WBEZ | Harper High School http://www.wbez.org/tags/harper-high-school Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en A season of football at Harper High http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/season-football-harper-high-108974 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/10409969995_83336a9656.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>WBEZ education reporter Linda Lutton spent much of last fall at Harper High School as part of the <a href="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/487/harper-high-school-part-one" target="_blank"><em>This American Life</em></a> reporting on that school and its violence-plagued community. Now, she takes us to meet Harper&#39;s football team. Get a glimpse of how Friday Night Lights feels when you&#39;re living in the shadow of gun violence. <a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1u93wE2iqn-3-V3bIjWneZZe1kf66APjw1KytQe9IYDU/pub" target="_blank">Read the transcript.</a></p></p> Mon, 21 Oct 2013 15:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/season-football-harper-high-108974 Harper High School kids meet the president: 'My whole body just got weak' http://www.wbez.org/news/harper-high-school-kids-meet-president-my-whole-body-just-got-weak-107599 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/harper-crop.jpg" title="Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with students Friday morning, just after they returned from their trip to the White House. (WBEZ/Linda Lutton)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F95926861" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>A bus full of students and staff from Harper High School returned to Chicago Friday morning from a visit to the White House. They were invited by First Lady Michelle Obama and got to meet the President as well.</p><p>The First Lady took an interest in the students after <a href="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/487/harper-high-school-part-one">This American Life</a> aired <a href="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/488/harper-high-school-part-two">episodes </a>about how the school has been dealing with gun violence in the Englewood neighborhood. Mrs. Obama <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-04-11/news/chi-first-lady-michelle-obama-to-visit-harper-high-20130409_1_michelle-obama-first-lady-gun-violence">met with them in Chicago in April</a>, then invited the students to her house.</p><p>&nbsp;Many of the students who went on the trip were featured in WBEZ&rsquo;s <em>This American Life </em>episodes:</p><p>Deonte, the student who has avoided street violence by staying inside the house all the time; &nbsp;</p><p>Antoryio, who has been shot at so often he has a strategy--he drops to the ground;</p><p>Thomas, who&rsquo;s seen multiple friends and family members shot and killed, including <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/education/weight-citys-violence-one-school-principal-100699">Harper student Shakaki Asphy</a>, who was gunned down a year ago this month.</p><p>Ten Harper High staff members were also along on the 15-hour coach bus ride to D.C.</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel stopped by the South Side school Friday morning, joining in on the national attention being paid to Harper kids.</p><p>Meeting the president was the highlight of the trip, one boy told Emanuel.</p><p>&ldquo;As soon as he said, &lsquo;Hey, Harper!&rsquo; my whole body just got weak!&rdquo; he recounted.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/harper2.jpg" style="float: right;" title="Senior Cameron Littlejohn got his school uniform autographed by First Lady Michelle Obama. (WBEZ/Linda Lutton)" />The students said they were given a &ldquo;deluxe tour,&rdquo; introduced to everybody, from secret service agents to the White House chef. In addition to meeting with the president for 45 minutes privately, they got a shout out from him at an event with the Baltimore Ravens football team.</p><p>Harper Principal Leonetta Sanders says she appreciates that the First Lady has turned more of her attention to the issue of urban gun violence in recent months, and has made an effort to get to know Harper students.</p><p>&ldquo;She wanted to really just have a deep conversation with them, one-on-one, and just really hear their stories. But also, at the same time, to encourage students to keep going,&rdquo; Sanders said.</p><p>Many kids came home on a first-name basis with the president and First Lady, referring simply to &ldquo;Barack&rdquo; and &ldquo;Michelle.&rdquo;</p><p>Junior Sandelio Wright, who&rsquo;s been shot at on his walk to school, &nbsp;said he was moved by the whole trip, especially a night visit to the Lincoln Memorial. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;I was standing at the exact same spot where Martin Luther King did his speech, seeing the view that he saw. And it was gorgeous. It was reflecting off the water. And just knowing that he was standing right there talking to a million people. It was beautiful. I got a picture in my phone.&rdquo;</p><p>The Harper students also visited Howard University, where they met a student from their neighborhood who&rsquo;s now a Rhodes scholar working on her PhD.</p><p>The trip was paid for through donations collected by Chuck Smith, a Chicago attorney at the Skadden law firm. Smith had heard This American Life&rsquo;s reporting on Harper and was asked by Mayor Emanuel to raise money for the trip.</p><p>Principal Sanders, who has an unshakably positive outlook, hopes things like this trip--and the attention to her school--might slowly change the violence that has sent her to funeral after funeral for slain teenagers.</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s why we took a variety of students,&rdquo; said Sanders. &ldquo;We took <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/harper-high-boasts-two-gates-millennium-scholars-despite-school%E2%80%99s-struggle-violence-106785">Gates Scholars</a>, but at the same time we took some challenged students, who are in gangs and who are not on the right path. And what we hope to do is that we change those students to go another direction.&rdquo;</p><p>Sanders&rsquo; broader hope is that by changing students, they can change the neighborhood where those students are growing up.</p><p><em style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Linda Lutton is an education reporter at WBEZ. Follow her&nbsp;<a href="http://www.twitter.com/WBEZeducation" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150); outline: 0px;">@WBEZeducation</a></em></p></p> Fri, 07 Jun 2013 18:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/harper-high-school-kids-meet-president-my-whole-body-just-got-weak-107599 Harper High boasts two Gates Millennium Scholars, despite school’s struggle with violence http://www.wbez.org/news/harper-high-boasts-two-gates-millennium-scholars-despite-school%E2%80%99s-struggle-violence-106785 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/harper_stitch.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>WBEZ has reported a lot about Harper High School&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/education/weight-citys-violence-one-school-principal-100699" target="_blank">struggle</a>&nbsp;with neighborhood violence. The stories prompted First Lady Michelle Obama to <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-04-11/news/chi-first-lady-michelle-obama-to-visit-harper-high-20130409_1_michelle-obama-first-lady-gun-violence" target="_blank">visit the school</a> recently. This week, Harper High is celebrating some good news.</p><p dir="ltr">You might remember Deonte Tanner from This American Life&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/487/harper-high-school-part-one" target="_blank">story</a>&nbsp;on Harper High. He was the kid who told me the extremes he goes to to stay away from gangs. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr"><strong>DEONTE:</strong> I&rsquo;ve been in the house for about three years&hellip; I&rsquo;ve been staying in the house a lot.</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">Last week, Deonte got a letter in the mail&hellip;</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr"><strong>DEONTE:</strong> I opened the folder, it&rsquo;s like, &lsquo;Congratulations!&rsquo; That&rsquo;s all I had to see, and I just fell out&mdash;just congratulations.</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">Deonte and one other Harper student, Brittney Knight, are winners of the prestigious</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gmsp.org/" target="_blank">Gates Millennium scholarship</a>, awarded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.</p><p dir="ltr">I met Brittney one report card day in the lunchroom, as she got this shout-out from Harper staff member Marcel Smith:</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr"><strong>SMITH: </strong>&nbsp;Straight A student right here! Straight As, all As! Brittney Knight!</p></blockquote><blockquote><p dir="ltr"><strong>BRITTNEY:</strong> Oh my God, he&rsquo;s embarrassing me, putting me on blast! But I like it though.</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">This is the first time Harper has ever had a Gates winner.</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr"><strong>SANDERS:</strong> Just so proud, so proud, so proud.</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">Principal Leonetta Sanders hopes having Gates Scholars will help change Harper&rsquo;s image as a low-performing school in a tough, tough neighborhood.</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr"><strong>SANDERS: </strong>&lsquo;Cause it really shows how&mdash;even in the midst of so much issues and challenges&mdash;that students can still prevail and move on and do great things.</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">Deonte and Brittney will have tuition, room, and board paid for at the college of their choice. If they go to grad school in one of the disciplines Gates highlights, that will be paid for too&mdash;all the way through a doctoral degree.</p><p dir="ltr">One thousand needy minority students are receiving the scholarship across the country this week; 54,000 applied.</p><p dir="ltr">Brittney said she found out during her shift at McDonald&rsquo;s that she won the scholarship; paying for college had been a concern for her family.</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr"><strong>BRITTNEY:</strong> It lifted a big burden off our shoulders, &lsquo;cause we were just talking about how much loans we were gonna take out, and what we were gonna pay out of pocket, and then this came. It was a blessing.</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">Both students want to study education. The full list of Gates Scholars will be made public later this week.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Linda Lutton is WBEZ&#39;s education reporter. Follow her @<a href="http://twitter.com/wbezeducation" target="_blank">WBEZeducation</a></em></p></p> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 18:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/harper-high-boasts-two-gates-millennium-scholars-despite-school%E2%80%99s-struggle-violence-106785 Assessing the value of physical education in schools http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-21/assessing-value-physical-education-schools-92262 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-September/2011-09-21/Physical Education.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The conversation about a longer school day in Chicago was mainly focused on academics but more hours could also mean more time for activities—including the arts and gym class. Some research suggests exercise can improve more than the body; it may also increase one's ability to learn.</p><p>To talk more about the benefits of gym class, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> was joined by two people who knew the field well: Sarah Buck, an associate professor of <a href="http://www.csu.edu/collegeofeducation/HealthPhysicalEducationAndRecreation/index.htm" target="_blank">Physical Education</a> at<strong> </strong><a href="http://www.csu.edu/" target="_blank">Chicago State University</a>, and <a href="http://www.harperhighschool.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=168621&amp;type=u" target="_blank">Gwyn Kram</a>, chair of the Physical Education Department at <a href="http://www.harperhighschool.org/" target="_blank">Harper High School</a> on the South Side of Chicago.</p></p> Wed, 21 Sep 2011 14:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-21/assessing-value-physical-education-schools-92262