Monday, April 13, 2015

BUGS take a new look at science

On the last day before spring break, BUGS ventured to the MD Science Center! We attended an IMAX presentation about lemurs, an endangered species in Madagascar. Afterwards, we had lunch by the Harbor and explored the Science Center! Students got a chains to learn about many topics, such as blue crabs and the Chesapeake Bay, dinosaurs, and had the opportunity to lay on a bed of nails. It was a great way to spend our last day together before the break!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Superheroes and Spring Coming!

The BUGS artists have been busy using their creative powers for good! The Ladybugs put their imaginations to work deciding what kind of superheroes they are - they designed and created costumes including masks, wings, bows and arrows, helmets, shields and capes. After visiting Guerilla Comics in Fells Point to research female super heroes it is clear that the ladybugs are some of the bravest, fiercest, and most powerful superheroes around. 

 Aside from this snowy first day of spring the weather has been beautiful and the BUGS students have been ready to celebrate warmth, seedlings sprouting, and the sun! Watercoloring around the gardens is a favorite new pastime.  

Legg Mason & Bikes

On Monday, March 16th, the BUGS After-School Program was given two bikes from Legg Mason. These bikes were constructed as a part of a team building exercise with high-ranking directors. The directors were from New York, Baltimore, London, and Singapore. They were separated into small groups. Each group was given a problem to solve. Once the problem was solved, they were then awarded a part of the bike. As the problems were solved, they were able to receive all the parts of the bike and then able to construct it.  At the end of the exercise, there were 8 bikes constructed.

Rebekah Lin Meyer, Living Classrooms Volunteer Coordinator, and Jennifer Byers, Legg Mason Non-Profit Outreach Director, were instrumental in allowing the BUGS Program to be about of the bike giveaway. Jeff Masom, Living Classrooms Foundation Board Member, briefly spoke about his connection to the Living Classrooms Foundation and all of the incredible programs that the foundations has in reaching the Baltimore community.  He then introduced the BUGS Program. Shyan Locklear and Darryl Spence were two students who represented the BUGS Program with this presentation. Needless to say, the students were excited! BUGS is now the proud owner of two bikes (one girl, one boy). These bikes will be a part of a giveaway for the BUGS First Annual Parent/Child Dance.  

Friday, February 27, 2015

BUGS Expo a Great Success

Despite the bleak weather and the many snow days, the BUGS students and staff made each day count to get everything ready for the Expo. The teachers all planned their posters and carefully setup their tables to showcase what the students have been working on over the last few months. And Mr. Tyone, with some help from Mr. Al, ran the students through rehearsal after rehearsal trying to get everything ready for the big day.

Mr. Tyone oversees a rehearsal at CJR

Some Grasshoppers squeeze in a few extra minutes of practice

Yet another rehearsal, this time at LCF. Gotta get this down.

Everyone's efforts paid off as a the cafeteria at Commodore filled up with families eager to see the students progress. They had a chance to mingle with other parents, eat some supper and wander through the displays from the various classes.
Ladybugs running an assembly line of Chicken Caesar Salad wraps to share
To top off the whole evening, the students put on a spectacular performance featuring music from Michael Jackson and Aaliyah. The audience loved it!
Enjoying the show

Here's a short clip of the finale of the show.  
Hopefully we will have some copies of the full show available in the future.

Now our thoughts turn to springtime. Along with melting snow we have lots of things to look forward to including outdoor recreation time and some more great events to show off what the BUGS students are up to. On March 28th we will have a Parent-Student Dance and then a few weeks later, on April 25th we will hold the 19th Annual BUS Farmer's Market. So mark your calendars so you don't miss 'em.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


The Spider Clan has been working very hard on preparing for the BUGS Expo, scheduled for February 25, 2015. For the Expo they will be paying tribute to the late, great Michael Jackson. They will be doing their own rendition of one of MJ's biggest hits, "Thriller". Check them out as they rehearse for their performance.  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

BUGS show great leadership!

This week presented an exciting opportunity for students of the  
Baltimore Urban Gardening with Students after-school program.

Baltimore City's Student Environmental Leadership Action Team (SELAT) meeting was hosted by Commodore John Rodgers, just a few blocks from the BUGS campus. Our students prepared themselves for the meeting by talking about what healthy changes they would like to see at their school. The conversation focused a lot on trash, but we also touched on worms, bees, gardens, trees and more.

Afterwards, BUGS students designed and created a coloring book about recycling which they will give away at the BUGS Expo on Feb. 25th.

In other news... If your school green team is still looking for plants for the spring:

BUGS will start your seeds from scratch – submit request by Mar 1

Students will be growing seed starts for schools. If you provide the seeds, there is no cost; if BUGS supplies the seeds, schools can ask for specific plants and then pay a small fee ($5 per 20 plants).  Seedlings will be ready for pick-up at the BUGS Farmers Market on Apr 25 (802 S. Caroline St. in Harbor East, 10am-2pm).  Alternate pick up times can also be scheduled.
Please email Jason Reed at

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Team Building with BUGS

Many of our students were taking great advantage of a meeting being held at their school for the Student Environmental Leadership Action Team with Mr. Jason. This meant that we were a few BUGS short of a regular day. With this, Mr. Tyone and I decided to combine our students to do some team-building and get to know our students on a more personal level. We tied in elements of both dance and STEM to make this a fun, educational, and productive time together.

 Here I am teaching the girls how to do a thigh stand. We talked about balance and weight to make our stunt safe. Pictured left to right: Ty'nasia, Lariyah, Ms. Valerie, Sharron, Tracey, Taylor, and Arly.
 Success! We completed the thigh stand stunt and the girls were very proud! We bonded over learning a new skill and learning about Ms. Valerie's cheerleading past.

To engage the girls and boys to work together more willingly and cooperatively, we challenged the students to make a human pyramid. We talked about elements of safety, how many people they had in total versus how many people would be on each level of the pyramid, weight distribution, and balance.

In the beginning, the girls and the boys did not want to work together or have anything to do with each other. Here, they are joined for a happy group photo for a job well done!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Very BUGS Christmas

With the tune of Mariah Carey "All I Want For Christmas Is You" playing in the background the BUGS students sat in anticipation to receive their gifts.

The BUGS Students earn "BUG Bucks" daily as part of our incentive program. A few times a year they get to cash in those bucks for items from the BUG Buck Catalogue.

But what really got us into the christmas spirit are the gift donations we received from the Allegis Staffing Service Group. Each student received a stocking stuffed with goodies and a personal card, handmade, by the staff. 

Seeing the smiles on our students faces is absolutely priceless. 
Happy New Year!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Cooking up the holiday spirit

Holiday lights are going up all over the city and there's a chill in the air. It's definitely starting to feel like the holidays here at BUGS. Last week was Thanksgiving Break and Student Lead Conferences at Commodore, so there weren't many students for the 2 days of programming.
This week has been a busy one in the kitchen with the Ladybugs. Monday we practiced our chopping skills while whipping up a delicious fried rice. Then, Tuesday the girls got very fancy making their own pasta. Here are some pictures of them rolling the dough and shaping it into "farfalle" or bowties.

Note the looks on concentration on Danyell and Arly's faces. And that's Taylor cranking away on the pasta machine. Team work!

Aaliyah, Tracy and Ty'Shay are hard at work but were able to spare time for a smile. 

Pasta shaping. 
And the finished product, laid out for drying. The festive color, which comes from beets, makes them look like Christmas ribbons.

Then, to truly get into the holiday spirit Mr. Tyone organized at trip to the Meyerhoff to see the Nutcracker. But this was not your traditional rendition of the Nutcracker. It had Duke Ellington's music performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and dance performances by Step Afrika.

Jaylen conducting the orchestra.

Doneisha pointing out the appearance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
On the trip back to school the students were unable to pick a favorite part, but liked all the bits with the step but especially when they were able to participate. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014


For the past two weeks the spiders have been learning about a very aggressive and stylistic genre of dance known as "Krump". Krump is a very emotionally driven style of dance used in the streets of California to settle disputes, as well as to express emotions and faith. The boys were amped and ready to dive into the world of krump learning a brief history of the style, as well as a few movements to combine into a short combination. Here is the final product of one of the routines they've learned thus far!

video video
The spiders are always ready and willing to jump into a dance cypher, always eager to show off their moves to everyone. Sometimes these cyphers even turn into one on one battles and thats just what happened in the second video above. Watch as Jamal and Edward battle it out to be known as "Krump King" in THE BATTLE GROUND!