Local Youngster Trains with Former NFL Player

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David “D-Magic” Macon is on his way to being a football star. The only problem is, he may have to wait a couple of years to become a football great like Tom Brady or Joe Montana. That’s because D-Magic is only eleven-years-old.

Nicknamed “D-Magic” for his blazing speed yet humble demeanor, he lets his work ethic tell the story.

“Twice a week, I go to track, three times a week. I might have track meets on the weekends. And in the football season, I’ll have practice and games,” says David.

Former NFL cornerback Brandon Bing trains David, along with other young Philadelphia-area athletes, to cultivate their potential. Bing is impressed with what he has seen so far in David.

“As far as Magic, we started sessions inside, and he started showing up,” says Bing. “We worked something out. We were going about 2 to 3 times a week for like two months. We just saw the improvement. He’s a player who I’ve seen get consistently better but, naturally had that, so I said I got to work with him. So we started going 2-3 months straight and we just started picking it back up. Yeah, I think he’ll be great once he starts to get the details down.”

During the bi-weekly training, Bing tests David’s agility with drills that any professional football player would take part in. David’s football coach, Maquis Merricks, says that David is improving because of his work with Bing.

“It’s great that he’s with Bing,” Merricks says. “He’s learning D-Back drills, wide receiver drills, he’s getting his footwork. Incredible. His catching has gone up. His hand-eye coordination has gone up. His work off season has taken him to a whole other level.”

It is easy to see why David’s father, Ford Howard, has high hopes for his son.

“As a dad, I really want him to go to a good high school to display his talents with. And you know, I want to think short-term. He’s in the 5th grade right now. I want to think National Championship 2017 and getting into a good high school,” says Howard.

David’s goals include wanting to get into a good high school where he can continue to hone his skills so he can get into a reputable college. If he were to play a game with any professional football player, it would be Julio Jones. David plans to continue working so he can have a career in the NFL.

Local Basketball Stars Headed to Premier College Programs

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On any given weekday at Neumann-Goretti High School, you’ll find the boys’ basketball team practicing hard in their gym.  The team has had a winning tradition, along with a tradition of producing D-1 college athletes – like Scoop Jardine and Rick Jackson. Today, the team boasts two more nationally ranked players – Quade Green and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree.

Their stellar play has been turning heads both at the local and national level. Green has been averaging 20.8 points and 8 assists per game in his senior season.  Cosby-Roundtree averages 16.3 points and 11.7 boards.  Their coach, Carl Arrigale, had high praise for his boys, comparing them to Neumann-Goretti alumni Scoop Jardine and Rick Jackson.

“Dada’s a shot blocker, he can come away from the basket a little bit, put the ball on the ground a little bit,” Coach Arrigale said. “Rick didn’t do much of that in high school. Scoop and Quade are a little similar.  Quade’s a little smaller, a little quicker, maybe a little better shooter than Scoop was. But they’re both dynamic playmakers, and Quade’s a little quicker.  And they play well together.”

And they’ve also both caught the eyes of two of the biggest college programs in the nation.  Green has committed to Kentucky, and Cosby to Villanova.  When asked what it was that stood out the most from their conversations with Coaches Calipari and Wright, respectively, both expressed that it was their sense of selflessness and character.

“Calipari was true from day 1.  He wants the best for the kids and the program.  He wants the kids to do big things.  Life goes on,” said Green.

Cosby added, “He (Coach Jay Wright) always talked about family and working hard and trying to do everything for other people.  He always told me, not to play for myself, but to play for my team; not just for me, for my team, help my team win.”

With all the hard work these young men have put in both on and off the court, their futures are looking very bright.

Redesigned Courses Invigorate Academic Performance

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The way students are taught in class is a subject that has been given some attention by Temple faculty members.  If you ask some students, they’ll tell you classes are not as engaging as they’d like them to be.

“I feel like some of my classes are good and some of them are really bad, but it mostly depends on the professor,” says Chemistry student Davette Ceaser. “It’s very rarely about the content of the course.”

A new approach to teaching classes is giving students an academic boost. Temple has recently implemented several redesigned courses that are intended to increase the engagement and amplify the success of students. Professor Daniele Ramella and his revamped General Chemistry class are one example of that success.

“I have flipped the entire class.  This flipping means taking the boring part (listening to my voice) out of the class time, and putting into the class time the harder part of processing the information, applying the information, and practicing problem-solving, which is what traditionally you would just do at home, after class, while studying.” says professor Ramella.

Ramella says that the key is engagement, which breeds higher learning behaviors.  Engaging students is a matter of pairing ways of communicating the material with making students feel comfortable in tackling that material.  This puts the students in the best position to learn.

“They’re not only passively listening to the materials which is being thrown at them, but they’re actually processing information,” he said.

As a result of these newly implemented teaching techniques students have passed these courses with more frequent A’s and A-’s.

“I was a skeptic myself, then I did it, and the result was astounding. And you end up with double the percent of A’s in your class.  Something is happening there.” said Ramella.

Ramella believes this will be a long and arduous process due to the scientific community just recently taking a scientific look at the process of learning. One thing is for certain, however, he is hopeful that we are headed in the right direction.

Temple University’s Hootathon Raises Over $400,000

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Every year, for the past 4 years, Temple students have gathered together to dance for 12 hours in an effort to raise funds and awareness for patients of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, known as HootaThon.

This past weekend, students and families of CHOP patients turned out in droves at the Liacouras Center.  The event offered dancing, games, and other activities for students to enjoy.

But it wasn’t all fun and games.  Many, like Maxi Ehrlich, were deeply touched by the stories they hear from the miracle families.

“I think the most important part is remembering why we’re here, and that definitely happens when we hear from the miracle families,”  Ehrlich says.

Hootathon’s Senior Director of External Affairs, Megan Schmitt, explained how this year is bigger than ever for the miracle families.

“Our goal is $400,000, so we’ve increased our goal by almost $200,000 from last year.  So we’re hoping that we will hit it today, we will see when it gets closer to midnight,” she said.

All their hard work paid off as the final tally for funds raised came out at $404,074.85.