Racquet Up Detroit has built an outstanding partnership with literacy experts from Michigan State University’s College of Education, led by Board Member Dr. Susan Florio-Ruane. In collaboration with the MSU team, the Racquet Up staff has designed an innovative, research-based approach to developing young people’s reading and writing skills. With buy-in from the families and schools, commitment from the students, and the support of talented volunteers and staff, Racquet Up has built some real momentum behind its literacy development efforts.
Stay tuned to this page for regular exhibitions of student work.
Racquet Up Detroit organizes classroom and squash programming on themes. This year, students experienced grit in tough squash matches, debated the presidential election studying citizenship, and found a favorite funny person researching humor.
Our current unit is dedicated to the pursuit of curiosity. In the classroom, we are reading www.wonderopolis.org, a website that answers puzzling questions. We’re working with a vocabulary set related to curiosity, and used our creative talents to express these words. Here are a few samples of student work from the beginning of our Curiosity Unit.
Christopher Wilson’s Drawing Inspired by this Wonderopolis entry.
Desmon and Zion explore missing food, below.
Darryl’s fascinating front yard.
Toyona marvels at space
And a few stories, for your reading pleasure.
By Armani Taylor
R – Regrow out of long green grass with long green stems. Humans sit, watch the rose and feel the wind.
O – Owned by the sun and splashing water, or maybe rain drops, watching it splash you can see the rose flop.
S – Somewhere in the garden you could find one if you look.
E – Everywhere, but you must be careful, it might have already been took.
S – Seeing them makes me smile, drawing them and coloring them is and always will bee my style.
By Eriona Graham
I sprout on a tree, but from just a little seed. Planted in the dirt now high up on a tell tree. Seeing all these other trees planted around me. Watching rain fall all up on me. Cold winds blowing off my friends. Hoping fall won’t make me fall. Just waiting for the spring to be more warm. Then summer around the corner. Just waiting for the sun to shine bright.
By Samantha Onwenu
Once upon a time there was an alien named ET the Curious. ET the Curious was always so nosy. He loved to explore all of Krypton. ET was fascinated with how Kryptonite affected his brain and power. He decided to examine the amazingly mysterious rocks. ET had a hunch that the investigation will lead him to the Great Book of Snooping. His hypothesis was to pry the information out of the elder. He went to the elder and was bewildered or confused to find out that the elder knew nothing of the Kryptonite. The elder said that his desire to find out why the rocks were on the planet will lead to his doom.
To Be Continued…
On Friday, May 18, Racquet Up students gathered in the theater at the Northwest Activities Center. With months of writing and weeks of preparing, the students showcased their talents as story-tellers, poets, dancers, rappers, and artists.
After a night created and run entirely by Racquet Up students, the audience left entertained and eager to hear more. And the students share in the excitement: just yesterday, Anthony asked if Racquet Up could hold two Open Mic nights each year, one in December and one in May.
Get ready for more performances from Racquet Up students. Also, be prepared to grab a copy of the upcoming Racquet Up Detroit student publication, “My Writing, My World: Racquet Up Detroit Creations.” We’ll have the books in early June, and students will perform selections at the Racquet Up year-end party on Friday, June 22 at the Northwest Activites Center ballroom. It will be another blockbuster Racquet Up Detroit event — don’t miss it!
Here are a few highlights from the Open Mic night. Stay tuned for video clips of the students performing.
I Am K. Price by K. Price
Who are you?
I am a burning squash ball along the wall
What are you?
I am a professional racquet swinging through the winds.
What can you be?
I am a college graduate playing with the pros.
Where are you from?
I am from Detroit, the city of hard times where you hear kids spitting rhymes.
Who is K. Price?
I am burning squash balls coming from swinging racquets hit by a college graduate playing with the pros.
RU Forever, Written by Justin Bradley, performed by Justin and Nathan Hayes
Unstoppable alone indestructible together RU assemble!
I look up to this opportunity every day, try to be the best in every way
I work in the classroom, play in the court
But no matter what I’ll always be a good sport.
You ready, let’s go!
I leave school with my friends, that’s right they’re my friends
because I think they’re tight but when we get in a fight it’s not alright
Mr. Derek, Mr. Patrick, and Ms. Connie too come to the problem they know what to do
we all talk it out we shake hands now we can be friends again.
That’s my rap about RU don’t forget it, if you do you’ll regret it
Now I bid you farewell and good night
but respect all other because that’s what’s tight.
Why I Like Squash, Written by Starnisha Ramsey, Performed by Starnisha and Patricia Rucker
Squash is fun
Squash is great
Why do I play?
Because it’s fun
How to play?
With a racquet and ball
No, when you get used to it.
It’s not hard at all!
RU Rap by Khalil Anderson, Performed by Khalil and Desmon Darby
Racquet Up Detroit is my hometown fellow and you know our colors are black & yellow
Everytime we meet someone new we clap and say hello
Our grip is tight not jiggly like jello-o if you lose a point always stay calm & mellow
You know we get them serves in, when we play a match I know we are going to win
Up or down that’s called a racquet spin, hit the shots high and don’t hit the tin
Hit the ball high but not straight out, Racquet Up Detroit is what I’m talking about
Racquet Up from the big D & the 313
if you want to mess with us you gotta go through me
and you can’t spell team with a T
I’m Desmon D and I’m number 3
and I want you to see this is the program for you & me
Racquet Up is cool Racquet Up is awesome, this program really helps me blossom
in academics, if you know just where you want to go
I keep my racquet up and my eyeguards on
I want to have protection right or wrong
We stay active & fit all day long
We do push-ups, sit-ups, crunches & lunges
We jump & run and that’s just the beginning of the fun
I love Racquet Up now I am done.
Last week, Racquet Up writers revised stories, crafted haikus, and finished drawings in preparation for our upcoming publication. Featuring all Racquet Up students, the book will highlight our unit on travel destinations, as well as the fun activities we’ve done throughout the year. Look for the book to be out at the end of May. Also, Racquet Up writers will be performing at the Racquet Up Open Mic Night on May 18, from 5:30pm-7:00pm in the theater at the Northwest Activities Center. Come hear and support youth voices.
Part of the writing process is sharing our work, and Racquet Up students are ready to share. We’ve learned pre-writing strategies, read writing samples, created story diagrams, and learned revision techniques. Just look at Racquet Up writers working hard on their skills!
Errr, wait! That looks more like a creative story, fun time. Here is a picture of us working hard!
Here are a few selections from our recent unit on destinations. Students wrote in two distinct styles. First, they used internet research tools, found relevant information and pictures, and created a report. Students practiced finding information online in quick and efficient ways, and started to understand the importance of credibility and reliability in reading online information. Second, students used this background knowledge to create a fictional and creative story about their place. This story, unlike the report, contained a specific plot, character development, dialogue, and conflict.
Not it’s your turn to take the test: Can you tell the difference?
Paris may seem like a beautiful place but is it? Paris has about 2,211,297 people. I believe french people have cool accents. They seem somewhat polite. So lets learn some more about Paris.
Also Paris has a Crystal skull. The skull belongs to a man named Mitchell-Hedges. The crystal skull is made from clear milky quartz known as rock crystal. The skulls are known to be paranormal. It’s often portrayed as fiction.
Paris also has a well known painting called the Mona Lisa. The Mona Lisa was painted by an Italian artist named Leonardo Da Vinci. It’s also known as the La Joconde. So we see it has some beautiful artifacts.
But does it have decent jobs? Paris has a particular customer service building called Teletech. They pretty much just help people in crisis. It also has an Internet Assessor job. I’m really not sure what they do, my guess is that they help people access the Internet.
But does it have good food? Paris has a food called Jacques Genin’s fresh mint ganache. To me it sounds pretty good. They also have fresh baked croissants. So to me the food sounds pretty good.
But does it have some good architecture? Paris benefits from thier architecture because they get many tourists. Paris buildings have earlier styles from various centuries. Paris is known for thier architecture.
But does it have good technolgy? Theres one place called ParisTech. ParisTech is a well established publicly-owned educational and research institutions many of which were founded back in the 18th century. I found that it said it has an prestigious history. So thats really good.
In conclusion Paris,France seems like a great place go. I would definitely recommend going to Paris. Just to taste their food or even see tourist sites. To me Paris a really fascinating place. So before you say Paris is just the city of love think about site seeing and the history and new things I promise it won’t disappoint you.
Once upon a time it was a cold windy day at the airport. Me, Avian, Kortinie were moving to Atlanta to perform on tour. We were very excited. On the flight we fell asleep a couple of times. When we arrived in Atlanta it was 8:00 pm. We went to sleep to get beauty rest for the big day to perform tomorrow. The next day came very fast; it was a busy morning. We went to practice our dances and our singing. After that we went to sound check to check the microphone.
It was 6:00 o’clock. SHOWTIME. We got our hair down straight with curls and our outfits ready. We were really nervous because we didnt know how the Atlanta people will react to us. When we got on stage we sang our heart out. We knew all the words and the dance moves. The crowd gave us a standing ovation. The girls and I were really happy. It turns out that going to Atlanta was good after all.
San Francisco is located in California. The city of San Francisco uses American dollars. The language the people in San Francisco speak is American-English. The population of San Francisco is 7, 468, 390 people. I want to go to this city because I love to explore new cities and places and I love to shop.
The Golden Gate Bridge, which is located in San Francisco is 764 ft tall and is the most beautiful sight in the world. The construction of the bridge began in January 1933. The bridge was finished on April 19, 1937. As I searched, I found out that many people commit suicide on the bridge. When most people commit suicide, it is not a very pretty sight.
San Francisco is the land of hippees.There is also a car called The Cable Car which is very popular in San Franscico. The cable car goes up and down hills just like riding a roller coaster.
This story is to tell you about the sights and glories of San Franscico. Also it shows some of the most popular attractions there.In this story there are also some great facts for you to know. I chose this city because it has beautiful sights.
This is information about Big Ben in U.K. Big Ben was completed on April 10 1858. Big Ben is 320 feet tall and the bell weighs over 12 tons. Big Ben is to be the biggest clock tower in the world. When Big Ben rings in london you can feel the vibration in your feet. Big Ben is made out of tin, copper, and pieces of the old Big Ben which was demolished. The color of Big Ben is kind of gray, bits of green, and pigeon poo. There are 334 steps from the ground to the belfry of the clock tower. The belfry is where you find Big Ben and the quarters of the bells. Another thing the clock tower has a prison room and the last prisoner there was a guy named Charles Braidlaugh he refuse to take oath on the bible. Big Ben had an offical clock tower name which was the clock tower. Today Big Ben is 152 years old.
If you want to go to U.K make sure you go to London to see Big Ben!
Iceman savior, help me please before he tries to kill me! Iceman is on his way to Puerto Rico, to slay the dragon. When he arrived, he said, “Now hand her over or things are going to get ugly.” The dragon replied, “well lets get ugly.”
The battle began. The iceman was in the great big battle to save the girl. Iceman said, “give up or I am going to get frisky isky.” The dragon replied, “well go ahead and get frisky.” The iceman punches the dragon, the dragon kicked the iceman then that is when iceman took over pow!!! wow!!!! Come on, dragon says, “that’s all you got you punk.”
“WHAT!!!!” iceman replied, “I can beat you with my eyes closed so stop talking all that junk you look like punk and smell like a sunk so do you really want to play punk?” Ok pow, the iceman hits the dragon he does the twist kick flip and end the fight and then freeze. Something the iceman says after he wins a fight “freeze somebody give me my money please.” Hurry we should go before he starts to unfrost.
“Ah Ah AH Ah Ah” the iceman returns home from a big battle. He safely makes it home, and she makes it home and she is safe and sound and it ends a happy celebration.
Me, Jerreon, and Erric went to Las Vegas because it was my birthday and I wanted to have fun. So Erric threw a party for me. So I got in the car and started driving to search for his house.
It was just me driving in a red Fusion. I was listening to Michael Jackson’s ‘Dancing Machine’ I was singing out loud. I missed a turn and then I realized it and panicked! I didn’t want to miss this. I called my brother and asked him ‘where am I going again?’ He finally told me and I found the house and suprised everyone.
When I walked in it was alot of people and there were alot of balloons. Music was loud, people were happy to see me and I was happy to see them. There were dance contests going on and more. Like people were singing and eating like crazy cause the food was good. The food was fried chicken, salad, biscuits, mashed potatoes, ham, green beans, peas, and hot sauce.
The birthday cake was a so good, it was a vanilla cake with whippy icing and I was soooo happy.The party did not stop untill 12am. We spent the night over at Erric’s house. I had a good day and a good time with family and my friends. We agreed to do this again next year. We went out the next day to eat.
During January’s visit from the Born and Raised Detroit Foundation, Racquet Up writers were asked: What does Born and Raised Detroit mean to you? Utilizing their unique perspective and powerful voices, students created and shared a collage of opinions on Detroit.
Born and Raised Detroit to me is that you are born in Detroit and raised in Detroit and that you live in Detroit. But when I’m old I will move to L.A. or Chicago but I will visit Detroit. But there are good things at Detroit like the movies, Coney Island, Mom and Dad lives there, and Downtown Detroit. I will go to other places like Cal to visit my friends. But Detroit is my hometown and I love it here.
Trevone Perkins, Schulze Academy
It means giving back to the city. It means helping our city and donating many different things like cleaning up Detroit. I’m proud that we have companies like Ford, that was originated in Detroit as the first car company. Detroit is a great place to stay because we don’t really have earthquakes and we don’t have tsunamis. Detroit has a lot of history like Motown. You can go to Canada without having to go very far because Detroit borders Canada. Detroit is a very great place that I think you should visit.
Alonte Patterson, MacDowell Elementary
Born in Detroit because it is awesome,
Raised in Detroit because it is important,
Detroit is a wonderful place to live.
Cry me Detroit
RU Racquet Up
RU Born in Detroit
RU Raised in Detroit
Detroit RU Ready?
Leon Franklin, Schulze Academy
Born and Raised Detroit means to me as helping other. It also means looking out for each other. One time I met a new girl. She was very nice at first. She gave me green candy. This is what Born and Raised Detroit means to me.
Kortinie Rollins, MacDowell Elementary
I think that
it means born in
Detroit, they raised
their money in
Detroit. Detroit is
a good place to
live if you take
out all the thugs.
Our city is not
ugly we have to
help our city.
Darryl Washington, Jr, Schulze Academy
When I hear Born and Raised Detroit I think of inadequate schools, Motown, Big Sean, soul food, K-9, Lions, Fairlane, Northland, Auto Show, Ford, a safe area with no natural disasters, best chips, GOOD PEOPLE.
Abdur Bouyer, MacDowell Elementary
I was born and raised in Detroit. In Detroit you meet lots of people and go to new places. I can always have fun in Detroit. In Detroit I play a sport called squash. The team I play for is Racquet Up Detroit. Being born in Detroit means you have fun and an exciting life. Some people think Detroit is a terrible city but I think it’s a great city. I think I will stay in Detroit when I grow up but I will travel a lot. I’ll travel a lot but I will always come back to Detroit. I’ll make sure I’ll always come back to visit my family. I’ll always give back to my home city The Big D the home of the Detroit Pistons, the Lions, the Red Wings, and Tigers. Detroit. I love Detroit, it’s the best city ever.
P.S. I’ll represent Detroit in New York!!!
Samantha Onwenu, Schulze Academy
I was born in New York to live.
I was raised in Detroit to fight.
Detroit is a big city. When I grow up I am going to move and never come back. Detroit’s test scores are low and the kids are doing terrible on their tests.
J’aMonte Patmon, Schulze Academy
When I hear Born and Raised Detroit I hear kindness and savage. So I say “thank you” to all who helped. Everyone say Detroit is a bad place but it’s a good place too. PAL is who I play football for. It might not be the safest place but everyone is always looking after you.
Anthony Holmes, MacDowell Elementary.
Born and Raised Detroit means to share, care, help, donate, teamwork, and pretty much to help Detroit to be a better place. People need to help Detroit by planting trees and giving Detroit a green thumb. People need to think and do positive things instead of negative things and action.
Zion Miller, MacDowell Elementary
When I think of born and raised in Detroit I think of born and raised in Detroit. I don’t want to stay in Detroit I want to move somewhere else and not stay in one place. I also think of neighborhoods. If someone asks what was it like living in Detroit I would say it’s okay.
Aaron Levy, MacDowell Elementary
When I think about Born and Raised Detroit I think about people from Detroit had a hard life. I think about the Lions and how they became one of the worst teams and then we finally went to the playoffs.
Quran Davis, MacDowell Elementary
To be born and raised Detroit means that you live in a famous and a great city. This a a famous city because people like Big Sean, Rosa Parks, Aretha Franklin, and many more. This is a great city because people don’t know the wonderful things about it. One of the wonderful things about it are the schools. The schools are good because it will be hard finding new friends. This is what it means to me.
Khalil Anderson, Schulze Academy
With students studying and learning about empathy, Racquet Up participated in 4 community service trips in April and May. Continue reading
One college visit, one cultural excursion, one family event, one tournament, and one community service event since mid-March! Continue reading
Racquet Up Detroit has one current job opening for qualified applicants. Click the link below to find out more. http://www.idealist.org/view/job/cH9zZWB5d9MD/