollution in any body of water a problem.  All it takes is a single piece of trash to take a life. Animals world wide suffer from the pollution created by humans. The world is extremely fragile and we need to be at the very least aware of what we are doing to it.

It’s not only major corporations that are responsible for polluting the environment that animals need to survive in. According to the Clean Air council, “Every year, Americans use approximately 102.1 billion plastic bags, creating tons of landfill waste.” Some environments have become so polluted that it’s even hostile to humans. Even some of everyday waist can lead to a higher risk of cancer. To see a chart of contaminations and what illnesses they can lead to click here. In the United States of America and the majority of the first world; we need to understand that the phrase “Out of sight, out of mind.” doesn’t apply to this problem.



                                 Water Pollution in Bangladesh, to see more pictures click here

There are many grants and laws set to protect pollution but some things aren’t enough. Although the Safe Drinking Water Act protects American sources, it only protects our drinking water, and not the water of the marine life. Perhaps one of the most famous aquatic environmental destroyers is BP or British Petroleum. On April 20th, 2010  high pressured methane gas poured into the gulf of Mexico, destroying an exceptional amount of wildlife. As of July 9th 2013 BP had spent $25 billion, PBS stated, but that doesn’t bring back the thousands of marine animals that died from the pollution. For more information on the BP oil spill click here. However, BP isn’t the only source responsible for marine destruction. Whaling, a common activity done in many asian countries like Japan, is another source that’s done, even when it’s opposed by the U.N. Whales are a huge part of the Marine cycle and without whales the possibility of krill rapidly arrises. Krill live off the same nutrients that many other micro-organisms need to live. This could end with many more marine animals on the endangered species list.

Wetlands are homes for almost infinite number of life, spanning from crane to small bacterial animals. Since the European settlement of the United States, 53% of wetlands in America have disappeared according to WARPT. Wetlands are destroyed to aid the growth of urban communities. On top of the destruction of wetlands, the creation of factories, farms, and towns creates a large amount of waste that potentially endangers aquatic and semi-aquatic animals. Tourist can also endanger marine environments; scuba divers and scouclers can bring humans dangerously close to marine environments that are already extremely fragile. Since the boom of gasoline, growth of technology, and the expanse of human population, we as a species have hurt our ocean more than any other species boom.

There are many groups and organizations set to help protect marine life in danger of extinction, and thanks to them the blue whale has made a major come back and is even close to being excluded from the endangered animals list; but for every one  animal taken off of the list there is a predicted 3 to be on the list by 2018. Sometimes the damage is abstract; a less common form of extinction is a functional extinction. This means that a species is only alive and functioning in captivity. Some Famous functionally extinct animals are northern salmon and the albino crocodile.

You don’t need to give money, or start a major protest, all you need to do is care. Just be an advocate for the world; when you see a piece of trash just pick it up. The world is a fragile place and it’s so easy to destroy but we can make a change. As human beings we can do amazing things when we put in effort; if everyone tried to make a difference for just one day we could reverse 25% of potential damage done to marine life. As human beings we can take the damage we have already done and fix it.

Annotated bibliography


YATW Poor In Afghanistan

 Hello, my name is Haisha Hahsy and I am a freshman at Science leadership  academy in Philadelphia, PA. Now is a point in our English class to show what we care about and how we want to change it by helping our subject. I chose helping the poor in Afghanistan. I have always cared about Afghanistan no matter what people have said or thought about there because; I know the real story that I want to share with all so they can see what I do and so they can help. This personal touches me because I am from Afghanistan and have visited there multiple times and some of the people you see and the stories they tell make you cry. The thing that bothers me is that how can I help them? Now is my chance to help my people the innocent people of Afghanistan. The poor in Afghanistan are not poor because of a mistake or have made the wrong decision and ended up being in the wrong place. In Afghanistan it’s a different story, war and invasions has done this to them they can't do anything about it either, no matter how hard they try working. It just gets harder they work and try but they seem not to get anywhere one huge cause is they don't receive enough  money and the price of things are more than some can afford and the prices are just going higher like food and clothes.

         During the 19th century, Afghanistan was invaded twice from the Britain and India. During the First Anglo- Afghan War of 1878-1880 and again in the Second Anglo- Afghan War both times with the goal of blocking Russian influence in the country and conquering local tribal leaders. For the entire time, tribal cross-border warfare was nonstop, and parts of the Pashtun homeland were taken by the British and India and referred to as the North-West Frontier Province. Finally they got defeated and then in 1919 independence came from Britain. Afterwards the Russians invaded in for 10 years till they got defeated. Then the Freedom fighters started fighting for 6 years. Then the Taliban fighted for 6 years till they got defeated as well. Finally after 9/11 all this war stop, the 30 years of war had stopped and come to end. President Karzai was elected as president and still is president till today in Afghanistan. But in this 30 years of war Afghanistan, it has still have not healed all its wounds. Because as soon as they would rebuild Afghanistan after every war another invaded; and now they are at a point where they just are starting to give up. To help and heal the wounds like we should, we need and should help the ones who are less unfortunate. $1 there is 55 rupees. So if you give $10 it would be 550 rupees that could be a whole meal for a whole family of 3 or 4.

               Quoted from The Child Fund International Fund “ Beyond The War”


          “The war in Afghanistan — preceded by decades of conflict — has had a profound impact on many families. Insurgent attacks, complex international governance and enduring poverty have made life in Afghanistan particularly challenging for millions of children. Many families who fled the country in earlier years have gradually returned to Afghanistan, but are greeted with poor infrastructure, including a lack of health-care facilities, substandard sanitation and not enough clean water.”


The amount of fear in U.S. is nothing compared to what we have seen in Afghanistan

Some of the children just to start with,don't even have clean water at points to drink. We don't fear as much we have the ability to not worry as much.

Time World,  “The Dead Afghan’s Tale” a story that shakes my brain


             “ Abdul Basit has seen what no 7-year-old should see. He saw the dead body of his father Yoldash, an Afghan police officer, who was chopped up into six pieces by the Taliban and left to rot in the sun for nearly 30 days in western Farah province. The Afghan government did not even send a search or rescue mission for him. When Basit and his uncle Gul-Murad finally arrived to pick up the corpse, Yoldash’s two hands and half of his torso were missing.”

The children here can get a childhood so easily even if you don't try too hard. Here everyone is focused on things so far in the future, when in Afghanistan, they just focus on tomorrow.  Afghanistan no matter how hard you try you can't get a regular childhood there is always something corrupting it. The children there don't even have a childhood. Those  children have seen things that no one should have to see no matter what a

But the children are not the only ones facing disaster as Globalgiving  “Save Poor Afghan Families” says


        “Millions of poor Afghans are in danger of starving during the winters or after natural disasters or displacement because of the lack of food. The situation is acute because they do not have jobs, food or homes elsewhere. The poorest Afghans have no electricity or money for fuel and food.”

Poor Afghans in Afghanistan with no jobs, food or homes face starvation in the winter, things only get worse and nothing gets better and when they get sick all they can do is pray to get better. Most poor Afghans die because of sickness and not being able to get food or medicine. When Afghans try to work there is little jobs to get at and when they do find work its not enough money; to feed or reach the whole family its barely enough for one person what will it make feed and cloth a whole family?

         Fear, not having a childhood, extreme poverty are not thing we really have to face in this country. Think about if you had to be afraid. Think about if you didn't have a good childhood. Think about if you had to go through extreme poverty. Wouldn't you want someone to help you? Stay tuned for the next blog post to know more about ways you could help.

The waters of Afghanistan so dirty that can be better

Children enjoying the water they can receive
Beyond the War: Poverty in Afghanistan
Here is my annotated- bibliography   
1 Comment

Therapy For Chronically Ill Children

Hello, I’m Ona Brown.I’m a freshmen at Science Leadership Academy.In my English 1 Class we were asked to chose a topic that we were concerned about and write about it .The topic I chose was therapy for chronically ill children. After my research I found that music and smiling are very therapeutic. I know I can’t cure the illnesses they have, but lifting their spirits and getting their minds off of their situations can help.


Smiling is a form of therapy.It takes more muscles to frown than to smile.When you smile your brain excites the left anterior of it then triggers two muscles in your face to rouse.The zygomatic major which is in your cheek tug your lips upward and the orbicularis oculi which encircle the eye socket squeezes the corners of your lips.When you smile a chemical called edorphins is released into your brain, that makes you happy. I’m interested in this topic, because I love to make people laugh and smile.Especially those that are going through such life altering things. To be able to help them take their mind off of their problems makes me feel wonderful. I think is amazing that people can go through the most horrible things, but still manage to be happy and thankful for everything at the end of the day.It inspires me to go on and endure any problem I’m faced with.

(This is a sick cancer patient that is playing the drum as a form of Music therapy.)

This issue is so important, because children are going through these life threatening illnesses and some of them need hope to stay strong. Musical activities and reading are therapeutic.Music helps your memory and it changes your mood, which would really help the patients.The connection between the human brain and music is very strong.When you listen to music our ears convert the sound waves into “ear movement” by moving certain parts of your ear the movement is turned into electrical signals that go through the eighth cranial nerve then  into the brain.They travel all over the brain this affects your emotion.

(Here is a picture of the inside of our brain and how music has an affect on it.)

A great deal of patients use music to find peace. Even though their physical bodies are not able to do certain things their minds are still able to soar.Their physical limitations do not limit their imagination and their minds. Playing musical instruments help enhance your hand and eye coordination. All these activities are helpful to the patient in its own way.

Zach Sobiech was a 18 year old teen. He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma an unusual bone cancer. He used music as an outlet. He found peace with his guitar.He enjoyed writing songs.Music kept him strong through the all the treatments.He wrote and performed songs.It gave him a sense of courage and hope.He never gave up and still kept a smile on his face. Zach said, “I wanted to be remembered as a kid that went down fighting, and really didn't lose”. We should all have the same attitude as Zach in life.

Music and being happy can have a great impact on chronically ill patients. They are forms of therapy and help the brain while actually helping pass  time in the hospital.They encourage and give hope when you think its all gone. Chronically ill patients will always inspire me. From here I would like to look into organizations that go to hospitals and perform for the patients and entertain them. I would really enjoy making some of the children smile.

Click Here for the Annotated Bibliography


YATW #1: People aren't ready for a major storm. Here's why.

Hurricane Sandy caused more than 4.6 billion dollars in damage. That’s 217 thousand years of work for somebody making minimum wage and working 8-hour days and weekends. That’s just what FEMA paid out in insurance money and aid to states. That doesn't count the losses in property, medical bills, and productivity from states Vermont to North Carolina having declared states of emergency. All in all, Sandy was one of the three most expensive hurricanes in recorded US history, said CNBC.

It’s okay if hurricanes aren’t exactly on your mind right now.What you might not realize is that Sandy had its 1-year anniversary in late October. And yet, a quick google search yields results mostly for the similarly-named Sandy Hook shooting at time of writing. Why is this so? My personal guess is that while gun control will always be a hot-button issue, no hurricanes have nailed the mid-atlantic in the past year. Despite this, the risk of further hurricanes will only grow as the sea level rises, which poses a hazard for people living from the Caribbean to Cape Cod.

Although there is a storm survival kit available on NOAA subsidiary, I had not heard of it despite the fact that I’ve been riding out storms in Sea Isle since I was very young. While I can only assume that some people were prompted to collect the things on the list by Sandy’s arrival, many probably did not go through the hassle of collecting all of the items. It also doesn’t help that I had to follow three links in order to get to the list. One must want to know how many people could jump through those hoops to get the list, and how many of those who did actually obtained the contents of the list.

It’s a simple chain. News outlets don’t report on the hurricanes after they’ve happened. People forget about the disasters, and stop being prepared. Then, the next hurricane comes and people have only a few days to prepare. With so few people and properties ready, the hurricane arrives and causes millions of dollars in damage. An amazing fact you may not realize is that 2013 was the first year this decade in which a major hurricane did not hit the mid-atlantic region.

Hurricanes can and have caused billions of dollars in damage all over the Eastern Seaboard. This even though the media don’t report on the phenomenon of extreme storms outside of directly when they’re happening. This, combined with the hassle of getting the recommended items, can cause people to not be ready for the storms. This contributes to the damage storms deal, which makes the media hype up storms more, making them not good stories for later. That is why people aren’t ready for the storms, and why that is a bad thing.


YATW Blog Post #1 - Literacy In Philadelphia

Hi, my name is Adlynn Gonzalez, I am currently a student at Science Leadership Academy, and this is my You and The World blog. In our English class we are required to choose a topic that we care about and write 3 blogs about it. My topic is Literacy in Philadelphia. This is important to me because I grew up loving to read, thanks to my mother and my grade school (they were big advocates of reading). My earliest memory of reading was when I was in kindergarten, and I read Are You My Mother by Dr. Seuss to my classmates. In the grades 5th-8th, I was part of Reading Olympics; which is a city wide reading competition. So you could basically say that reading has been important to me all my life.

People who read passionately usually tend to have higher GPA’s, are usually smarter, and have more general knowledge than those who don’t. It also improves writing skills and increases vocabulary ( Knowing how to read is also important when you’re applying for a job, or when you have an interview for college.

According to the Philadelphia Eagles Youth Partnership Eagles Book Mobile, which is an organization made by the Philadelphia Eagles to promote reading in schools:

  • 25% of Americans cannot read a book to their child.

  • Approximately 45% of children in Philadelphia's public schools are not reading at grade level by 4th grade.

  • If students cannot read well by the end of 3rd grade, chances for future school success greatly diminish. Illiteracy increases delinquent behavior and school dropout rates.

Overall that means about 79,250,000 Americans are unable to read to their children. It also means that about half of Philadelphia’s public schools’ children aren’t up to par when it comes to reading. These statistics are just simply appalling and not something Philadelphians and Americans should be proud of.

So what is the issue at hand? Is it just general laziness on the children’s behalf? Are parents lazy and just don’t want to read to their kids? Do teachers simply not care enough to enforce how important reading is? Are kids unmotivated to read? Answers are that children are both unmotivated and lazy. They say it’s “boring”, “not fun”, “too hard”, and “ not important”. Parents say “ they don’t have time”. Teachers say they teach but do we really know what’s going on in those childrens’ classes?

If we want the future generations of Philadelphia to not only get their reading scores back up to what they should be, but to love reading again then we have to do something about it. We need to know why children are getting disinterested in reading,when they are getting disinterested, and how to get them interested in it again.  All I want is for the children of Philadelphia to love to read again and to show them how important reading is. Stay tuned for my next blog to see ways that we can help Philadelphia’s children with reading.

Here are some websites:

The Importance Of Reading Aloud

Why Children Don’t Read

My Annotated Bibliography

What is Leukemia? -YATW Blog post #1

Hello, my name is Talya Laver and I am a freshman at Science Leadership Academy. In our English class we are working on a project entitled You and The World. This project gets us to think about an issue that is meaningful to us and what we could do to fix it. The issue that I chose was Leukemia. Leukemia, as well as Lymphoma, Myeloma and Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS), are all blood cancers. I have chosen this topic because my aunt recently passed away after a three year battle with Leukemia. She was one of my inspirations and I was very struck by the way she faced her disease; with constant determination and positivity. I hope to educate people about what blood cancers actually are and help to raise money to find a cure.

Blood cancers are caused by changes in the DNA of one stem cell. That cell then multiplies and accumulates, interfering with the productiveness of the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. When your white blood cells are affected, you can no longer fight infection as well. These mutated cells affect bone marrow, blood cells, lymph nodes and other parts of the lymphatic system. Leukemia, specifically, is caused by a change of the DNA in a white blood cell.

There are two categories in which a specific type of Leukemia can be sorted into; Acute Leukemia and Chronic Leukemia. Acute Leukemia progresses very quickly and is more common. Chronic Leukemia worsens slowly over time. Within    those two categories there are two different types of Leukemia. The two types of Acute Leukemia are Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia starts in the white blood cells and affects the lymphocytes. Lymphocytes flow in the bloodstream to help fight infection. When they do not mature properly, they can no longer fight infection. Acute Myeloid Leukemia can start in many types of developing blood cells. It affects myeloid stem cells, which later mature into red blood cells, platelets or myeloblasts. Myeloblasts later turn into white blood cells. Acute Myeloid Leukemia prohibits the myeloid cells from maturing the way they should and myeloblasts do not go on to become white blood cells which help fight infection; leaving the carrier susceptible and unable to defend themselves. The two types of chronic leukemia are Chronic Myeloid Leukemia and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Chronic Myeloid Leukemia is very similar to Acute Myeloid Leukemia with the exception that the disease progress more slowly because in the beginning some of the blood cells mature and work properly. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia is identified by the presence of too many abnormal lymphocytes found in the bloodstream. These abnormal cells crowd around the healthy cells prohibiting the production of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. All four of these types of leukemia will result in death if the proper treatment is not received. 


                                   This diagram shows the the breakdown of the different types of  

           Leukemia diagnosed in 2013 in both adults and children.

The best course of treatment for Leukemia depends upon many things: the type of Leukemia, the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed, the patients age, and the patients general health. The goal of the treatment is to target the Leukemia cells and kill them, allowing healthy cells to grow in their place. A patient is considered “in remission” when there are no longer any signs of Leukemia cells. Normally the first plan of attack for patients with Acute Leukemia is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy attacks the Leukemia with the use of drugs, which are normally received in stages. In the event that the cancer had spread to the brain or spinal cord, intrathecal chemotherapy attacks the cells in these areas by injecting the drugs directly into the spinal canal. Radiation can also be used to treat acute leukemia. Radiation therapy targets the cancer cells with large amounts of radiation, and can also be used to target Leukemia cells in the spinal cord or brain.  For people that have high-risk Leukemia, doctors may suggest a stem cell transplant. Stem cell transplants destroy all of the cells in the bone marrow, both good and bad, and replaces them with new, healthy cells. Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia may choose not to pursue treatment right away because the cancer progresses much slower. When the patient decides to pursue treatment, there are a few different ways to target the cancer and the course of action is decided upon by the patients doctor. Radiation therapy can be used to destroy cancer cells or to shrink swollen lymph nodes or spleen. Chemotherapy can also be pursued should that course of treatment best attack the cancer cells in a patient. The cancer cells can also be targeted with a monoclonal antibody to destroy or stop the growth of the cancer cells. Patients with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia should receive treatment right away because the gene can develop more mutations that make the cancer more resistant to treatment. The first course of treatment is targeted with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, a drug to help fight the cancer. More treatment options can include chemotherapy and biological therapy. Biological therapy includes medicines given to a patient to help improve their body’s natural defences against the cancer. To learn more about treatment options, please read this overview of Leukemia treatment options.  

Many organizations have been dedicated to helping Leukemia patients and trying to find a cure for Leukemia. One of these organizations is The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Their goal is to both find a cure for Leukemia and Lymphoma as well as improve the quality of life for patients and their families. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society also publishes a lot of information about Leukemia and Lymphoma if you are interested in learning more about either type of cancer. The National Children’s Leukemia Foundation’s main goal is to find a cure for Leukemia that can help everyone regardless of race, religion or ethnicity, with a focus on children. The Moffitt Center, located in Florida, treats cancer patients as well as researches to find cures for different types of cancers. The chart located below shows their success rate as well as the national success rates for patients with all four types of Leukemia. All of these organizations, as well as many others, accept donations to help find a cure.


To view the works cited, click here.

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Effects of Adoption 1 Blog

My name is Tuyet, or Tea. I am writing this blog for my English class. I go to a school called Science Leadership Academy. My assignment is to write a blog about a topic I want to find out more about or something I am passion it about. I will also do outside project about this topic. Its called You In the World. My topic is The Effects of Adoption. Adoption is something that I wanted to talk about because I was adopted from Vietnam and I had a hard time with being adopted.

"Adoption" For some that would means hope. Others that means a life. There are many children and young teens that are without a home and are in adoption programs across the world. This topic hits home for me because I was adopted. I know for me adoption made me feel different. So I wanted to find out how adoption has effected others. Adoption opens a lot of doors for children and teens but adoption can also close doors. Everyone has a story to tell and this blog is to show how adoption can change someone for life.

We are different from others. Most cases children don't get to chose who they live with. Sometimes there are families that take adopted kids in and treat them different from their own blood. There is a question I want to answer before I really get in to adopting and the effects. This question is What's the difference between foster care and adoption. Foster care and adoption are two different things but have a common line between them. There are kids involved in adoption we are given away by our parents where as foster care is where kids are given to a family for a period of time then are given back to their parents. There are some cases where a child would be given to the state and put in foster care and then be put up for adoption because their parents have some reason on why they wouldn't be able to take them out of foster care.

I know what adoption can do to some. This site explains why We sometime don't understand why we are not with our family that were supposed to rise us. I know I am not the only one who has gone through this. When children are adopted they get a roof over their heads and a family that wants to care for them for life. Children know where the have been and understand that they are not blood bond to the people they are with. They also know that even though they are not blood bond to these people they understand that they are loved. Children that are adopted mature very quickly. My best friend in sixth grade went through a really hard time with his family because he felt out of place. He always acted older then his age he wanted a wall between him and his family. Now I can't say I been through the same but there was a point I felt I wasn't wanted. But as I grow I have learned that no matter what petty problems my family loves me and I love them.


I wanted to share my story about the way I handled being adopted. But their are a lot of children who also have stories. So here is their stories and tide bites about what being adopted is like. There has been a long history of adoption in the world. Adoption was not always about building a family or growing a family. In the past kids used to be adopted to become slaves. I found an article abut adoption and it history. History of adoption I believe we can learn a lot on how modern as well as the past had adoption. 

atoned bibliography

This picture is from an event from an adoption charity called Paul's Kids. 

This charity connected me to my family.


You and the World: Philly's Dirty Streets

Hi, my name is Colin Pierce and I’m a freshman at Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. For English this quarter, we have been assigned to research and write a blog about how to combat a recent problem in our society. I decided to address the large amounts of litter in our streets because it seems to have gone out of control in the past few years. It’s degrading to our city and harmful to our ecosystem.

According to this CBS Philly article, Philadelphia was ranked as the “second dirtiest city in the U.S., according to a recently released survey by Travel and Leisure magazine”, and this isn’t just a baseless claim. If you take a walk in South Philly, you can see trash everywhere like it’s on display! You see it in the gutters, in plants, window boxes, in storm drains, and even on people’s porches! It’s not just that it’s making our city look ugly, either. Litter is also making its way into the Schuylkill River and interfering with marine life, which is shown below.

This photo, showing trash in the Schuylkill River, was This diagram from The Living Ocean shows

       taken in 2005.     how exactly trash affects marine life.

This trash won’t just disappear. If we keep going on like this without making some sort of effort to fix these mistakes, then we can say goodbye to clean drinking water, goodbye to all of our resources, and hello to the rodents and bugs that are attracted to what we leave out. If we continue on this path, then soon we’ll end up having to wear gas masks to work and having smog days instead of snow days, like in China. It seems so easy to not litter, too! There’s trash and recycle bins at almost every corner, and even weekly trash pickup, so why aren't people taking advantage? Is there anything we could do to encourage people to be cleaner? If you have any ideas, leave a comment or go to the Philadelphia Streets website here for more information.

For a complete list of resources, check out my annotated bibliography.

YATW Blog#1: Music

Makhi Richburg


In middle school, I took part in an extracurricular program called Play On Philly, or POP. POP started in 2011. It was a music program that was fairly socially intuitive. In fact, I made many friends from different grades there and between my colleagues and I, there was a family bond between us. Students that were in POP had to go 5 times a week for at least 2 hours during the weekdays. The teachers’ teaching skills were phenomenal. They would play the song so that you get the idea of how it sounds, then they’d start the students out slow and have them play parts of the piece separately  

Being there was always the highlight of my day because I enjoyed learning about music let alone playing an instrument. The instrument that I played was the viola, like the violin but bigger and one different string. The best parts of being apart of the program were the places we’ve traveled for our concerts. We’ve been to many places: Mann Center, nursing homes, New Jersey, Kimmel Center, Baltimore, etc. We’ve even played with Sir Simon Rattle, a world famous conductor.

To show my gratitude for all the great times I’ve had and for the knowledge I’ve gained at POP, I’m going to assist the younger kids with their musical studies. The younger kids are the future of POP and if they get a boost of knowledge from an excellent young musician like myself, the outcome can be extraordinary.

Music is important because it is beneficial to the mind. Playing an instrument increases one’s intelligence, problem solving skills, enhances their hand-eye coordination, increases memory capacity, improves discipline, builds self-esteem, etc. In general, music is therapeutic. It can change your mood and can even change your entire worldview. There’s been plenty of tests and comparisons between a musician and non-musicians and they all end up with the musician having a brain that’s smarter and more active. It’s evident that music is highly influential!

Being a musician has multiple benefits and I recommend all non-musicians to play an instrument. If music generally can make anyone smarter, imagine the minds of people who have been surrounded by music since the beginning of their lives. I want to give the children in POP a jumpstart to benefit their futures. Not only will they be incredibly intelligent people, but they are likely to be living happy and calm lives because of how therapeutic music is.

Annotated Bibliography

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Blog #1 Toby Mast

Malaria is a parasitic disease that is carried by mosquitoes. The disease is most common in Africa  and southwest  Asia (especially in tropical countries). In 2012, more than half a million children were killed by this deadly disease. The horrible part about this is they could have been saved. One dollar can buy a life saving treatment that will save a child with malaria. Bed nets prevent the disease from spreading and save people sleeping under them. Also multiple vaccines are close to success and with more funding there could be complete eradication of the disease.  Despite an impending solution, every 60 seconds a child dies as the parasite destroys their body. According to the Lancet  (a medical journal) malaria is one of the top ten causes of death we could prevent.

Miliaria starts in the saliva of the mosquito. When the mosquito bites a human, the mosquito injects its saliva numbing the wound. The parasite enters the bloodstream with the salvia. Then the parasite travels through the blood and into the liver. The parasite lives there for a year maturing and re-enters the bloodstream. The parasite enters red blood cells and reproduces  inside of the cells until they rupture. The destruction of red blood cells eventually

The malaria parasite destroying red blood cells

From: medilinks.blogspot

                Here you can see the malaria cycle


kills the human unless their immune system manages to kill the parasite. This is why malaria is deadly to children, the elderly or the weak who are more likely to have weaker immune systems.

Unique components of malaria are what causes difficulties in eradication. For example, mosquitoes are killed in one area in an expensive endeavour to eliminate mosquito born diseases. A year later when the mosquito population returns, the parasite within the liver could mature and enter the bloodstream. The infected person is bitten by the mosquito and some of the parasites are pulled back into the mosquito. The next person the mosquito bites receives the parasite.

in this diagram, the Malaria spreads as one person is bitten multiple times, then the mosquitoes that bite other humans spreading the disease. This pattern would continue making the spread exponential.

Another part of the disease that makes it deadly is the difficulty  to diagnose without a blood test. Almost all the symptoms could be from more common diseases, and require thorough examination or an expansive blood test to diagnose. The final

The symptoms of malaria are very common in many diseases excluding spleen enlargement. This image is from medilinks.blogspot

examination or an expansive blood test to diagnose. The final reason it is difficult to eradicate is it will requires a unique vaccine. The vaccine would ideally need to:

- have a  way to effectively transport without the need for liquid nitrogen

-Be versatile and convert to face multiple subspecies of malaria.

-be inexpensive and easy to manufacture

-have less than 3 treatments

-have a high percentage of prevention

Despite the difficulty, there are organizations that work to create vaccines. One organization is known as PATH Malaria vaccine initiative. They fund promising research for vaccines and help them move to the approval process. There is hope: there is a vaccine that would save millions of lives. The problem is  according to MVI, it would take half a billion dollars to eradicate.

Therefore, the making of these vaccines is not eminent. They will be made later while in the mean time people slowly die while a dollar could buy life-saving treatment. In the  program called the Power of One,  a dollar treatment will be given to a dying child. Bed nets prevent the the spreading and original infection. Malaria treatments have saved 5.1 million people. You could save another and take a step to make the world a better place.

See my bibliography

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Una Entrevista: Claudia, Graciela y Daniela

Para este proyecto tuvimos a hacer una video de una entrevista. Por ese unidad hicimos resúmenes y hablábamos sobre que queremos ser cuando estamos grande. Este entrevista toma todo lo que hicimos y puso en un solo proyecto. En este entrevista, Claudia quiere una trabaja con Kreidie Arqutecturas, una negocio muy popular en Filadelfia. ¡Esperamos que le gustas este entrevista y tienes una día buena!
Click here to view the interview!
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YATW Blog #1: Late Effects in Childhood Cancer

Hi, my name is Imani Weeks. I am a 9th grader at Science Leadership Academy. For English, we have started a year long project called You and the World (YATW). We had to choose a subject to write about in three blog posts and I chose childhood cancer. I especially focused on late effects of childhood cancer. Childhood cancer is something that people don’t like to talk about. I believe (and others might agree with me) that though those who have childhood cancer are some of bravest people and that they deserve to live. However, sometimes there are side effects to the treatment they receive to help battle the cancer cells.

     Child undergoing chemotherapy 

First we need to talk about childhood cancer. Many children are diagnosed with cancer every year, 13,500 to be more exact. 1/5 children who are diagnosed do not survive. Though over the past 40 years survival rate has gone up from 10% to 80%. 3/5 children who survive suffer illnesses afterwards.
These illnesses after survival are known as late effects, late effects are caused by the chemotherapy. Some late effects are a second cancer occurring, the first cancer coming back, or heart and lung damage. It may seem like the odds are against you when 
you get late effects but kids and their family learn to cope. In 
the article, 
“For childhood cancer survivors, the gift of life can carry new challenges” some late effects statistics were noted: 

“St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital research shows that 80 percent of 
adults who beat cancer as kids have a chronic, perhaps life-threatening health condition by the time they reach age 45. More than half have heart abnormalities 
by that age. Another 65 percent have impaired lung function,and 48 percent have memory impairment.”

That means that most people go, for quite some time in their life, thinking they have beaten the odds then the late effects start to show; and it seems like most of these late effects are serious problems. Hopefully in the future, doctors will be able to find a way to use chemotherapy without the occurrence of late effects later in life so that when someone beats cancer, they beat it for real!

Be sure to read my next post!


All about me

Tech Power point about Myself
My slide represents me. I chose purple for the background because it is my favorite color and it compliments the the letters. Simply amazing and my name are big because I did not want to leave out a lot of open space. Also I needed them to even each other out. On the sides I have a picture of me and my favorite quote on the other to even out both sides. 
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Depression and Parenting: You and The World

Hello, my name is Mark Gucciardi-Kriegh, and this is my You and the World project for my ninth grade English class. We had to choose and write about a topic we care about, and I chose depression. This is the first of three blog posts on the topic. I am interested in it because a few of my friends have depression and they feel their parents don’t understand them. A problem is parents often ignore depression and think of it as just a phase. Depression affects millions of Americans each year and your child could be one of them.

The topic of depression is important because it is the most common mental disorder. One out of every eight teenagers will have depression and women are twice as likely to struggle with depression as men. It is the third highest cause of death of teenagers in America. Symptoms include sadness, hopelessness, withdrawal from friends and family, loss of interest in tasks, lack of enthusiasm, and thoughts of death and suicide. Teen depression has more effects than just sadness: it can cause issues at school, drug and alcohol abuse, self-esteem issues, and violence. This doesn’t mean that you can say, “Get over it,” and everything will become better, though parents can often make this mistake. Saying, “It gets better” does help teenagers. Depression can be fueled by verbal and physical abuse, but is mainly a chemical imbalance in the brain.

"The most dangerous thing is not to treat these kids at all," he [David Fassler, MD] adds, "Research shows that over half of all kids with depression will attempt suicide at least once, and over 7% will die as a result. It's a very serious illness with very serious consequences." (Source)

Parents can often not realize that their children have depression and confuse it with hormones or it being just a phase. Fixing depression can take time, but parents can assist with this process by giving their teenager antidepressants, an ear to talk to, and by providing access to a therapist. (Some antidepressants can have very harsh side effects, so remember to consult a doctor before using an antidepressant.) Other ways to help include ensuring your child has a good diet, enough sleep, exercise, social support, and by reducing stress. Your job can wait but, your child’s mental well being cannot. says, “Remember that being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice.” If your child doesn’t want to talk to you, provide access to a therapist, doctor, or another family member who had depression. Some parents can also increase  their child’s depression by ignoring their child or their child’s accomplishments, like getting a 90 on a test. Parents should be focusing on the accomplishments rather than the failures. Getting a C on a hard test might be a big deal to your child. Depression is not a weakness, it is an illness, so treat it as such. Parents play a key role in healing depression; make sure you are doing your part.


Some teenagers can hide behind a mask and say they are fine even if they really aren’t.

Social support from friends is also a vital part of helping your child’s depression. If your child has a ‘bad’ group of friends, but they are supportive, that is what really matters. Friends can also be a person to communicate with; without the awkwardness of talking to a parent. The reason I am where I am today is because I have friends that support me and are kind. Do not pressure your teenager to make friends if he/she has none, it will only make them feel like they aren’t pleasing you. If your child has a small group of friends, that is okay. Siblings can also play a vital role in healing depression. They can be a friend and a family member to share important things with. They are also around more often for talking about depression unless they live away from home. Older siblings can share ways they got through school and difficult times.

Depression can be a scary thing, but it can be helped with an effort to connect with your child. Each child is different in a good way and this might not help every teenager with depression. Everyones depression is different, and a helpful treatment varies person to person. I want to know whether teenagers with depression agree with my blog post, and if by showing it to their parents they improved. I also want to know if there were any parents affected by the blog post. I hope to learn more about the science behind depression as we proceed with the blog posts. Remember your job can wait but, your child’s mental well being cannot.

Watch out for my next blog post! Bibliography.

A very detailed Infographic on depression.


YATW: Sickle Cell Anemia

Hello, My name is Dejah Smith and I am a freshman at Science Leadership Academy high school. In my English class we are discussing topics that are going on in the world. I will be addressing Sickle Cell Anemia. Sickle cell anemia is a disease passed down through a family. When you have Sickle Cell your red blood cells are not shaped like a disc instead they take the shape of a sickle or a crescent shape.

There is one main cause of Sickle Cell anemia. It is caused by an abnormal type of hemoglobin, which is a protein inside of your red blood cells. This carries your oxygen. Sickle cell anemia is passed down to you when you have both parents with it.  Many people that are diagnosed don't live a very long life. On average a males lives to he is 42 and women until they are 48. Mostly dying from organ failure. 50 percent live to see their 5th decade.  

Some symptoms of  Sickle cell anemia is joint, back, leg and chest pain. These pains and or “crisis” can last up to days. Sometimes these pains are so bad you could be hospitalized. Other symptoms of this disease is fatigue, fast heart beats, and yellowing of your eyes and skin. Younger children tend to have pains and sometimes mini strokes. They also can have confusion with their thoughts. Due to spleen failure overtime victims of this disease start to have different types of infections.

There are many different treatments that's trying to cure this disease. The main thing they are trying to do is maintain symptoms and put a stop to the crisis. Something called Folic Acid. This creates new red blood cells for the victims. Blood transfusions and pain medicines.

To deal with the pain of this awful disease, they have support groups. That way everyone is mentally supported. This gives everyone a shoulder to cry on and someone to relate to.     

This picture shows how normal red blood cells look compared to blood cells that are infected with the Sickle cell anemia disease.

Alzheimer's & Dementia; The Unknown And Hidden Facts

    Hey, My name is Jamilah Woodards. I am currently a Freshman at Science Leadership Academy. In my ninth grade English class, we are currently working on a project titled, “You And The World” (YATW). The YATW Project allows you to choose a topic that you are highly interested  in to research and discuss. For this specific project, I chose the topic of Alzheimer’s and Dementia; The Unknown & Hidden Facts. This topic hits really close to home because my Grandmother was diagnosed with Dementia around the year of 2006. With that being said, I decided to base this project off of a disease that really affected my family and I.

  Alzheimer’s disease is very well known all over the world, but Dementia is somewhat forgotten. Although many people have heard of this disease, not many people know what exactly is Alzheimers and/or Dementia. The medical definition for Alzheimers as described on, Alzheimer's disease is a neurological disorder in which the death of brain cells causes memory loss and cognitive decline. A neurodegenerative type of dementia, the disease starts mild and gets progressively worse.” As briefly shown in the definition for Alzheimer’s, there is a difference between the two. Dementia’s medical definition found on a medical definition website stated as following, “Dementia is a loss of mental ability severe enough to interfere with normal activities of daily living, lasting more than six months, not present since birth, and not associated with a loss or alteration of consciousness.”

  Dealing with either of the two diseases can be very expensive. Yes, most insurances pay for portions of the costs and treatments, but the other portion is most likely put on the patient/their provider. A portion may not seem like it would be very costly because it is only a “portion”. Yet when Medicaid/Medicare is in the billions of dollars, that out-of-pocket portion can also be in the billions.

This picture shows the costs of supporting someone with Alzheimer's or Dementia disease

As seen in the chart above, about $142 billion would be the cost between Medicare and Medicaid. Although the cost that Medicaid provides on its own is just 1 billion dollars above the cost of personal money.

One stereotype about dealing with people who have these diseases is that they are completely unable to complete any tasks on their own. False. People believe that patients with Dementia cannot remember anything. That is also false. Since Dementia is basically a milder form of Alzheimer’s, it allows consumers to do some things that they can't. Although people with Alzheimer’s have more of a struggle than Dementia, it is still possible to do things on your own. They’re plenty of people out there who live a healthy life on a daily basis. Know that there is a mild and severe form of just about everything, so it all depends on the stage of your disease to know what exactly exceeds your abilities.   Check out the list of 5 Things You Should Know About Dementia to a further understanding.

Overall, Alzheimer’s and Dementia are diseases that should be even more now than they already are. They affect people and their families on a regular basis. I would like people to get to know and understand the stereotypes, costs, and know what the diseases actually are and do.

Blog #2 is on its way!!!

Annotated Bibliography