I read the article with interest and agree that it is going to take each person in the village to take a hard look at themselves to see if they have one finger pointing out but 3 fingers pointing back at themselves. Personally, I'm glad the Charter schools have come and made an impact. The Uncommon schools have one mission-to see that more urban children get to college because education is what changes the status quo. Everything about those schools implies that the student can make it and the staff is going to ensure that they do. That's been my experience. For children that don't fit the very structured mold of a charter school, I think we as parents and grandparents are going to have to realize that we are going to have to teach our children to read ourselves. No waiting for the CSD to do it. No waiting for a reading teacher to show up in the district. Each one teach one so when our children hit the front door of their school they have the basics down pat.
On Thursday, 1/30 Dr. Karsonya W. Whitehead gave students at the U of R the Carter G. Woodson lecture. To say the least, it was inspiring. Her point was that as teachers, educators, parents, we have an obligation to "spark the genius" in each child through our own ability to maintain the vision that genius is indeed there. so the child can become empowered. There are some teachers and parents (it is a team) who are able to hold on to the vision and see the gifts in each child and are able to cultivate that gift. this to me is the challenge in teaching... can the adult take the lead in establishing rapport, stirring interest, and ultimately inspire the passion in the child to be the best student he/she can be despite poverty or any other potential road block? The answer is yes. It has been done in other urban cities, and it can be done in Rochester.
On next Thursday, Dr. Raymond Winbush will be speaking at the Baobub Cultural Center on the strategies needed to raise African American boys. Any teacher or parent even remotely connected should hear what he has to say.
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