P.S. 119 Amersfort School of Social Awareness

P.S. 119 Amersfort School of Social Awareness

Magnet School of Global & Ethical Studies – 3829 Avenue K, Brooklyn NY 11210 (718) 377-7696

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Archive for February, 2010

Capoeira Movie – Mr. Sonic brings Grupo Senzala to P.S. 119


The Dorchester Senior Center by Sherwin

On Monday, February 8th, 2010 my class and I were invited to the Dorchester Senior Center. We worked out and we played.
First, we joined the seniors to do aerobics. It’s kind of like a dancing exercise. Some kids did not like it, but my friend Liam was feeling it. He was burning up the dance floor. The floor was on fire with his moves…if you can imagine that. I took it slow. I was cooling it off—well kind of. It was cool doing aerobics with the seniors at the Dorchester Senior Center.

Next, we played BINGO! I kept a close eye on my card and I listened carefully to the BINGO caller. I eyed my card like an owl eyes a mouse. After a few minutes of listening to the Bingo caller

5-303 Plays Bingo at eh Dorchester Senior Center

, I made a straight line and I shouted, “BINGO!” I can’t believe I won. That was my first time winning at BINGO and I won a prize. It was great playing BINGO at the Dorchester Senior Center.

Finally, we got back on the bus. Everyone was tired but happy. We had a great time at the Dochester Senior Center.

Sakura in Japanese Culture & Worldwide


sakura symbol

In Japanese, the cherry is called “Sakura’, which is generally believed to be a corruption of the word “Sakuya” (blooming) from the name of Princess Kono-Hana-Sakuya-Hime, who is enshrined on the top of the mountain Fuji. This long name means “tree-flowers-blooming princess”, for the cherry was so well known in those early days in Japan that the flower meant nothing but cherry. The princess was so named because, it is said, she fell from heaven upon a cherry tree.


The cherry blossom is the flower of flowers to the Japanese people. It symbolizes their national character. This is because the life of a samurai of feudal times was proverbially compared to the short-lived cherry blossoms that last “no more than three days”, for a samurai was always ready to sacrifice his life for the sake of his master. Another saying is that “what the cherry is among flowers is the samurai among men”.

samurai boy kimono with sakura

The Japanese are very proud of their Sakura. They love to see not only the single petal cherry blossoms in their prime and freshness, they also relish the beauty of falling snowy petals in the spring breeze. Of all flowers, the cherry blossoms appeal most to the aesthetic taste of the Japanese people. The Japanese people are never so jubilant, cheerful, optimistic and youthful as they are at the time of “Sakura” blossom.

sakura in bloom

Since very early days, the people have expressed their love and admiration of the flower in various ways; poets and artists have always been eager to depict the loveliness of the blossom in words and colors. So universal is the Japanese appeal to the moral and aesthetic taste of the nation that they constantly use “Sakura” as a motif on kimonos, lacquerware, pottery and other decorative items.

sakura on kimono

Beautiful as it is in bloom, the Japanese cherry tree does not yield fruit like other cherry trees. A critic once remarked that the Japanese cherry does not have to produce a market crop because it is born aristocrat and its single mission is to be beautiful. But it renders a very useful service to the Japanese people. The wood of the cherry tree is very valuable. It is used for producing color prints, furniture, trays, ornamental columns for alcoves and so on. In old days Sakura wood was used for making printing blocks for books and pictures.

The cherry is extensively cultivated in Japan, though it grows wild on plains and in deep mountains in the country. It can also be found along many river embankments. When blossoming season comes, these trees on winding river embankments turn into gorgeous belts of blossoms extending many miles. It is said, ancient people started to plant Sakura trees on river banks, so that people would be lured to come and their walking on the embankments would solidly pack the earth to make it strong enough to withstand the flooding water in autumn.

sakura woods

It is known that when Sakura tree is forty or fifty years old, it is some thirty or forty feet high, with a trunk three, four, or even six or eight feet in circumference.

There are many varieties of Sakura with blossoms of different blooming time. In the southern warmer region it blooms earlier than in the northern area. So if one starts viewing Sakura in Southern Kyushu in the middle of March, and proceeds northward enjoying the blossom, he/she will end up in Hokkaido in May.

The blooming period of Sakura is very short, and in a few days the flower is scattered away in the spring breeze. So the people are long accustomed to stop their daily work or close up their shops to have Sakura viewing picnics at the best and most convenient places. It is the merriest occasion of the year, with drinks, music and songs. Many people wear ridiculous masks and fantastic costumes aimed at provoking laughter and good fellowship. Amateur musicians may be seen tripping to the twang of the shamisen, trying to recapture the atmosphere of the old Edo period when life ran smoothly in the old groove. Those who wish to enjoy flower viewing in a quiet atmosphere make visits as early as 8 or 9 A.M before boisterous merrymaking begins. They may also choose a remote mountain or sea shore regions which are not visited by very many people.

Sakura blossoms are preserved in salt. When the preserved flowers are put into hot water, it makes a fragrant and delightful drink. It is beautiful, too, as the salted blossoms open up in the cup of hot water. This drink may be served at any time, but particularly at the first meeting of a would-be bride and groom, wedding ceremony and parties. Traditionally people do not serve tea at wedding party, as “chakasu” (turn to tea) means “to turn everything to a jest”. So the serving of tea at wedding ceremony may become an omen to turn the marriage into a failure. Sakura beverage, on the contrary, is served in prayer for the happiness of the newly-wed.

sakura preserved in salt

There is one more tradition, which is connected with the beautiful trees of Sakura. During Girls Doll Festival in Ilarch, confectioners carry a stock of Sakura mochi, a dumpling containing sweet bean paste wrapped in a pickled cherry leaf.

Cherry trees all over Japan will soon burst into clouds of pink blossoms in early April to thrill once again the hearts of the Japanese people with their ancient glory and liveliness. It all depends on the local weather conditions, but during April almost all known cherry resorts in the country will be flushed with banks upon banks of cherry blossoms, the coronation of spring, drawing hundreds of thousands of holiday-makers daily for cherry viewing.

By Inna Colenciuc (ULIM) – Moldova Magazine

Teacher Resources:


Sakura (kanji character) CLICK FOR WIKIPEDIA


Other websites to visit:

Image resources:

To view this as a webpage CLICK HERE.

The Game by Shanae and Shamyah 5-304

The Game is about a girl named Melanie (Tia Mowny from Sister Sister). She has a boyfriend named Derwin. Melanie also has a friend named Kelly and also a friend named Tasha Mac. Tasha Mac has a son named Malik. Malik play football with Derwin, Jason, Malik. Kelly has a daughter named Brittany. Melanie is in college so she don’t go out to parties a lot. Kelly has a club called Sunbeam.

Visit the Seven Wonders of India!

Helping My Mom by Wiguerson

Yesterday I saw my mom watching CNN and she looked tired. I think she was tired and sad watching the news about Haiti. She was just lying there. I decided to sneak into the kitchen with my sister. We took the dishes and then cleaned them. I moved some  sacks  of  rice too. My mom  came  in  and  said  “Wow!”  Then  my  dad  came  in and  gave  me and my sister a  big  thumbs  up. My  mom  gave us both kisses on  the  cheek. It  felt good  to  help  my  mom.

The Postcard by Morgan

My story is about a boy named Tony Abbott. One phone call changes his vacation. When Tony’s grandmother died he was sent to Florida to help his father sort through her things. At first he gripes about spending the summer miles away from his best friends, doing chores and sweating in the Florida heat, but he soon discovers a mystery surrounding his grandmother’s murky past. He discovers an old yellowed postcard…a creepy phone call with a raspy voice at the other end asking, “So how smart are you?”, an entourage of freakish funeral-goers…a bizarre magazine story—all containing clues that will send Tony on a thrilling journey to uncover…family secrets.

To be continued…in my Writer’s Notebook~

The Color of Friendship by Aylia

Some people see the world as black and white
Others see it gray like clouds
But today I tell you
That I see the world in so many colors
Like a bird and its families
They work together as one
They build a huge nest
All different colors of birds
Black, white, red, yellow
All gather in that nest and become friends
Today I see that the world is
The color of friendship
Should it matter what color or race you are?
I don’t think so
I see the world as a rainbow
All sorts of colors
I just hope that, one day
All people can see the world as
The Color of Friendship

When asked what inspired this lovely poem Aylia had this to say, “Yesterday I watched a movie and it was about a white girl and a black girl from South Africa who became friends in the time of apartheid.” Also, while being exposed to the soug “Up to the Moutain”, by Patty Griffin which is dedicated to Dr. King’s last speech where he references the view from the mountain…Aylia just began to write this poem. Inspiration…you just never know what will happen when you become inspired!

Act of Kindness by Nimra

It was a sunny day and I wondered, “what to do?” I could not think until…I got an idea! I can help people out. I went to my mom and asked her, “Mom, do you need help?” “Yes my dear, “ she said. So I helped her clean the dishes.Then I went to my nineteen year old brother and said, “Yo Bro, need help shredding?”

My Act of Kindness by Ashley S

One Wednesday afternoon in the cafeteria as I was waiting on the lunch line, Mrs. Berretta came down sniffing and she said, “I smell some goooood chicken,” as she walked to the back of the lunch line. I thought to myself, “the chicken will be all gone and Mrs. Berretta will not get any gooood chicken.” I said, “Hey Mrs. Berretta you can come in front of me.”
She said, “Oh thank you Ashley. This can be your act of kindness you can write about.”
“That is a great idea Mrs. Berretta, “I said as she got her lunch and walked away, “Bye, Bye Mrs. Berretta.”


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