Monday, July 29, 2013

Fwd: Training Camp Sign-Ups are open now!

This looks like a great weekend event. I wish I was 15 again. 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: JCCS Communications <>

JCC Sailfish
Training Camp Sign-Ups are open now!

It's time to Sign-up for the JCCS Training Camp!

This is a team travel meet.

Location: Emma Kaufmann Camp, Morgantown, West Virginia  (along Cheat LakeGoogle Map

Who Can Attend:  Any JCCS swimmer, from any group, who is at least 13 years old.

Departure Date:   Saturday, September 7th.  The bus will depart from the Forbes Ave. entrance of the JCC at 7:00 am.   Swimmers should have already eaten breakfast before getting on the bus.

Return Date:  Sunday, September 8th by 6:30 pm

Fee for weekend: $100.00 to cover bus, meals, room, workouts, and fun activities.  Fees are due by August 29th.  Checks should be made out to JCC Sailfish and mailed to:

JCC Sailfish
305 Sharon Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15221

Besides swimming workouts, there will be fun AND time to do homework, if needed!

Lake Activities: canoeing, kayaking, paddle boats, trampoline blob
Pool Extras: diving board, slide
Field Games:  rope courses, basketball, volleyball

What to Bring: 

Pillow; sleeping bag or linens for a twin size bed
Towels, swim suits, & wet bag with fins.  
Water bottle
Appropriate clothes and athletic shoes for rope course/basketball.
Water shoes for boating activities.
Warm clothing and jackets for cooler nights.


AM: Swimming workout as soon as the bus gets to camp
Lunch after practice
Free time for fun after lunch
4:00-6:00pm: Swimming workout
6:30pm: Dinner and talk on strokes, mental training, and season plan
8:00-10:00pm:  Free time
AM: Swimming workout
Breakfast after practice
Rest of the day: Fun, Lunch. Fun
Depart for home at 5:00 pm

There is only room for 20 girls and 20 boys (13 years and up).   You should sign up on the team website by August 8th. Because this is a team travel event, you must be signed into the website to see this event. Questions can be directed to Al by email or phone (412) 906-2583.

Visit Us Online at:

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fwd: Youth Organizers for Educational Change - Apply Now!

------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Hill District Consensus Group <>
Date: Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 1:17 PM
Subject: Youth Organizers for Educational Change - Apply Now!
To: Mark Rauterkus <>


Youth Organizers for Educational Change Program

Dear Community,
I am pleased to announce the Hill District Consensus Group Youth Organizers for Educational Change Program for high school students. Recognizing the need to closely understand how community issues affect youth in the community. We have developed a youth organizing program for local high school students to work alongside community organizing staff in the community.

This is a yearlong paid endeavor. The youth organizing program will provide participants with an opportunity to promote youth empowerment, organizing and action to improve Hill District schools and the broader community.

If you know youth that could become strong organizers, please share the info below with them.

Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.
For general information about the Consensus Group and a link to the electronic copy of the application, please refer applicants to our website at You (or potential applicants) can contact me at (412) 697- 4692 or via e-mail at with any questions or concerns.


Brian Brown
Community Organizer & Youth Organizer Coordinator

This project is funded by The Heinz Endowments.


Our Mission

The mission of the Hill District Consensus Group is to work together through the differences and with the commonalities, to establish and enforce standards and processes in all aspects of community life: economic, political, spiritual, and social, for the ongoing health and prosperity of the community.

Copyright © 2013 Hill District Consensus Group. All rights reserved.
Contact email:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Douglas Shields
Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dear Friends,

I just created the petition "Stop The Fracking of Our Allegheny County Regional Parks" and wanted to ask if you could add your name too.

This campaign means a lot to me and the more support we can get behind it, the better chance we have of succeeding. You can read more and sign the petition here:

Thank you!


P.S. Can you also take a moment to share the petition with others? It's really easy – all you need to do is forward this email or share this link on Facebook or Twitter:

Mark Rauterkus    
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim and Water Polo Camp Head Coach
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
412 298 3432 = cell

Friday, July 19, 2013


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: City Council District 6 - DISTRICT 6 NEWS
Date: Friday, July 19, 2013

  City Council District 6 - DISTRICT 6 NEWS  
Sent 07/19/2013 @ 3:50 pm
As part of my "Fit in Six" initiative, it is a goal for me and my office to promote a healthier community by encouraging a better maintenance of self and families in an active and healthy lifestyle throughout the district. Thus it is my pleasure to announce that the 3rd annual Jakim Donaldson's P.R.O.M.I.S.E basketball camp will take place from Wednesday, August 14th to Friday, August 16th
This camp provides open enrollment for boys and girls ages 8-18. This is a FREE camp that has 100 slots available to participate. Please register at the Pittsburgh Allegheny Middle School located at 810 Arch Street in the Northside in order to join. 
Volunteers are needed for the basketball camp. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please call 412-258-0506. For more general information on Jakim Donaldson P.R.O.M.I.S.E. basketball camp, please call 412-321-1019.
R. Daniel Lavelle
  © 2013 City of Pittsburgh | City Council District 6 | Facebook | Twitter
Having trouble seeing this message? Click here to view it in your browser.

Mark Rauterkus    
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim and Water Polo Camp Head Coach
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
412 298 3432 = cell

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Guest Running Motivation from one of the best in the world headed to our Summer Dreamers Campers

   810 River Avenue—Suite 120—Pittsburgh, PA 15212 Ph (412) 586‐7785
Kelsey Jackson, 417‐425‐9400
Sub-4:00 minute Miler Jordan McNamara Uses Social Media to Inspire Kids to Run GNC Live Well Liberty Mile McNamara Serves as Honorary Coach of Youth Summer Running Program
As Jordan McNamara sets new personal records and impresses fans in European races this summer, he shares his excitement through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. He will use the same social media channels to inspire young runners in Pittsburgh, Pa. who are training for the upcoming GNC Live Well Liberty Mile.  
McNamara will serve as an honorary coach for a youth summer running program that provides coaching, training plans and running gear to 180 elementary and middle school students of Pittsburgh Public Schools. As McNamara travels throughout Europe, he will send instructional and motivational videos to the students who will complete a 5-week training program, as part of the Summer Dreamers Academy.
After the kids complete their training, they will run in the GNC Live Well Liberty Mile on Friday, Aug. 9. Then the students will cheer on McNamara, a top contender in the professional heat, and other top American milers.
Last year, McNamara met the kids in the program a few days before the race to share his excitement for the event. The kids challenged him to buy them pizza if he won.  McNamara again will meet with the kids and celebrate their final training run during race week.
“I’m excited to work with the kids this summer and inspire them to get involved with the sport I love,” McNamara said. “It’s important for me to give back to the running community. The GNC Live Well Liberty Mile is an awesome event to introduce new runners to the sport. I had such a great time meeting the kids in Pittsburgh last year, and I’m excited to come back.”
Event sponsor Elite Runners and Walkers and the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. will provide the students with new running shoes, socks and a training t-shirt.
“As a rising star in the mile distance, Jordan is a perfect ambassador for the GNC Live Well Liberty Mile,” said Patrice Matamoros, executive director of Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc., the organizers of the GNC Live Well Liberty Mile. “Jordan has a great social media presence and knows how to inspire runners and non-runners alike with his photos and videos. We hope this partnership inspires a new generation of athletes.”
In 2012, McNamara finished second at the inaugural GNC Live Well Liberty Mile with a time of 3:59.1.  McNamara has had a successful summer and has set a new personal record of the 3:34.00 in the 1500 meter in Heusden-Zolde, Belgium.
Follow Jordan’s tips at @LibertyMile and see his videos at
About the GNC Live Well Liberty Mile
Organized by Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc., the GNC Live Well Liberty Mile is Pittsburgh’s premier street race for all ages and abilities. The 2013 event is an official stop on the inaugural
Bring Back the Mile Tour. It’s also hosting the 2013 USA Masters 1 Mile Championships.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fwd: [New post] The Education Gap Starts in the Summer

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Hive Learning Network Pittsburgh
Date: Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Subject: [New post] The Education Gap Starts in the Summer

Sarah Jackson posted: "Summer—that idyllic time of pick-up games of baseball and ice cream cones on the front porch. Ha! Summer these days is jam-packed for most kids, with sports schedules, Maker weekends, museum visits, and constructive, guided learning. This exposure is a de"

New post on Hive Learning Network Pittsburgh

The Education Gap Starts in the Summer

by Sarah Jackson

Summer—that idyllic time of pick-up games of baseball and ice cream cones on the front porch. Ha! Summer these days is jam-packed for most kids, with sports schedules, Maker weekends, museum visits, and constructive, guided learning. This exposure is a deliberate strategy on the part of parents to keep their kids busy and stem the dreaded "summer slide"—the learning backslide that happens in the summer months.

Yet not all children are heading to museums and camp. Many families simply can't afford to send their kids to these events, or their schedules don't coincide with work, or there is no transportation to get to and fro.

In fact, the famous "summer brain drain" is not universal. Low-income and disadvantaged children are more likely to suffer from the summer slide. And it is that loss that might in fact be responsible for the growing "performance gap" among higher and lower income children.

Researchers in Baltimore found that, during the first five years of schooling, low-income children actually saw greater gains in reading than high-income children. But lower-income students fell behind each summer during the study while the more affluent children continued to gain ground in school. As a result, over time the performance gap widened.

Pittsburgh-based researcher Catherine Augustine, who works with the RAND Corporation, agrees. "The main problem," she told WESA, Pittsburgh's NPR affiliate, "is that low income students lose ground, on average, on reading and literacy-related skills over the summer whereas, on average, middle and higher income students maintain where they were in the spring or even gain ground over the summer.

University of Pittsburgh child psychologist Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal also finds that students from higher-income areas are having more enriching summer experiences than youth from lower-income areas. But there are other factors at play as well.

"High exposure to traffic, to noise, to violence, to things in their everyday environment— lead exposure—it's that stuff," said Votruba-Drzal. "But it's also access to stimulating and engaging conversations with other kids and with adults that are important, especially in the early years, for things like language skill development."

Ironically, the impulse in many school districts is to keep kids in school longer rather than focus on summer and out-of-school opportunities to bolster the learning. "Rather than increasing school time," write John Falk and Lynn Dierking in Scientific American, "perhaps we should be investing in expanding quality, out-of-school experiences for disadvantaged children."

Creating richer out-of-school experiences was one of the goals for Pittsburgh's Summer Dreamers Academy, a no-cost summer learning camp and one of five school district-run programs in the US that was selected for an ambitious RAND study. The program combines elements of traditional classroom instruction with outdoor activities and other opportunities for "relatively unstructured engagement" with teachers and peers. They're building social and emotional skills through team work, options to choose activities and set personal goals—skills that are important to a strong foundation for learning.

Votruba-Drzal said that programs like Pittsburgh's are ideal because they limit the risk of burnout.

"If you just continue through the summer [in school], …you end up killing engagement and motivation," said Votruba-Drzal. "So you may be improving test scores, but down the road you may be really shooting yourself in the foot with respect to keeping kids loving school and loving learning."

She also explained that the media hype around the "brain drain" concept has been blown a bit out of proportion. Ironically, the parents who tend to be most distressed about, say, enforcing daily flash card drills, are likely to have the least to worry about. "From that standpoint, the extent to which it engenders anxiety in these parents is kind of ridiculous," Votruba-Drzal said.

While, hopefully more programs like Pittsburgh's Summer Dreamers Academy will soon pop up in other cities across the country, Votruba-Drzal said parents and educators should keep the bigger picture in mind. "I think it's important with summer setback to have the broader context of what's happening in our country right now with respect to socioeconomic disparities and kids' development and their long term life chances," she said. "It really should be alarming to people."

Trouble clicking? Copy and paste this URL into your browser:

Mark Rauterkus    
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim and Water Polo Camp Head Coach
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
412 298 3432 = cell

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: The Black Political Empowerment Project(B-PEP) <>
Date: Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 4:50 PM



Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess' proposed legislation would place the question before
The qualified voters of the City of Pittsburgh a referendum question at the 2013
November General Election.

THURSDAY, JULY 18, 2013 at 1:00 PM
******VERY IMPORTANT******

click on link for full flyer

The Black Political Empowerment Project(B-PEP) | C/O The Hill House Center | 1835 Centre Avenue | Pittsburgh | PA | 15219

Monday, July 15, 2013

Thunderbirds hosted Swim & Water Polo at Cupples Stadium

Save the date. Saturday evening. Our athletes are getting to take the field at 5:30 pm with the professional team, the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds. Show up after 5 pm and before 5:30 to visit with the coach and volunteers.

Handout to Campers:

Our swimmers, water polo players, SKWIM athletes, staff and lifeguards -- plus family and friends -- are invited to join together for a special event this Saturday evening, tomorrow, July 15, 2017, at South Side's PPS Cupples Stadium for interactions on the field with Pittsburgh Thunderbirds, a city's professional ULTIMATE team.

Arrive after 5 pm to check in with Coach Mark, and be ready to hit the field from 5:30 to 6 pm with the players. Then we'll stay to watch and cheer for the team at its 7 pm game.

Meet up at the gates of the stadium AFTER 5pm and before 5:30 pm. Youngsters should be accompanied by an adult. This is an optional event. Everyone has to get there on their own.

Tickets (generally $10 each) to the game between the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds vs. Detroit have be obtained by Coach Mark for our group. Everyone who can attend the game needs to reserve their family's tickets by doing ONE of the following:
  • EMAIL with the names of the people who are attending.
  • TEXT Coach Mark at (412) 298-3432 with the names of the people attending. OR,
  • Go to the site, (you are here) and do "web join" and then leave a comment with the names and number of tickets of those who are attending.
At the game, Coach Mark hopes to visit with guardians and players and share some other insights into additional activities to come in our normal sessions slated for this summer -- plus some other optional activities too.

Thank you Pittsburgh Thunderbirds. The game of ULTIMATE is a disk-game much like our aquatic game of SKWIM. Seeing these players and their teamwork, passing, defense, hustle and sportsmanship can inspire our play and help us become better athletes.
In other news:
We're going to be playing SKWIM and water polo from 6 to 7:45 pm every TUESDAY and THURSDAY evenings for the weeks to come at the outdoor Citiparks AMMON Swim Pool, Bedford Ave & Memory Lane, Hill District. -- Weather permitting.
Mark Rauterkus
 PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim & Water Polo Camp Executive Coach
 Swimming Coach with The Pittsburgh Project
 Varsity Boys Swim Coach, Pittsburgh Obama Academy
 Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
 (412) 298-3432 = cell


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Fwd: Wikispaces - Announcing Wikispaces Campus

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Wikispaces" <>
Date: Jul 12, 2013 8:43 PM
Subject: Wikispaces - Announcing Wikispaces Campus
To: <>

You're receiving this email as a member of Having trouble reading this email?
View it in your browser. Don't want to receive this newsletter anymore? Unsubscribe instantly.


JUNE 2013

Announcing Wikispaces Campus

Wikispaces Campus is now available for your school, district, or university. Wikispaces Campus combines all the benefits of Wikispaces Classroom - collaboration, group work, classroom management, and formative assessment - with our enterprise-level services. Check it out.

Take a look

Still getting started? Take one of our video tours and get to know Wikispaces.

Wikispaces Campus and Private Label

An integrated collaborative wiki environment for your school, district, or organization. Give Wikispaces Campus or Wikispaces Private Label a try.

What's happening?

Get all the latest news on features, events, and more on our blog, or follow us on Twitter.

Stay in touch

Have any questions? Drop us a line at

Martin Burnett and His Wiki Journey

Martin Burnett, a Year 5/6 teacher in the UK, has been using Wikispaces for many years now and has done some wonderful things with his wiki. This month, Martin shared his wiki journey with us on our blog. If you're just getting started with wikis and are looking for some direction, or are a long-time user that loves to reminisce about the good ol' days, we encourage you to check out his adventure on our blog.

Join us for Upcoming Webinars

This month, we're running several webinars on our two new education services. Join us for a Wikispaces Classroom webinar and see how to make the most of your classroom's News Feed, Formative Assessment, and Projects. Or attend an upcoming Wikispaces Campus webinar and learn about our powerful collaboration platform for your school, district, or university. Register today.

Featured Wiki: Ramsay's Class Innovation Day

Julie Ramsay started the Ramsay's Class Innovation Day wiki in January of 2012.

1. Briefly describe your group, your wiki, and what you use it to do:

This Wikispace was created by my class of fifth grade students at Fultondale Elementary School in Fultondale, Alabama. My students celebrate an Innovation Day each year. This is a day where students are 100% in control of their learning. Each student gets to pick a topic of interest to explore on this designated day. When that day arrives, they explore the topic in the manner that they learn best, become an expert, and then synthesize their newfound knowledge into a project that they use to teach their peers about their topic. This day is completely in their control. On the photos page of the Wikispaces, you can see their progress throughout the day. You can also find all their digital projects on our wiki.

2. Besides the Edit button, which wiki feature is your favorite?

In addition to the easily used "edit" button, my students and I really like the ability to embed projects from other sites such a Voki, Prezi, ProProfs, and Animoto. In addition to embedding their projects, we also enjoy being able to easily upload audio, video, URLs, images, and PowerPoints. The flexibility that Wikispaces offers makes it one of our favorite tools to communicate and collaborate with the students' global audience.

Keep reading.

A message from James

A study from the NSSEA says that public school teachers pay an average of $485 per year out of their own pocket for school materials. Setting aside the question of how we as a society are failing teachers such that they are in this position, what does this tell us as educational technology vendors?

For us, it's very simple. We don't rely on charging teachers for our revenue. Our paid services are designed for schools, districts, and universities. The more we learn about educators the better we feel about giving them services for free, and helping the institutions they work for pay for services that make teachers more productive.

What will you do with your next wiki?

Good Idea: Write a choose your own adventure story with a few of your friends.

Bad Idea: Write a choose your own adventure story with a few of your cats.

Sent by - 165 10th St. Suite 50, San Francisco CA 94103

If you no longer wish to receive this email you can unsubscribe instantly.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Your are INVITED: 2 pm swim and fun at Ammon Rec Center Pool on Saturday and Sunday

Meet Coach Mark at the pool this weekend!

Come out for a show-off swim and water-disk games at 2 pm, this Saturday and Sunday at Ammon Rec Center Pool, Bedford Ave, Hill District.

We are looking for more game time. 
We are looking for more skill development.
We are looking for more engagement with the parents, guardians, siblings and community.
We are looking for some cross-over visits so those at the various camps sites can interact with each other.
We are looking to get cool in the summer heat.
We are looking to get stronger in the water.
We are looking for more photos, more field trips, more fun. 
We are looking to use the great, outdoor, Citiparks swim pool at Ammon and help to increase its attendance.

After Summer Dreamers ends, we'll have a giant game day at Ammon on Thursday, August 8. Then on August 9 we'll run the Liberty Mile after another all camp swim at Sue Murray. So, we're looking to have some extra events, such as this weekend. If you can come to the pool, we'll see you there. Bring your pool tag or else a few bucks for entry. 

This is "on your own. " Weather permitting, of course. Dont' go if it is raining or storming., 412-298-3432. 

Monday, July 08, 2013

Civic Data Challenge 2013

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Steven Clift
Date: Monday, July 8, 2013
Subject: [DW] Civic Data Challenge 2013

I asked Alice to send along some info I could share on the Newswire about:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: *Alice Murphy*
Date: Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Civic Data Challenge ( turns the raw data
of civic health into useful applications and visualizations that have
direct impact on public decision-making.

Through the Challenge, participants will bring new minds and skill sets to
the field of civic health, with the purpose of making data-driven community
insights more valuable and accessible. All entries must be thoughtfully
informed by Civic Health data (

In order to achieve an exceptional level of real-world usefulness,
designers, data scientists, researchers, and application developers will
collaborate with local leaders and respond to the needs of specific
communities or social issues.

Entries are due *July 28, 2013*. Participants are competing for exciting
prizes including speaking engagements, conference passes, gadgets, and
cash. You can read the latest prize announcement here:

Visit to join the Challenge!

Submit your entry to @CivicData Challenge by 7/28: win cool prizes and have
an impact in your #community
*Facebook Post:*
You have until July 28 to submit your Civic Data Challenge entry and
compete for  exciting prizes including: speaking engagements, promotion,
gadgets, cash and more! http://www.****

On Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 1:21 PM, Steven Clift <> wrote:

If you recall last year I shared it widely when I found out about it. But
that was late and contributed to you extending the deadline.

I'd be glad to give it some attention, but I need a simple text only
description with some "what's it about" bullets to share with exposed links.
On Jun 26, 2013 12:11 PM, "Alice Murphy" <> wrote:

Hi Steven,

The Civic Data Challenge has three phases:
-Ideation (a collective brainstorm)
-Creation (time for participants to get to work creating their entries.
Submissions are due July 28 and will be judged. Finalists move on to our
next phase and final phase, Implementation)
-Implementation (finalists pilot their products in communities. A second
round of judging determines grand prize winners)

For more information on the Challenge, including the scoring rubric, please
visit the Rules and Criteria page:



On Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 10:27 PM, Steven Clift <>wrote:

Is there another round?
On Jun 25, 2013 9:43 PM, "Alice Murphy" <> wrote:

Hi Steven,

I'm just checking in to see if you could use any help as you develop your
entry for the Civic Data Challenge.

If you're looking for additional team members, we have a Team Builder
Survey that will help us match you with other participants. You can
complete it here:

I also wanted to make sure you know of our new lifeline opportunity to
receive feedback on your entry from our team of advisors. I encourage you
to take advantage of this great resource here:

You can also find other tools, tips, and free service credits on our
Resources page:
Please let me know if you need any further assistance.

Alice & the Civic Data Challenge Team

P.S. Keep an eye out for a Civic Data Challenge prize announcement later
this week!
*Alice Murphy**
*Program Manager, Civic Health Initiatives | NCoC
*We've Moved*: 1201 15th St. NW, Suite 420 | Washington, DC 20005
*New Phone*: 202.303.2435 | **

Steven Clift -
  Executive Director -
  Tel/Text: +1.612.234.7072

Group home for Newswire - Steven Clift's Democracies Online Newswire:

Replies go to members of Newswire - Steven Clift's Democracies Online Newswire with all posts on this topic here:

For digest version or to leave Newswire - Steven Clift's Democracies Online Newswire,
with "digest on" or "unsubscribe" in the *subject*.

Newswire - Steven Clift's Democracies Online Newswire is hosted by Democracies Online -

Mark Rauterkus    
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim and Water Polo Camp Head Coach
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
412 298 3432 = cell