The Ginn Academy, founded in 2007 by Ted Ginn, Sr., is the only all-male public high school in Ohio. Come in and see what goes on inside the hearts and minds of 655 E. 162nd Street each day. Let us tell you our stories. Photos and text not to be used without permission.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring at Ginn Academy: Health Fair, Empty Bowls, Beautiful Faces + More

It's been much too long! Cleveland's relentless wintery weather since December has really put a damper on the Ginn Academy blog. Welcome back! Let's get caught up.

Coach G, Principal Petty, and a group of Freshmen (with one junior added in!) ready to head out to a middle school to talk to them about Ginn Academy
When we last got together, we were wrapping up the Glenville Tarblooders' football season, which ended with their run at a state championship. A few months have passed and, at this point, spring is very nearly here!

The school hosted two big events in December that deserve a mention here. We've covered our HealthCorps health fairs for the past two years, so you might be familiar with those. Ms. Jasmyne Jackson, our HealthCorps coordinator and all of the seniors put a lot of hard work into another one with many professionals from our community joining in. Thank you to The Cleveland Clinic, Friends of Ginn Board members: Councilman Polensek, Albert Ratner, Edmund Leopold; the USMC, Whole Foods, Levels Fitness, NEON Health, the Cleveland Browns, and the US Army.

Three seniors made fruit smoothies with our donated Vitamix blenders

Mrs. Parker got some help with her basketball skills from Damien Anderson, one of our 9th graders

Thank you to the USMC for coming to the health fair each year!

Mr. Gibson wore the impaired driving goggles as he tried to make a basket

These seniors were in charge of the guacamole and it was delicious!

Ms. Jackson, our HealthCorps coordinator

This was the inaugural year for Ginn Academy's Empty Bowls event, and it was such a successful gathering! Not only did it bring together members of our faculty who made large quantities of soup and planned the event together, but also our students, who formed and painted bowls out of pottery in Judy Rickel's art classes. Then there were the restaurants in the community that volunteered to provide soups and breads, plus the National Council of Jewish Women's Thriftique store, which donated linens and silverware. Thank you to Bistro 185, the Grovewood Tavern, and Jack's Deli for your soups! They were wonderful and everyone loved them!

Left to right: A lovely volunteer from the National Council of Jewish Women's Thriftique shop; Ginn media specialist, Adrienne Kahn; security officer, Ray Albert; art teacher, Judy Rickel; special education teacher, Natalie Castor; Colleen Damerell, College Now guide; and English teacher, Claire Lucas.

More than 200 bowls were made by our students and Mrs. Rickel for the event

Mrs. Rickel was assisted by Ryan Williams, Demonte Richmond, Theodore Tate, and Jerome Wright

This first Empty Bowls event was a huge success with all proceeds being donated to the Cleveland Foodbank, which is right down the street from Ginn Academy.

Another benefit of the Empty Bowls lunch was seeing local community leaders come together for some terrific neighborhood discussion around our tables.

Maria Cruz, CMSD Barrier Breaker and Janet Tribble, CMSD Academic Coach

Penny and Helyn Presser, Ginn Academy supporters

Safety Coordinator Ward 8, Greg Pollard; Councilman Michael Polensek; Ted Ginn, Sr. (seated); Margaret Craig, Community Organizer at Northeast Shores Development Corp.; Charlie Kamen, Property Manager, Northeast Shores Development Corp.; (We are trying to find the name of this lovely lady in the black jacket!); and Code Enforcement Officer Ward 8, Mike Troha

Ginn Academy Freshmen have a leadership class as part of their curriculum this year. It's called Freshman Seminar and it's based on a program developed by Stedman Graham, who visited in December to talk with the boys and parents. While he was here, he got his own red Ginn Academy jacket, thanks to Martin's Menswear.

Sometimes we have no specific reason whatsoever for our photos, other than showing you the bright faces of our young men who are working so hard every day at Ginn Academy. Just look at these boys, these faces, these smiles! They are on the right track and headed somewhere good. We can't wait to see where!

In February, we had a group of extraordinarily dedicated athletes sign their letters of intent to play football and run track in college. Unfortunately, the weather kept some of us from attending the official CMSD ceremony, but we gathered the boys the next day for more celebrating. Missing from these photos are Marcelys Jones, who has already started at Ohio State and Tyree Farrier who attends Glenville HS.

They might be nearly grown and heading off to the big time soon, but they still have a great time playing games with ping pong balls on the table

Seated, L-R: Erik Simpson, Davon Anderson, Erick Smith. Standing, L-R: Aaron Ivory, Darius Lewis, Devine Redding, Marshon Lattimore, and Quan Robinson, Jr.

Ms. Colleen Damerell, our College Now advisor, made the boys a cake! So kind...

In the beginning of March, Coach Ginn had the honor of sharing his thoughts about "giving" at the Tolerance Fair held at the new Convention Center downtown. A few of our young men accompanied him and helped at the event.

Coach Ginn at the Tolerance Fair with GA students along with students from Solon High School and Laurel School

Every week, a group of 20 students meet with Advocate Counselor, Nate Phillips, from  the Urban League of Greater Cleveland for one class period. This group at the Ginn Academy is known as the Urban Elite, but is part of the Urban League's Project Ready Career Beginnings program. Topics of discussion include leadership, ethics and character building, and preparing for college.

During one recent meeting, the topic was being our brothers' keepers: boosting each other up in challenging times, encouraging friends to be the best they can be and to not go down the wrong path, and sharing what we've got when we can. The discussion definitely fell under the classification of "Good Stuff" and it was great to hear them talking about these things.

Our Urban Elite Advocate Counselor, Nate Phillips, during a recent class

A team-building exercise during a recent Urban Elite class

Mr. Nate Phillips and Ginn Academy's Urban Elite

A group of our students had the honor a few weeks ago of traveling downtown to the Cleveland Public Library (CPL) along with Ms. Adrienne Kahn, Mrs. Hazel Parker, and Ms. Damerell to attend the discussion with author, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Ms. Kahn, our media specialist, brought Mr. Coates' book, "The Beautiful Struggle," to the students via a grant made possible by the CPL. Ms. Kahn also arranged for a guided tour of  the new CPL technology center.

Author, Ta-Nehisi Coates, at the Cleveland Public Library. Photo courtesy of Hazel Parker

Ginn Academy students at the Cleveland Public Library for the discussion with author, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Photo courtesy of Hazel Parker

Ginn Academy faculty, Adrienne Kahn, Hazel Parker, Colleen Damerell, and Heather Thacker, from College Now. Photo courtesy of Hazel Parker

Social Studies teacher, Mr. Devin Demaske, deserves a special mention as this winter comes to a close. He travels to and from Ginn Academy every day -- rain, shine, blizzard, ice storm, you name it! -- from Edinboro, Pennsylvania, a 90-minute drive each way. Even on the very worst snowy days, he's here and ready to teach in his classroom and we'd like to say thanks for that. You show real dedication, Mr. Demaske, and we all appreciate it. Thank you.

Ms. Johnson's ninth grade science class showed off their work and motion dioramas last week. A lot of hard work went into these projects so we want to show them off a bit. 

Four of the Ginn Academy Freshmen with their life coach, Mr. John Abrams, display their work and energy dioramas

Wow, that was a long post! And there is still so much more going on at the school. Thank you for keeping up with our news at Ginn Academy, and be on the lookout for another more timely update before the school year ends. This crazy winter has to leave us soon, doesn't it?

Take care, everyone.

Kind regards from all of us at Ginn Academy...