Category Archives: Education

Nice! Homeless Teens Taught to ‘Code’ at Boston Shelter

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*There is little more honorable than stepping outside of the proverbial box and taking a chance on something — especially when it comes from  a sincere desire to empower another. I am thinking of Brookview House, a homeless shelter and affordable housing complex in the Dorchester Center neighborhood of Boston; where a group of volunteers come together to teach teens aged 13 to 18 how to code.

Now, I’m no “techie,” but I do know that anyone living on planet earth without computer skills in this day and age is either unemployed, underemployed or somewhere in between. Technology is both the “wave of the present AND the future” and knowledge of how to work your way around a computer (not to mention a mac) is more likely to not only get you a job, but keep you on one longer than someone with limited computer skills.

So imagine knowing how to actually CREATE code. Hell, now we’re talking building your own tech business and just sitting back and waiting for the customers to roll in.

I pray this incredibly thoughtful experiment (for lack of another word because it is unprecedented) catches on with similar establishments. Continue reading

Wow! 67-Year-Old Former Harlem Drug Dealer Graduates from Columbia! (Watch)

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*That’s right. You read the headline right. And this story is proof that one can turn one’s life around. I’m talking 360. And further, that its never too late to do so. It’s a pleasure to report a positive outcome for 67-year-old David Norman, who traded in his orange jumpsuit for graduation attire as he joined the graduating class at the prestigious Columbia University last Wednesday, after acquiring his long sought after Bachelors Degree in…wait for it…

Philosophy.

I have yet to meet a felon who didn’t come out of prison with a greater depth of all things philosophical. Think about it — all the time they get to do nothing but sit. And. Think. You have two choices in prison, I would think: Go with the flow or step outside of the box and do you.

It appears to me Mr. Norman chose option #2.

This man’s life from an early age was anything but normal. Just a glimpse of his beginnings show a kid who was drinking liquor by age 11, and doing heroin before his 15th birthday. And as for education?

He spent an entire day in high school. Continue reading

Great Beginnings Hosts: ‘It Takes a Village’ to Celebrate Healthy Babies, Friday May 27

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(Los Angeles, CA) –  Paying homage to the history, heritage and culture of people of African descent, Great Beginnings for Black Babies, Inc. will host its annual Celebrate Healthy Babies extravaganza beginning at 11 a.m., Friday, May 27, 2016 in the Zion Hill Baptist Church, 7860 10th Avenue, Los Angeles, where the Rev. Seth Pickens is senior pastor.

Under the theme, “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child:  Straight Out of Africa-We Are Who We Were,” Great Beginnings invites the public, and especially former  members of its Black Infant Health program (BIH), to join in the celebration, which will include a Children’s Village, griot storytellers, puppeteers, jugglers, African dancers, drummers, resource vendors, free lunch and more.

African attire is encouraged. Continue reading

Jahana Hayes, National Teacher of the Year, Speaks on Detroit’s Public School Crisis

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*Detroit made national news this week when 2,700 public school teachers, after being presented with the prospect of not being paid over the summer, called in sick. Over 40,000 students were impacted, at almost 100 schools in the struggling district. In my eyes, there’s not a winner here.

During my exclusive conversation with 2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes, I asked for her perspective. She agreed with me, while standing strongly for teachers in the Motor City.

“First of all, I believe in teacher’s unions,” Hayes shared. “This is a profession, and teachers have to work hard to protect the professional part of what we do. There’s this idea that teaching is such an altruistic profession, and as a result, teachers are not respected in the way that they should be. It’s unreasonable to expect someone to go to work and not get paid. People think that we should just [report to work] because that’s what’s best for the children. But people have families, and people have lives.”

“Obviously, for that many teachers to call off, that situation is hemorrhaging,” Hayes continued. “That was not something that was done lightly or easily. But those teachers probably felt like there was no alternative, and I think in that case, school districts need to listen. They need to say ‘How do we work with teachers?’ Teachers need to be treated as professionals and taken a little bit more seriously, and [school districts should] come to the table and work out solutions. Nobody who’s in this profession sat down and said ‘Tomorrow we’re going to do something to hurt 40,000 kids.’ So that decision I’m sure was not entered into lightly.” Continue reading

2nd Grader Pens ‘Excuse Note’ to School, And They Bought It

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*Anyone calling themselves an educator, especially at the elementary school level, will shudder at hearing the news that a seven-year-old girl’s ‘excuse’ note, bad penmanship and all, telling school officials she had to go home early today, went unchallenged. In layman’s terms, she was let out of school and sent home. Alone.

Obviously, this has caused all kinds of crazy within both the school and the child’s family, whose dad spoke on camera about his disappointment.

As you can see pictured above, the child’s note read: “I want Rosabella to go too dus (sic) 131 today!”

Yes, the word bus was actually spelled with a “D”. And apparently, no one even as much as blinked.

Continue reading

Parents, Students Stunned as 2,700 Detroit Teachers ‘Call in Sick’

Teachers*Teachers are tired of being taken advantage of. Not only do they have to work in dilapidated buildings and classrooms many times, and deal with all kinds of behavioral issues in an effort to teach students, now they are expected to go through all of this without being paid.

Let me repeat that in the event you didn’t hear me. WITHOUT BEING PAID!

So 2,700 teachers in Detroit figured enough is enough and decided to have a massive “sick-out.” And who suffers?

The students, of course.

The overwhelming “absence” occurred on Monday, May 2, and as a result, reports say it affected 94 out of the 97 public schools in Detroit when the teachers, all 2,700 of them, called in to say they would not be showing up. Continue reading

OMG! Did Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, Really Respond to My Friendly ‘Hello’?

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*Is it just a coincidence that shortly after I sent a friendly email to Mark Zuckerberg through “his people” saying a simple “Hello,” I got an email from the Facebook founder himself?

In the email, which really, I swear, I didn’t even have an agenda for sending, I simply mentioned that I had just finished writing an article about him and then I clicked on send. I was actually on Facebook, uploading the article (which I didn’t even link to him in the email) at the time. No big deal, I do this with at least 85% of my articles. I don’t recall what it was that drew my attention to the man, personally. But it was SOMETHING that appeared on Facebook, and I just responded to it.

But I did NOT expect anything to come of my little friendly ‘hello’. Continue reading

Philly Hosts 17th Annual ‘White Privilege Conference’…What Happens There?

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Heather Hackman

*Are you as shocked as I am that there is an actual CONFERENCE on white privilege? Well here’s another shocker, this latest one was their 17th annual.

Yes. The WPC has been happening for 17 years, and it is a 2-day event which, this year, occurred April 15-17 in the City of Brotherly Love aka Philadelphia.

As the Johnny Guitar Watson song sings, ain’t that a bitch?

Now the question remains, what the hell goes down at this conference? What’s on the agenda? Are their vendors? What are they selling?

My mind is spinning with all kinds of curiosity. But alas, here are some answers.

One of the events at WPC was a workshop conducted by an educator. It was called: “No Freedom Unless We Call Out the Wizard Behind The Curtain: Critically Addressing the Corrosive Effects of Whiteness in Teacher Education and Professional Development.”

OK. They’ve certainly got my attention.

Heather Hackman from Hackman Consulting Group taught the class, where she worked to impress upon teachers how modern education is hopelessly tainted by white supremacy and the “white imperial gaze,” and the solution is to train prospective teachers in college to be activists as well as pedagogues.

Hackman reportedly went so far as to tell the workshop attendees that if they were not seriously promoting social justice in the classroom, they may as well stop teaching.

I’m kinda liking this woman. Continue reading