From The Lion's Den, Vol 01, Issue 02
Welcome to our bigger and better, redesigned, reformatted e-newsletter -
FROM THE LION'S DEN, Volume 01, Issue 02.
Expect our monthly newsletter to hit your inbox the last working day of each month. Every issue will promise a note From the Head of the School, T.Mac Howard, as well as a section we debuted for the first time last month and continued this month: Our DSA Scholar of the Month. We will also share our experiences with the weekly devotionals, provide a look inside the classrooms, as well as an update from our athletic fields.
We thank you for your continued support and interest in our young men and the work being done here, everyday at Delta Streets Academy. Please share this issue of FROM THE LION'S DEN with friends and family.
We’ve had an incredible month at Delta Streets Academy!
We’ve been blessed to see God working in our school, our young men and their families.
Our Parent Teacher Organization recently met and our parents expressed their concern that our students were not engaged enough with the community. So, at the recommendation of our parents, we instituted a community service requirement for our young men. By the end of the year, each student must complete 10 hours of community service.
We held our first event October 24, and I was amazed to see 23 of our young men show up to help pick up trash and sort donated books. The boys spent almost three hours sweeping up and clearing out rooms in the building that we hope to one day turn into our permanent home.
In the future, we’ll have volunteer opportunities for setting up the Greenwood Christmas parade, unloading Girl Scout cookies, sorting recycling and picking up trash on the streets.
To keep our students motivated academically and as citizens of our school, we recently started an incentive program. Students who turn in all homework every day and receive less than five marks for one week receive Coke & Candy on Friday. The young men who receive Coke & Candy three out of four weeks get to go out to dinner at the end of the month.
At the end of the nine weeks, the top performers get to go to a Memphis Grizzlies game. When we started this incentive program, 20 students got Coke & Candy. The next week, we had 25 students getting some goodies. It is amazing that something so small is making such a big difference in how our young men approach their academics and conduct themselves while at school!
Lastly, I’d ask you all to be in prayer for our school. In the past, we’ve been very fortunate during November and December with receiving donations. Please pray that God once again delivers so that we can keep our doors open and continue making a difference in these young men’s lives. Please pray that God continue to stir people’s hearts to give to Delta Streets Academy.
T.Mac Howard, Delta Streets Academy Head of School
Consider Pledging Your Support to $1,000 from 1,000
Mr. (Wilson) Whitten is new to our school this year. He recently graduated from Mississippi State after double majoring in English and Economics.
He currently teaches 9th grade regular, 9th grade accelerated, 10th grade, and 11th grade English.
Mr. Whitten chose to join the Delta Streets Academy team after taking a series of economics classes in college. As he notes, “I had a really great education at a public school in Brandon, Mississippi. During college, I became increasingly aware of educational inequality. I knew that as long as people keep standing by, the problem isn’t going to be fixed.”
He saw Delta Streets Academy as a way to help close that gap between those with access to a high-quality education and those without.
His 9th grade accelerated students just finished reading The Lord of the Flies. The class has now moved on to a discussion of gothic literature.
“We’ve been using creative writing to replicate the tools the authors use,” says Mr. Whitten. “We’ve also been talking about the inherent nature of man and how many of our texts are allegorical. A lot of the papers coming out of those conversations have been really cool. It’s especially inspiring to see what 9th grade kids are capable of accomplishing,” he concludes.
We are thrilled to have teachers like Mr. Whitten providing a rigorous formal education for our young men.
The Scholar of the Month in October is...
Eleventh grader Jaylin Smith is the October Scholar of the Month at Delta Streets Academy.
According to Mrs. Hinckley, Jaylin’s math teacher, “Academically, behaviorally, and civically he was a standout.”
After first nine-weeks testing, Jaylin maintained the highest GPA in the school. He was also singled out for his civic engagement. Says Mrs. Hinckley, “We got feedback from the community that he performed exceptionally at our first community service event.”
Jaylin started at Delta Streets Academy in the 9th grade. Since entering the school, he has noticed a significant change in himself. As Jaylin notes, “I am way better at math than I used to be. Before, I wasn’t able to do simple equations, but now I can spit those out without a problem. I am also way better at multiplying.”
Jaylin expects that his improved math skills will help him in his future career. “I want to major in sports medicine and I know that I will have to do a lot of math for calorie counts and things like that,” says Jaylin. To reach that goal, he hopes to attend either Tennessee State University, the University of Memphis or Ole Miss.
In addition to improving his math skills, Jaylin enjoys science. “Chemistry is my favorite subject. We are counting valence electrons and understanding electron configuration,” he notes.
Outside of the classroom, Jaylin plays football and runs track.
Jaylin looks forward to continually improving as he works towards graduation. As he states, “My goal is to always be stronger, faster, and smarter than I was before.”
Delta Streets Academy is proud to claim Jaylin as one of our own.
Our Daily Devotional Time...
In week 11 of our daily devotional, the young men engaged with Mark 6: 1-29.
After summarizing the text, they analyzed it, highlighting the sections they found to be critical to understanding the chapter. Importantly, the students were challenged to, “Analyze the text and determine what all the characters thought about those who are prophets.”
Lastly, the young men made text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world connections.
We are continually thankful that our young men take this individual time of study seriously. It is incredibly encouraging to see how God can stir their hearts, even with just a few minutes of intensive study each day.
Our football season has proven to be a long journey. We’ve suffered several key injuries and several players have left the team for behavioral issues. During our games, our athletes are playing out of position and our young men are having to learn on the job.
Despite all the adversity we’ve faced, we haven’t had a single athlete quit on his team, even though we’ve gotten blown out in several games. Our young men play every snap with conviction.
While we’ve lost a lot of games, our young men are learning important lessons about how to face defeat gracefully and to not give up on their team. These lessons will not only prepare us for future athletic success, but will carry over into the rest of the young men’s lives.
Having so many players out of position has also meant that we’ve gotten a good sense of what will have on our roster next year. Sophomore Dominick Brown and freshman Cameron Ervin have stepped into some of the voids on our team and have done an excellent job. We definitely have a lot of potential for the future!
Our basketball season kicks off on November 10 when our young men face off against Deer Creek Academy. We are looking forward to building off of last year’s tournament appearance. Having another year of experience under our belt should help us make a deeper tournament run, especially with several key performers returning.
Also, our junior high boys are looking to repeat as district champions.
Look for our boys to make a determined effort and to put up a lot of points!
To keep up with DSA on the court, please visit www.deltastreetsacademy.org/athletics