Sunday, September 7, 2014

Interesting News and Apple and Cranberry Crisp with Ginger-Pecan Topping

The President’s Committee’s Turnaround Arts initiative, created in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Domestic Policy Council, is a public-private partnership designed to help transform some the nation’s lowest performing schools through comprehensive and integrated arts education. Developed from the recommendations in PCAH’s recent report Reinvesting in Arts Education:Winning America's Future Through Creative Schools. the Committee’s landmark research publication of May 2011, Turnaround Arts will test the hypothesis that high-quality and integrated arts education can be an effective tool to strengthen school reform efforts-boosting academic achievement and increasing student motivation in schools facing some of the toughest educational challenges in the country.
Michelle Obama is the chair of this committee.
My daughter's school is one of 35 schools nationwide that has been targeted to participate in this program. All schools participating in Turnaround Arts will receive training and resources to address their individual needs. Resources will include a summer leadership program, in-school professional development, partnerships with community arts education and cultural organizations, art supplies and musical instruments. Participating artists will “adopt” Turnaround Arts schools for the length of the program, working with students, schools and communities to highlight their success.
The first phase was school beautification. Several weeks ago before school started paint was provided to the schools with labor and also subsidized by volunteer teachers. Several designated areas like lunchroom, library and gym were painted in bright colors. . Outside landscaping was implemented as well. There are several phases throughout the year and the teachers are in the process of becoming acquainted with the program.
The exciting news is that the TV show "Good Morning America" will be filming there this week as well as a visit from movie star Jamie Fox. There will be an all school assembly and I am currently working on an appropiate outfit for a school volunteer. :) TBA when the show will be broadcast. 
A work in progress...the library being painted.   
The Moon is 98% full so be sure to check it out the next few nights.   
Apple and Cranberry Crisp with Ginger Pecan Topping
Cook's notes: Take the chill out of a cool night by serving warm apple and cranberry crisp. The tart Granny Smith apples pair well with dried cranberries. The crystallized ginger adds that extra oomph.
recipe adapted from Bon Appetit October 2003
Filling Ingredients:
  • 4 medium sized Granny Smith apples. peeled, cored and cubed
  • 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 TB. minced crystallized ginger or 1/2 tsp. dried ginger 
  • 2 TB flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • optional 1/3 cup raisins 
Topping Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • dash or 16th of ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2/3 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
  • Preheat oven to 375 and grease an 8 x 8 baking dish.
  • Mix all filling ingredients and let stand until juicy about 5 minutes.
  • Add to baking dish and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Prepare topping first 7 ingredients and rub butter in with fingertips until coarse meal forms. Optional-pulse ingredients in a food processor.
  • Mix in pecans and crumble topping over apple mixture.
  • Bake until topping is golden brown, apples are tender and juices are thick and bubbling about 20-25 minutes.
  • Serve warm with ice cream.   

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