Mr. Velasco, High School Government and AP History teacher in his second year of the Teach for America program, is highly involved with the 21st Century Charter School @ Gary Community.  Next school year, Mr. Velasco will transition to a mentor teacher role at 21st Century Charter School at Gary.  In addition to teaching AP classes, Mr. Velasco started the National Honor Society Chapter at 21c along with another Teach for America teacher, Mr. Swanson.  Mr. Velasco also heads one of 21c’s most active clubs – the Anime Club! The Anime Club meets weekly, where members learn Japanese (Mr. Velasco speaks Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese), draw and read manga series, and view anime films.  

The Anime Club has held several fundraisers at 21c, including a Friday night viewing of Princess Mononoke, a classic anime movie directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki.  By charging admission to the film screening, and selling popcorn, students were able to raise funds toward an end-of-year cultural immersion field trip to Chicago, which took place last Friday! 

Mr. Velasco and the Anime Club feasted on all-you-can-eat Sushi, and attended a Taiko performance at the University of Chicago.  In Japanese, the term taiko means “drum” – outside of Japan, Taiko refers to a lively routine of ensemble drumming on wadaiko instruments.  In addition to these activities, the Anime Club visited classic sites in the Windy City, including the Art Institute, Millennium Park, and, of course, The Bean.

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