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Living Education eMagazine A magazine that discusses education in our everyday lives Fall of 2012 Vol. 4

The Real Problem Affecting School Reform in America Promise Neighborhoods and Academic Success for School-Age Black Males The Value of Including Economics and Entrepreneurship In All Curriculum for K-12

How to Determine the Best Educational Interest in Child Custody Matters

Children with Allergies Tailgating and Football Party Ideas To Read or Not To Read: That Is The Question


Living Education Everyday


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Join thousands of men and take your child to school or volunteer at your child’s school.

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ANNUAL

National Men Make A Difference Day For Academic Success

10.08.2012

Dads, Granddads, Uncles, and Other Male Role Models Are you ready? Find out more go to: menmakeadifferenceday.weebly.com


Parents the most important relationships you will make in your life are the relationships you will have with your child’s teacher. Make a friend

Today

Forest Of The Rain Productions 2012


Parent Talk with Host Dr. Mike Robinson @DrMikeRobinson

For the best conversations on topics about education tune into this season of Parent Talk Live or download a Parent Talk Live Podcast. Sundays 8:00pm est. http://parenttalklive.weebly.com/

Listen and join in the discussion.

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National Men Make A Difference Day

For Academic Success

10.08.2012


Go to menmakeadifferenceday.weebly.com


Living Education Everyday


Educational Organizations You Need To Know

Great Oakland Public Schools Great Oakland Public Schools is a nonprofit membership organization that connects and activates an informed community network to advance policies that ensure all Oakland students have the opportunity to attend quality public schools. http://www.gopublicschools.org/

The George Lucas Educational Foundation The George Lucas Educational Foundation is dedicated to improving the K-12 learning process by documenting, disseminating, and advocating for innovative, replicable, and evidence-based strategies that prepare students to thrive in their future education, careers, and adult lives. http://www.edutopia.org/

The College Funding Connection, LLC The College Funding Connection, LLC is committed to helping parents and college-bound students through the complicated process of selecting the right college or university without exceeding their financial means. http://collegefc.com/

Lumina is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college. In fact, they are the nation’s largest foundation dedicated exclusively to increasing students’ access to and success in postsecondary education. Their mission is defined by Goal 2025–to increase the percentage of Americans who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina pursues this goal in three ways: by identifying and supporting effective practice, by encouraging effective public policy, and by using our communications and convening capacity to build public will for change. http://www.luminafoundation.org/


Top Songs From Around the World

Playlist For Your Academic School Year

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - Single Taylor Swift #1 US/Canada Wings (Remixes) - EP Little Mix #1 UK/Ireland

Bara Bara Bere Bere Alex Ferrari #1 France Schau nicht mehr zur端ck - Single XAVAS #1 Germany

Battle Scars (feat. Lupe Fiasco) - Single Guy Sebastian #1 Australia


Top Songs From Around the World

Playlist For Your Academic School Year

Reason to Feel Love (Radio Edit) - Single Mike Diamondz #1 Greece Superfly Superfly #1 Japan

Talk That Talk (Deluxe Edition) Rihanna #1 US/Greece

More (From The Voice of Holland) - Single Sandra van Nieuwland #1 Netherlands


2012 NCAA FBS (Division I-A)

College Football 2012 A New Season This year’s college football season is primed to be one of the best in decades. We have seen teams move from one conference to another and at the time of this article, there is a big push by several conferences to have Notre Dame join their league. However, even in this new era of conference re-alignment, the balance of power in college football remains in the South East Conference (SEC).With the arrival of the University of Missouri and Texas A&M University from the Big 12, the toughest conference in football just got tougher. A Season of Twist and Hits We have already seen some amazing games along with several dramatic shifts in the top 20 college football poll rankings. According to ESPN, the University of Arkansas suffered the second-worst drop in the AP college football poll since Michigan lost to Appalachian State in 2007, when it lost to the University of Louisiana-Monroe. The upset of 8th ranked Arkansas was followed by the loss of number 2 ranked USC to Stanford University. What a time to be college football fan! The powers-that-be for college football have finally decided to establish a playoff system. And what a time for the long awaited playoff format.

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Here are few upcoming match-ups for the next several weeks you do not want to miss:

September 29, 2012: No. 16 Ohio State at No. 21 Michigan State September 29, 2012: Wisconsin at No. 25 Nebraska October 6, 2012: No. 2 LSU at No. 14 Florida October 6, 2012: No. 8 West Virginia at No. 12 Texas October 13, 2012: No. 7 South Carolina at No. 2 LSU October 13, 2012: No. 9 Stanford at No. 11 Notre Dame October 20, 2012: No. 15 Kansas State at No. 8 West Virginia October 20, 2012: Brigham Young at No. 11 Notre Dame


Do You Know Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases among children in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). In a recent report released by the CDC, Type 1 diabetes or juvenile-onset diabetes strikes during childhood (CDC, 2011). Type 1 diabetes is developed when the immune system destroys pancreatic cells that make the hormone insulin. Insulin regulates blood sugar. However, in the last 20 years, Type 2 diabetes or adult-onset diabetes has increased among U.S. children and adolescents. Type 2 diabetes develops when there is a resistance to insulin and the body stops using insulin properly. As a result, the pancreas begins losing the ability to produce sufficient amounts of insulin to regulate blood sugar (CDC, 2011). Here are some important statistics from the American Diabetes Association:  25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes  Diagnosed: 18.8 million people  Undiagnosed: 7.0 million people Under 20 years of age  215,000 or 0.26% of all people in this age group have diabetes  About 1 in every 400 children and adolescents has diabetes

According to Illinois Institution of Technology (IIT) Chicago-Kent College Of Law (2009) many schools and school districts lack information on how to care for children with diabetes. Others have policies in place which prevent students from taking their insulin without the supervision of a nurse. Due to budget cuts and staff reductions to school personnel to include nursing staff, schools have found there are times when nurses are not readily available to assist students. The result is missed class time while students wait for available staff. The Chicago-Kent study also indicated there are cases were students with diabetes have been stigmatized or discriminated against by being denied access to transportation or participation in school activities. Nutrition Students with diabetes often participate in school nutrition programs. These students and their parents need special accommodations in planning and choosing meals (Jameson, 2006). According to Jameson, parents of diabetic children find it difficult in their efforts to plan the appropriate use of carbohydrate or to develop a mix of insulin to carbohydrate approach as part of treating their children’s diabetes Continue on page 95


Contributors Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman Founder and CEO Liberated Muse Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman is a writer and editor of several books, including the anthology Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul.

Dr. Yolanda Abel Assistant Professor Department of Teacher Preparation (DTP) School of Education (SOE) Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Dr. Abel serves as lead coordinator for the courses Educating the Whole Child: Teaching to the Developmental Needs of the Urban Child and Creating Family and Community Partnerships for Urban School Improvement. In addition, to her teaching and advising duties, Dr. Abel chairs the Committee on Diversity and Civility and sits on the institution-wide Diversity Leadership Council. Gary Cohen Co-Founder Board of School Superintendents Gary Cohen is the Co-Founder of Board of School Superintendents (BOSS). The organization’s mission is to elevate learners by elevating Superintendent Leadership. As President and Co-founder, Gary grew ACI Telecentrics, Inc., from two people to 2,200 employees and reached $32 million in sales at the company's peak. ACI Telecentrics, Inc. was recognized as one of Venture Magazine's Top 10 Best Performing Businesses and Business Journal's 25 Fastest Growing Small Public Companies. Currently, Gary is Partner and Co-founder of CO2 Partners, LCC, operating as an executive coach and consultant.


Contributors Dr. Edward Dragan Founder Education Management Consulting, LLC. Dr. Dragan is a legal education expert and founder of Education Management Consulting, LLC. He earned a doctoral degree in Education Administration and Supervision from Rutgers University, a master’s degree in Special Education from The College of New Jersey and a master’s degree in Education Law from Franklin Pierce Law Center.

Dr. Michelle Howard-Vital President Cheyney University of Pennsylvania Michelle Howard-Vital was born and educated in Chicago, Illinois. She earned her undergraduate degree in English Literature and Language from the University of Chicago. She earned a Master’s of Arts in Teaching English also from the University of Chicago. Additionally, President Howard-Vital earned her doctorate in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Howard-Vital has over 30 years of experience in various roles in higher education, and she has worked in three states—Illinois, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Amanda Hughey Professor University of Delaware Amanda Hughey has experience teaching business and entrepreneurship at the secondary level. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she developed curriculum for business courses aligned with State of Delaware CTE Standards and conducted professional development sessions for faculty/staff at the secondary school level. Amanda has also worked with the Delaware Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship coordinating and presenting during workshops for both teacher professional development and for parent financial education.


Contributors Jill Jackson Managing Director & CEO Jackson Consulting Jill Jackson is the Managing Director and CEO of Jackson Consulting. She is a Senior Educational Consultant, Presenter and Keynote Speaker at State and National Conferences. She served as a Professional Program Manager and Educational Services Manager for CORE (Consortium on Reading Excellence), Reading Specialist, School Site Administrator and a Classroom Teacher. Jill obtained a B.A. in Liberal Studies with an English Emphasis from University of Redlands and a M.A. in Education specializing in Educational Management from University of La Verne. William Jackson Professor Edward Waters College William Jackson has over 25 years of experience working in K12 and Post-Secondary Education. He is an expert in the area of Social Media and Educational applications.

Dr. Stephen Jones President SAJ Publishing Dr. Jones is the President of SAJ Publishing, and as a Distinguished Toast Master, he is an in-demand speaker including regular appearances on Blog Talk Radio. He also serves as Associate Dean of Student & Strategic Programs in the College of Engineering at Villanova University.


Contributors Dr. Barbara LeSeur Inman Vice President Student Affairs Hampton University Dr. Barbara LeSeur Inman is the Vice President for Student Affairs at Hampton University. Inman graduated from HU in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Soon after completing her undergraduate degree she earned a Master of Arts degree from HU in Counseling, with an emphasis on College Student Development in 1998. Later, she earned a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership with a concentration on Administration and Policy from the University of Delaware. Dr. Chance Lewis Executive Director Urban Education Collaborative University of North Carolina at Charlotte Dr. Chance W. Lewis is the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor and Endowed Chair of Urban Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Lewis is the Executive Director of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Urban Education Collaborative which is publishing a new generation of research on improving urban schools. Dr. Lewis received his B.S. and M.Ed. in Business Education and Education Administration/Supervision from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Dr. Lewis completed his doctoral studies in Educational Leadership/Teacher Education from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Yvette Mack Bursar Pratt Institute Yvette Mack has a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from St. John’s University. She holds a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Management from Fordham University along with a Master of Science Education with emphasis on Counseling Psychology from Fordham University. Ms. Mack has lectured for ten years in various capacities and is currently a lecturer at University of Phoenix Online School of Business. She currently teaches Organizational Behavior and Ethics, and Management Theory in the Undergraduate College of Business and Leadership and Change is the M.B.A. program.


Contributors Juwanza McIntosh Student Howard University

Dr. James B. O’Neil Professor, Economics Director, Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship University of Delaware Dr. James B. O’Neill is a professor of economics and serves as the Director of the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship (CEEE) at the University of Delaware and as the President of the Delaware Council on Economic Education (DCEE). The CEEE is nationally recognized as an innovative leader in economic education, financial education and entrepreneurship in the schools and has received both state and national awards for the groundbreaking programs provided for elementary and secondary students. Rhonda Peters Founder and CEO Rhonda’s Cooking Rhonda Peters, author of the cookbook So, What Can I Eat Now?! Living Without Dairy, Soy, Eggs, Corn, and Wheat, is a Louisiana native who currently resides in Phoenix, AZ. After graduating from Dillard University with a degree in Physics, Ms. Peters obtained a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri at Columbia and an MBA from Arizona State University.


Contributors Brigeria Queen Non-Traditional Chef Brigeria Queen is a professional non-traditional Chef from Baton Rouge. She is the mother of 4 children.

Dr. Michael Robinson CO-CEO Forest Of The Rain Productions Dr. Robinson is the host of Parent Talk Live, a weekly Blogtalk radio show which highlights educational topics germane to parents, educators and community stakeholders. Dr. Robinson is also the creator of the National Men Make A Difference Day for Academic Success.

Dr. Ivory A. Toldson Associate Professor Howard University Dr. Ivory A. Toldson is an associate professor at Howard University, senior research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and editor-in-chief of “The Journal of Negro Education”, the country’s oldest black continuous publication. With worldwide readership and subscribers, The Journal of Negro Education has published distinguished scholars that include Horace Mann Bond, Ralph J. Bunche, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Kenneth B. Clark.


Contributors Dr. Sean B. Yisrael Education Consultant Author Dr. Sean B. Yisrael began his educational career in 1998 as a high school Social Studies teacher. In 2004 he moved into the ranks of school leadership, having been an administrator in school districts located in Dayton (Ohio), Cincinnati, and Washington, D.C. Dr. Yisrael also has experience working with students on the postsecondary level. He’s taught graduate school courses at Trinity University (Washington, D.C.) and National College (Ohio).

In 2010, Dr. Yisrael formed a professional development Mark Wolak company called Educational Practitioners for Better Schools. Co-Founder EPBS is designed to provide affordable professional development Board of School Superintendents services to the staff of low performing urban/inner-city public and Mark Wolak is CO-Foundercharter of schools. Board of The School company specializes in providing services in Superintendents (BOSS). Mark the is an experienced leader in areas of teacher and administrative development, parental public education, having served most recently as engagement, interdisciplinary teaming, and creative uses of superintendent of Mahtomedi Public School District in technology. Minnesota for eight years. In this assignment, he led the development of the Mahtomedi Engineering Leadership Program, a curriculum in engineering imbedded in all courses offered kindergarten to twelfth grade. his educational books: The Positive Dr. Yisrael has During written four tenure, the Mahtomedi Education Foundation grew ten-fold Impact Interdisciplinary Teaming Has On Teacher Morale, The with more than $250,000 raised annually for improving Urban Teacher’s Guide to Classroom Management, 12 Laws for teacher practice and student learning. the Urban School Principal, and Urban School Reform: The First Principle for Initiating Success, Creating Change, and Fostering a Successful Learning Environment. His books have sold thousands of copies and are used as a resource for teachers and administrators throughout the country.


FEATURES (P. 28) Tips On Supporting Your Child’s Artistic Genius By Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman

Table of Content

(P. 32) Divorced Fathers Use Tech to Connect By William Jackson (P. 34) Food Allergies and Kids---Know What To Do If Your Child Has Food Allergies By Rhonda Peters (P. 36) The Real Problem Affecting School Reform in America By Dr. Sean B. Yisrael (P. 40) The Value of Including Economics and Entrepreneurship In All Curriculum for K-12 By Dr. James B. O’Neil and Amanda Hughey (P. 46) Developing Leaders. Driving Change. Improving Outcomes. By Dr. Gary Cohen and Mark Wolak (P. 51) How to Determine the Best Educational Interest in Child Custody Matters By Dr. Edward Dragan (P. 60) Letters From the President’s Desk Alumni and Fundraising: An HBCU Perspective By Dr. Michelle Howard-Vital (P. 64) Obtaining Academic Success through the use of support services at Hampton University By Dr. Barbara LeSeur Inman (P. 70) To Read or Not To Read: That Is The Question By Dr. Yolanda Abel (P. 76) Promise Neighborhoods and Academic Success for School-Age Black Males By Dr. Ivory A. Toldson & Juwanza McIntosh, M.A. (P. 81) Increasing the Representation of Black Male Teachers: A Brief Examination of the Pipeline to Teaching By Dr. Chance Lewis

(P. XX) Study Skills Back To School Key To Success By Dr. Stephen Jones


CONTENT (P. 24) Note from Publisher A New School Year By Michel S. Davis-Robinson

Table of Content

(P. 26) Parents of Preschoolers By LEeM Staff Writer (P. 29) Executive View An American Dream Threaten, But Very Much Alive By Dr. Michael A. Robinson (P. 42) New Educational Leaders (P. 49) Parents of Kindergarteners By LEeM Staff Writer (P. 58) A New Twist On Tailgating Foods (P. 75) Parents of Middle Schoolers By LEeM Staff Writer (P. 84) Parents of Students in High School By LEeM Staff Writer (P. 90) The Lighter Side of Education An IP Is The Holy Grail…and Other Lies I Tell Myself By Jill Jackson (P. 91) Perspective Transitioning From High School To College: An Administrator’s Perspective By Yvette Mack (P. 97) Commentary 10 Ways Parents Can Ignite Excitement About School By Dr. Stephen Jones


Note from

PUBLISHER A New School Year!

A new school year is here and in some communities it is well underway. However, it seems to me, the summer just started. It seems just yesterday I was planning a summer filled with activities with my kids, but here we are entering a new school year. New school year, it has a nice ring for many, as it marks exploration for students. Honestly, many parents are happy their children are away from the refrigerator, videos games, malls and back to focusing on school assignments. With a new school year comes new opportunity for kids to resume and catch up on old friendships, meet new friends and gain different experiences. The beginning of the school year offers an opportunity for students to learn from excited teachers and dedicated administrators. Parents likewise have opportunities to network with other parents; to join a parent organization or volunteer for an event or activity during the school year if their schedule allows. For teachers and administrators, the first days back-to-school are filled with their enthusiasm created by the arrival of familiar faces and the anticipation of meeting new ones. Facing a new set of young learners who eagerly wait to be exposed to the love of learning for a lifetime is as equally challenging as it is exhilarating for teachers. There is no other profession like that of teaching capable of sparking inspiration and aspiration for knowledge. The beginning of a school year proposes great prospects for both parents and teachers to enhance their partnerships with one another. There are many parents who may not have time to attend every event were there are chances to communicate with their child’s teacher. Consequently, parents have to use other methods to establish this vital two-way communication. One such approach parents can use is to write a note and have their child to deliver the message. But, when note writing is not a possibility or the message is such it requires a more accurate form of delivery, parents should explore which times are typically the best times for their child’s teacher to receive a phone call before or after school. These are not novel methods; yet they remain effective and are often overlooked. The integration of technology into communication with teachers has become as common place as the traditional phone call from the teacher to a child’s home. Therefore, the incorporation of emails and text messaging should be examined by parents who aspire to have instant connectivity with their child’s teachers. You may not be able to get to the school physically, but let your child’s teacher know you are available to be reached at anytime and anywhere. The same holds true for teachers who desire to know the parents of their students. In today’s fast-paced world, filled with two jobs, massive traffic jams and myriads of after school activities out of the classroom, teachers have to instill flexibility in their expectations of parental involvement. When a parent misses Back –to-School night; have not volunteered for an event; or do not belong to a PTA/ PTO, it does not mean they do not care about the education of their child. However, it may mean teachers will need to seek new and different ways to communicate with parents. The key to developing these new ways of communication is to do so from a position of enhancement and never from a perspective of a deficit. This means, you are not using these methods because what they (parents) cannot do, but because you know they (parents) want to do. You can help your schoolhouse become an inviting place for all parents and as a result parents will respond positively.


Parents and teachers together; working side by side is the most powerful force against the negative factors attacking education. It will not be easy, it may not always be fun, you may not always see eye to eye; but we should all take the advice millions of parents give to their children and teachers give to students when meeting other people; “Be yourself and respect others. Don’t give up, just keep trying and it will happen. You can do it!”

Michel S. Davis Robinson Co-CEO/Founder Forest Of The Rain Productions

Living Education Everyday


Parents of

Preschoolers According to the U.S. Dept. of Education (2002) caring and safe preschool classrooms is the most effective way for children to develop a robust foundation in knowledge and skills needed to be successful academically. The most effective classrooms for preschoolers are those that encourage individuality and where their needs for attention and affection are supported. It is also important to have a curriculum that emphasizes the

development of language, reading, and math literacy; continual professional development and support for professional expression of teachers in their classrooms (nccp.org, 2007). Soft skills Preschoolers should be developing: attends a preschool before Kindergarten or stays at home with family here are soft skills she should be develop before Kindergarten according to Rampage (2007).  Following directions  Writing his name  Being Familiar with ABCs -She should be able to identify most (if not all) the letters and their sounds CountingWhile Rampage (2007) noted counting to 30 is idea other sources suggest a preschooler’s is on target when they are able to count to up to 15 is sufficient. Gelman, Gallistel and Gelman (1986) conducted studies that indicated some preschoolers may know how to count to a certain number but may not have the cognitive ability to understand the concept.  She should be able to identify colors and shapes (Snuggs 2007)  Social Skills- he should know how to interact with each other by sharing, voicing their concerns, and participating in group activities.  Properly use school resources- scissors, pencils, glue, etc.  Handle being separated from parents


Living Education Everyday


Tips on Supporting Your Child’s Artistic Genius By Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman Children are born creative. If we are to believe that creativity simply means doing something in a new and inspired way, then children are naturally creative. Because the bulk of their experiences are new as they grow, then they are constantly finding ways to approach life, originally intent on finding that which is most delightful. Children gravitate naturally toward opportunities to express themselves and that natural instinct grows and does not wane unless they are raised to believe that natural instinct is not of value. So, how do you reinforce the value of the arts while supporting your child or special young person in your life in remaining creative? I came up with some suggestions below. Praise Their Attention

Creativity

While

Paying

“Oh, how handsome you look.” “Oh, what a little doll baby. She is so cute.” We lay on thick the accolades when we see a cute little person– or a big grown person for that matter. But, when was the last time you praised a young person

for how creatively they did something? Does your child draw characters in their spare time? Does your child have a certain attention to colors, always coordinating things in a particularly compelling way? Is your young person a great storyteller when they’re playing with their dolls? The creativity of young people often manifests during their play time, but as they grow and play time becomes less and less often, children often yearn for opportunities to display their gifts– whether its sketching on notebook paper during downtime in the classroom or designing that perfect outfit for their doll collection that you don’t think much about. Pay attention to the things they are doing naturally and support them by praising their efforts and showing interest. This little bit of acknowledgment will actually reinforce there is value in being creative. Pay for Classes or Find a Mentor You over hear your child fooling around on Continue on page 38


Executive View An American Dream Threaten, But Very Much Alive Obtaining a college diploma is perhaps more crucial today than anytime in America’s history. As the challenges from abroad continue to expand, the need for an educated workforce represents America’s best hope of maintaining its place as a global economic force. It is anticipated that by 2020 China will produce 29% of all college graduates compared to America’s 11%. Currently, China produces 18% of the world’s college degrees while America is a close second with a rate of 14% (Young, 2012). President Obama has made surpassing China in the production of college graduates a national priority. He has professed that by 2020 America will regain its position as the world’s leader in college graduates. It is the White House’s objective to see an additional eight million students earn a post-secondary degree. To achieve the President’s goal, it will require nearly doubling the number of students presently enrolled in post-secondary institutions. A tall order when one examines the multiplicity of challenges confronting the American educational systems. These challenges are for many a barrier to post-secondary enrollment and persistence. Two specific barriers adversely impacting post-secondary attainment are: (1) the rising cost of college tuition and (2) the increase number of students needing remediation upon entry to college. Before exploring those factors, it would be wise to ground this issue in what is at stake for Americans. In 2000, author John McCabe proclaimed by 2010 more than 80% of jobs will require some form of post-secondary education. McCabe went on to say that over 60% of the jobs in 2010 did not currently exist at the time of the writing of his book. Mr. McCabe was proclaiming the economic landscape as America had known was shifting and as a result the American workforce needed to shift in order to remain a competitive nation. Some 12 years after McCabe’s research similar numbers are being discussed. According to a report conducted by Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, titled “Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018” there will be an estimated 47 million jobs available. More than 63% will require some form of post-secondary education. This figure as outlined in the report is an increase of 4% from a rate of 59% in 2011. The ability of America to achieve the goal of increased college graduates by 2020 is severely hampered by the increased burden on the average American family to pay for college. Recently released data from the U. S. Department of Education revealed for the first time in America’s history the debt associated with obtaining a college education has surpassed American’s credit card debt. Newly minted college graduates on average have more than $26,000 in debt and they are entering a less than robust job market. Thus the ability to pay or a fear of being unable to pay tuition debit could serve as an obstacle for many who aspire to attend college. The increasing number of students needing remedial education upon entering college is the biggest threat to America’s desire to reclaim its position as the leader of college degrees conferred. According to Wellman and Vandal (2011) nearly 40% of students enrolled in college needed some form of remedial education. Two-thirds of high school graduates in America will enroll in postsecondary institutions, but only about 32% are academically prepared to perform college level work (Long, 2011). Long’s report cites research which suggested academic preparation is the major predicator of college success.


If it is true, that academic preparation predicts post-secondary success, we now know that a substantial percentage of student entering college will do so unprepared. This cohort of students will find themselves in remedial and developmental courses. It is estimated to prepare these high school graduates to become college and career ready will cost colleges and tax payers between 2.3 to 2.9 billion dollars a year (Strong American Schools, 2008). Given the predictions of the Georgetown University study and the cost to re-tool recent high school graduates will require:  Expanding affordable access to post-secondary opportunities  Reducing remediation rates among recent high school graduates Changing the landscape of education to meet the demands of a competitive global marketplace has to first start with state and local government leaders understanding no one can be left behind.


Parent Talk Live Every Sunday with host

Dr. Mike Robinson 8:00pm-10:00pm est. Interesting conversations addressing issues in education Join the discussion http://parenttalklive.weebly.com/


Divorced Fathers Use Tech to Connect By William Jackson Fathering is a balance of love, negotiation, trust, setting high expectations and communication. What better way to stay connected than texting with your children? Fathers should consider using technology as a method to increase communication with their children. As a divorced father for over 15 years; it has not been an easy journey. Communication has been the key to keeping a close relationship with my children as we all navigate the challenges of divorce and separation. I took a lesson from the many military families I know. These families have embraced technology as a way to manage deployments and long distances. The use Skype, texting and other Social Media tools to stay connected. I was not always able to drive to see my kids, they lived over an hour away once their mother and I divorced. My intent was to live as close as possible, but the responsibilities and realities of employment, finances and my personal / professional growth required me to move further away. Travel and Distance At one time I lived in Kingsland, Georgia before moving back to Jacksonville. I would drive after work on Fridays over an hour to pick up the kids and drive almost two (2) hours to my home. Sundays after church was a two


hour trip to take them back to their home. The distance and the amount of time on the road were catching up and before I knew weeks had passed before I traveled to bring them to Georgia for a visit with me. The time spent traveling was sometimes tense because as many fathers know we have to wave through some of the family drama and childhood crisis present by maturing children.

I can exert fatherly advice, guidance and reinforcement. Cell Phones and Accidents The power of cell phones did pay off when my son was in a car accident and he texted to ask what he had to do. Overcoming my brief panic, I texted him and asked was he ok and he reply yes. I called and we went through what he should

Talking is important and long trips provide that opening. However, when road trips are not readily available, fathers must take advantage of all resources accessible to keep the lines of communication open and consistent. In this age of multiple forms of technology; communication with one’s children should not stop. The fact is, communication between fathers and their children can grow because of Texting, Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media tools. Tech Using Daddy: Connect via Text Children and teens have cell phones for safety and for access to family members when needed. I purchased my children’s first cell phones when they were in middle school. I purchased a prepaid cell phone; the real purpose was for communication, but I also use the moment to teach them responsibility and time management. This also prevented the use of mobile devices from becoming a financial burden. The best lesson, it taught us how to manage time, minutes and most importantly money. Their mother at first did not agree with them having a cell phone, but once I pointed out that it was for their safety and our mental stability she was agreeable. Statistics and Data Statistics show that 75% of teenagers prefer texting to actual voice. Speaking to my kids they agree. They would rather text so they can multitask and not let their friends know they are talking to their father. It was not keeping me a secret, but teens have a sense of pride and privacy even with their friends. Ironically that is true; I have more conversations through texting than voice. We share pictures through Instagram, share where we are on Foursquare and interact on Facebook. This is a win-win situation because we can “see” what each is doing. If I do not approve of their content

do. This interaction allowed him to contact law enforcement, take pictures for insurance purposes, and keep in contact with me as I drove to him. Even though I was at work texting kept us connected. Children may not admit it, but when you tell them” have a great day,” “good luck on your test,” ”buckle up when you drive” and even the occasional “I love you” they receive that better than hearing you tell them. The beauty is that texting is always there for them to see and reflect on later.


Food Allergies and Kids---Know What To Do If Your Child Has Food

Allergies By Rhonda Peters, Certified Nutritional Counselor A food allergy can occur in both children and adults of all ages and races. However, children tend to be affected at greater rates. Research shows that of the 12 million Americans that suffer with food allergies, 2 to 4% are adults and 6 to 8% are children.1,2 What’s even more alarming is that of those 960,000 children with food allergies, African American boys are more than four times likely to have moderate to severe food allergies in comparison to other races of children! 3 Even worse than this statistic is the nightmare that parents have to deal with as they attempt to read food labels and decipher which foods are safe and which ingredients are derivatives of their child’s allergen. FDA officials have even stated that the current warning labels “may not be protecting the health of allergic consumers.” In a sense, one could state that parents are often playing a game of Russian roulette when they purchase ANY prepackaged food or beverage for a child with a food allergy. Food labels can be extremely complicated to read, and yes, the multiple listing of ingredients can be overwhelming! So, for a parent who isn’t knowledgeable or for the parent who lacks access to the internet or time to even research the ingredients, making the right choice can be a matter of life and death. However, there are a few things that parents can do to arm themselves with the knowledge about food allergies. Here are a few answers to some of the most popular questions: What is a Food Allergy? Food allergies develop when the body’s immune system reacts to certain foods that are harmless. When this reaction occurs, the body produces antibodies to the food and releases various chemicals in the body, which triggers allergic reactions such as hives, nausea, swelling, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, etc.4, 5 What is a Food Intolerance? Food intolerances, unlike food allergies, do not involve the immune system; instead it is a food reaction in the digestive system. What foods can cause an allergy? There are many foods that could cause an allergic reaction, but only 8 of them account for over 90% of all food allergies.1,2 These foods are dairy, soy, eggs, wheat, fish, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, etc.). Can a person die from a food allergy? According to the Center for Disease Control each year hundreds die from food allergies (about 150 deaths annually). Also, over 30,000 people receive life-saving treatment in emergency rooms due to food induced anaphylaxis (a serious allergic reaction).5 Continued on page 81


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The aforementioned issues that are commonly targeted for school reform are much easier to deal with in some respects; they are all constructs that people can grab hold of and produce a finished product. They can say to themselves, “Look what we’ve done…We’ve completed this…Look what we’ve created”. The truth of the matter is that they’ve merely put a band aid over a wound deserving intense surgery. To truly deal with the effects with poverty, on the other hand, is more enormous and will cause a shift in ways of thinking, and the entire system as we know it today. There are numerous studies that have proven poverty to be linked to poor performance in academics, low IQ scores, and low graduation rates just to

The Real Problem Affecting School Reform in America

Public education in America is under more scrutiny than any other time in history. Publications and media outlets of all sorts are preaching the need for change in our public educational system. The bulk of the criticism mainly falls on public schools that serve large populations of students that come from families of low socioeconomic status. Poverty and the affect thereof, is the greatest factor plaguing public education in America today. It is the two ton elephant in the room that no one – scholars, politicians, and educators – truly wants to deal with on a consistent and continual basis.

By Dr. Sean Yisrael

When most educational scholars, practitioners, advocates, and theorists discuss educational reform in America, the focus is commonly directed toward restructuring schools under some catchy theme, teacher or principal development, implementing higher standards, increasing discipline codes, improving parental engagement, or development curriculum just to name a few. These commonly targeted areas, and others like them, may deserve some attention but they are merely symptoms of a larger issue – an issue that’s just as complex as it is daunting.


name a few. Schools are nothing more than an extension of the communities they serve; therefore, the communities’ problems will undoubtedly become the schools’ problems in most instances. If a community has problems with violence, drugs, and/or crime, then the schools that serve such a community will mirror the same issues. This phenomenon is not isolated to public schools. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking health care, housing, transportation, or business; any institution that serves the poor and disadvantaged is likely to have some of the same problems affecting the people in the communities they serve. There is a direct correlation between deteriorated communities and low performing schools. One of the greatest questions facing America today is this: what can be done to fight poverty? The answer to this question has great implications for public education and our society as a whole. If politicians, government officials, and educators alike fail to adequately handle the issue of poverty, then public education as we know it and understand it today will continue to deteriorate and will eventually become a thing of the past. I say this because America was founded on the premise and became famous for the idea that any person, regardless of his/her financial standing in life or ethnicity, could climb the socio-economic ladder with a little sweat, hard work, and opportunity. There was a time in American when industries were thriving, unemployment was low, and there was relative prosperity and success for many. Although America was not perfect, the country’s public educational system was also ranked among the best in the world. All of these factors combined gave people hope in the American dream. Today, many of the factories and industries that once fueled America’s economy are either non-existent, or they’ve moved aboard – enticed by cheap labor and increased profits. The jobs that were once plentiful for America’s citizens are now minuscule. Millions of Americans are living

check-to-check, or they’re struggling to meet their basic needs. The public educational system has fallen from being ranked number one to now being ranked number twenty-sixth among other industrialized nations. The American dream has somehow turned into a nightmare. Many who criticize public education often blame teachers, administrators, parents, or students. There are also a multitude of school reformists who think the problems facing struggling public schools that serve families of low socio-economic status can be remedied by using tactics such as teacher pay-for-performance contracts, district wide uniforms policies for students, or increased student discipline codes. These commonly used tactics are just as much useless as they are disconnected from the real issues and reasons why minorities are performing at lower academically than their non-minority counterparts. It is my belief that schools that serve families of low economic status are not inherently bad; nor are students who attend these schools predestine for failure. The issues that make urban schools low performing are directly related to poverty on all level. Decreasing poverty will automatically improve urban schools and improve the overall quality of life for families. In order for America’s public educational system to really the prominence it once had, there has to be a conscious and persistent

One of the greatest questions facing America today is this: what can be done to fight poverty? The answer to this question has great implications for public education -- Dr. Sean Yisrael

effort to decrease poverty and increase the quality of education for poor and minorities students. This expanding segment of America’s population offers untapped pools of human capitol Continue on page 56


Living Education Everyday


Support Your Child (continued from page 28)

Be Willing to Be An Audience Member

keyboard making music on a computer program you’re not really familiar with. What you hear sounds strange, but, as you peek into their room, you see this focused concentration on your child’s face that you had rarely seen before. Later, at dinner, you ask your child what they were doing earlier, and they shrug, “Oh nothing, just fooling around on my computer.” You dig deeper and learn that they had downloaded a program months ago to practice making beats for some songs they had written. You have just learned that you have a songwriter/producer on your hands.

It has happened before, I’m sure. You are home from a long day of work, finished making dinner and feeding the kids and finally made it to the couch to rest before bedtime. Before your hand reaches the remote, though, your 6 year-old is downstairs, dressed up in one of your dresses and high heels (too big, of course) and wants you to watch her sing the entire chorus of Beyonce’s new song “I Was Here”. You are tired, but you look at her excited expression and decide to listen, it should only be three minutes. She starts and her young voice sounds so precious. You don’t realize until the next day that she memorized the song in less than five minutes after watching the song air for the first time right after dinner. You have a pitch perfect little songstress on your hands. But what’s best is that you have a little singer on your hands whose sense of self was supported when her mother took three minutes out her day to pause and play audience.

Before you get scared and begin having images of them growing up to be a broke, 40 year-old aspiring rapper still living in your basement, imagine how encouraging it would be if you looked up some summer programs for young aspiring producers? What about asking your child if they would be interested in talking with someone who actually engineers and taking them on a field trip to a recording studio where they can see first-hand how music production works? A lot of times we see popular performers and believe that they became well-known and successful in the arts because they struggled and taught themselves everything. The reality is, for a lot of wellknown acts, they had the support and guidance of grown-ups who acknowledged their talent early and invested in their talent, either by working as a mentor or paying for opportunities to learn their craft.

Provide Opportunities For Them to Express Their Talent My daughter’s paternal side of the family celebrates Kwanzaa every year with extended family coming from all over to celebrate the seven principles of Kwanzaa while gathering as a family. One of the activities that mark the celebration is a showcase of the young people, an opportunity for the children and youth to perform or express. Also, at this event, one of my daughter’s great aunts leads the festivities by playing the djembe drum. My daughter is used to this celebration that she has been attending since birth, and finds it not unusual to see her family members perform at family functions or extend space for her to perform as well if she wanted to. Not many families spend gathering time for creativity time. We come together for funerals, weddings, cook-outs and birthday parties, and graduations. Think about how often we carve out time during these gatherings to promote the talent of our young people in our family. Celebrating our talents should accompany our celebration of good grades, cute looks, and job promotions. Continue on page 45


The coursework in an economics course provides a complementary linkage to entrepreneurship education through increased understanding about how competitive markets work and how the macro economy functions. Given the current sluggish level of economic growth in the U.S. and world economies, it is apparent that something is missing. --James B. ONeill and Amanda Hughey

The Value of Including Economics and Entrepreneurship in All Curriculums for K-12 By James B. ONeill and Amanda Hughey The challenge for the educational system in America is to graduate young people who are equipped to effectively compete in an increasingly competitive global economy. In a recent book, That Used to be Us, the authors suggest, “Every American worker today should think of himself as a new immigrant.” The implication is that each person must approach “the world with the view that nothing is owed you, nothing is given, you have to make it on your own…..You have to go out and earn or create your place in the world.”

creativity that our students will need to be successful. Tony Wagner, Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, regards the route to better education as being one he calls “the three Cs” critical thinking, effective oral and written communication, and collaboration. He further concludes that thinking critically is “asking the right questions – rather than memorizing the right answers.” Economics

Traditional education has focused on “the three Rs,” reading, writing, and arithmetic. Our challenge, in a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive global economy, is determining how best to add the extra ingredient of inspiring

My daughter recently completed an economics course in which she was given a list of concepts to memorize for the final exam. The primary objective of this instructional strategy appears to be


content memorization, and does not inspire curiosity or independent inquiry. Consequently, students exposed to this learning strategy will have little interest in continuing to learn about economics, and may not have the opportunity to develop the critical thinking skills that economics inspires. Imagine - that instead of focusing primarily on economic content and vocabulary, economic curriculum in this student’s classroom focused on the kind of discovery-based learning that inspires curiosity and encourages analytical thinking skills. Compare my daughter’s experience to a classroom where students examine the clothes they are wearing and determine where they were produced. Think of the discussion that would ensue from the analysis of this information, and how this activity could result in further study. 1. Why were most goods produced outside the U.S.? 2. Why are many clothing articles produced in Asia?

and “How do technological developments impact trade?” are all questions that provide opportunities for multidisciplinary learning. Strategies like this make economics meaningful to students and effect long-run critical thinking skills rather than short-run content memorization skills. Entrepreneurship The coursework in an economics course provides a complementary linkage to entrepreneurship education through increased understanding about how competitive markets work and how the macro economy functions. Given the current sluggish level of economic growth in the U.S. and world economies, it is apparent that something is missing. The authors do not suggest that economics and entrepreneurship education will solve the current dilemma of slow economic growth; however, the benefits of high school graduates having a grounding in critical and creative thinking skills is invaluable. Literacy skills, analytical thinking skills, and creative thinking skills are essential in preparing students to compete in today’s global economy.

. These skills should not be relegated to a single subject; they are best gained through a variety of content areas and applications. One example of a multidisciplinary approach for teaching these skills to elementary students is Mini-Economy. This curriculum provides an opportunity for students 3. What are the advantages of trade and how do consumers and producers benefit?

Curiosity would be the impetus for learning in this strategy, and would lead naturally to a discussion of the underlying fundamental economic concept that voluntary trade makes people better off. A strategy like this provides multiple opportunities for cross-curricular instruction and extension. “Did the slave trade make all people better off?”, “Does governmental involvement in trade policies improve trade?”,

to learn and apply basic skills in an experiential environment by enabling them to establish an economy in their classroom. They name their economy, develop their own currency, set-up businesses and establish governmental rules of the game. In the process of learning core curriculum skills in math, English language arts, and social studies, they are experiencing and ultimately learning economic thinking and entrepreneurial skills In addition to curriculum at the elementary level, Continue on page 45


Dave Davison Superintendent Westfield Academy and Central School District

Dr. David Lussier Wellesley Public Schools Superintendent

Kenneth Rota Superintendent Paramus Public Schools

NEW EDUCATIONAL LEADERS

K-12


Dr. Bonita Coleman-Potter Superintendent Ocean Springs Public Schools

Dr. Renee Foose Superintendent Howard County Public Schools

Dr. William R. Hite, Jr. Superintendent/CEO of the School District of Philadelphia

NEW EDUCATIONAL LEADERS

K-12


Dr. Jeremy McMillen President Grayson College

Dr. Ana Margarita “Cha” Guzmán President Santa Fe Community College

Dr. Kent J. Smith, Jr. President Langston University

NEW EDUCATIONAL LEADERS

Colleges


The Value of Including Economics (continued from page 41)

Support Your Child (continued from page 39)

there are a variety of opportunities to teach economics and entrepreneurship in a multidisciplinary environment at the secondary level. One example is the EntrePrep program, which we have implemented at the University of Delaware. This one-week program, initially introduced by the Kaufman Foundation and usually housed on a university campus, enables the participants to differentiate between an overserved area of business and one where an opportunity exists. The students work either individually or collaboratively in teams to develop and set-up a “Business for a Day.” The students run their business for a day, and then each individual or team evaluates their experience: successes, opportunities for change, and whether or not their entrepreneurial concept has the potential for success if pursued further.

Add Creativity to Your List of Values

The world continues to change dramatically; the occupational and personal skills needed by today’s students are significantly different than those needed by their parents. Analytical skills and the ability to communicate effectively are essential for meeting the expectations of the current global economy. Teaching the economic way of thinking will develop those essential critical thinking skills our students need. By combining the economic way of thinking with creativity-inspiring exposure to entrepreneurship we have a meaningful strategy for developing and reinforcing both “the three Rs” and “the three Cs.”

Footnotes: 1. T.L. Friedman & M. Mandelbaum, That Used to Be Us, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, N.Y, 2011, p.137. 2. T.L. Friedman & M. Mandelbaum, p.139. 3. W. Walstad & M.L. Kourilsky, The E Generation, Kendall Hunt Publishing Co., Iowa, 2000, p.5.

As a parent, you should always be thinking about what it is that you can do to make sure your child understands that their artistic creativity is of value. Think about the important messages that you try to instill: honesty, integrity, hard-work, courage, etc. How does artistic creativity fit into these messages? What I’ve found is that supporting your child’s artistic interests is synonymous with teaching the message of self-love. If you see that your child is creative and you honor their creativity, you are reinforcing a part of who they are naturally. This stresses to them the value of loving every part of who they are, which, is the most important message they can receive from a parent. Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman is a writer and editor of several books, including the anthology Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul. She offers editing, proofreading and creative coaching services to authors who self-publish. Contact her at KhadijahOnline@gmail.com for a free consultation. Read other Creativity Tips by Khadijah:  Creativity Tip: Confronting ‘Intense Contradictions’ As An Artist  Self-Publishing 101  #1 Pitfall Artists Should Avoid  Choosing the Artist Stage Name  5 Tips to Rejuvenate the Artist Spirit


Developing Leaders. Driving Change. Improving Outcomes By Gary Cohen and Mark Wolak Founders of Board of School Superintendents (BOSS) Being a school superintendent today is by definition difficult: managing a system of diverse schools, with diverse needs, to the satisfaction of diverse stakeholder groups. Your job is at once managerial, administrative, educational and political.

have traditionally been trained as educators, yet have risen to the position where they are managing a wide-ranging enterprise like the CEO of a medium to large corporation. They are often overwhelmed, hemmed in by the day to day technical fixes.

To compound the difficulty, today’s school systems have become lightning rods for immense financial and political pressure as well as conflicting demands from school boards, parents and teachers. At the tip of this lightning rod - alone in the midst of this charged atmosphere - stands the school superintendent.

To lead effectively requires that a superintendent must cause discomfort, unhappiness, conflict, loss and stress to some or many of the people within the organization and community. How do you find the support you need to handle all this noise and stress? Where do you go to receive high quality professional development and just in time learning for the CEO? What are the proven strategies for leading change?

According to a recent AASA study, 60% of superintendents considered their position very stressful and the number is rising. Many superintendents fee isolated. Constrained. They doubt their own effectiveness. And fear for their jobs. No wonder. At the heart of the problem is the fact that superintendents

Locally and nationally, we engage in a diverse dialogue about improving public education. We suffer the ill-informed political debates about policy and improvement. Yet, we seldom focus on the development and sustenance of strong and effective school superintendents. It has


two decades since Minnesota provided for the sustained professional development of school district superintendents through the BUSH Foundation. At BOSS, we believe superintendents must lead the changes we want in public education. There is no other position in the school district with greater accountability and responsibility for leading change. For decades, active superintendents have relied on state associations and small regional networks to provide connections, information and support. While helpful, this is no longer sufficient and many superintendents have become more isolated and more stressed than ever before in history. Board of School Superintendents (BOSS) is a new national organization dedicated to helping you the active school superintendent, in the complex task of managing an educational enterprise. Across the country, superintendents identify their most critical learning needs as improving interpersonal skills, strategic thinking and systems thinking. That is what BOSS is all about. BOSS gives you support and professional development in a secure environment to meet your own individual leadership needs. Our unique method is a focus on the study of implementation practice and evidence-based solutions. We identify and store practical, proven practices, collect studies of implementation practice, and collect insights shared by superintendents. And, we show you proven methods and techniques for leadership and management. When selected for a BOSS cohort, you will discover a safe place to frame issues, gather insights, and learn from peers in a secure and supportive environment. A cohort is led by a trained, experienced BOSS Chair who has significant prior success as a school

Your cohort goals will emphasize contextual learning, self-appraisal, leadership practice, and case study methodology. BOSS emphasizes a change leadership framework with a special focus on recent research shared in areas of adaptive change and immunity to change practices. We operate from a belief that given the concepts, skills and personal preparation, you as a leader can change anything for the benefit of students and student learning. Currently, we are forming learning cohorts of active superintendents in Minnesota and Alabama with additional states joining soon. You must be nominated to become a BOSS Fellow and participate in cohort learning. For more information, Visit our rich website at. www.boardofschools uperintendents.com to learn more about us. Nominations for BOSS cohort learning is underway now in Minnesota


Parents of

Kindergarteners When families are involved in the early education of their children, their children may experience greater success upon entering elementary school (Miedel & Reynolds, 1999). Given this research, parents of kindergarteners should not be afraid to become an active participant in their child’s education. Advocating for your child’s education will be your role throughout their educational career and beyond. Now that your kindergartner is off to school, your life-long work will kick into a different gear. You are now, as you have been from birth their primary teacher. As their first teacher, your initial step in this process is to define your support or involvement in their education. This should not be defined by anyone else, this is your role to express. If you are a parent who has time and enjoys being active in the PTA go for it. You can volunteer to be a coach with the community sports team were you child plays! However, if you are a parent with a schedule that may rarely permit you to volunteer at your kindergartener’s school, but you: 

work tirelessly to ensure they are dressed every morning and ready for school

are regularly talking about the importance of education

are an activate part of their learning

are making sure homework is done

walk your child to school when you can

You are an engaged parent with multiple levels of parental involvement. So as you transition and expand to your new role as an academic engaged parent your preschooler will be making their own transition, moving to the exciting world of kindergarten education. According to Great Schools (2012) here is what their development should look like: (1) follow class rules; (2) separate from a parent or caregiver with ease; and (3) take turns. Continue on page 53


Do something healthy for your child.

Get to know her teacher today.


How to Determine the Best Educational Interest in Child Custody Matters By Edward F. Dragan, Ed.D.   

“My ex-wife wants to move out of the State and I’m concerned about the school my child is to attend. I don’t think it’s as good as the one he’s in now. How do I find out?” “My child is gifted and my ex-husband wants to send her to a private school. How do I know if that’s the right thing to do?” “My daughter has Down syndrome and my ex-wife wants to place her in an inclusive education program. How do I find out if that’s going to meet my daughter’s needs?”

Child custody is the right and duty to care for a child on a day-to-day basis and to make major decisions regarding the child has profound impact upon his or her future. Parents, and their attorneys, are increasingly aware that decisions they make about a child’s education factor into custody decisions. Issues such as what school a child should attend and the relative quality of education offered in different school systems and schools profoundly impact a child’s future choices as well as the quality of life for the child and parents. Education issues in the matrimonial arena arise when the custodial parent seeks to change residence or change the school or program in which a child is enrolled. Because the “where and how” of a child’s education affects the child’s quality of life, it plays a critical role in a child custody “best interests” assessment. Courts throughout the country have not developed a uniform approach to addressing issues involved in relocation requests. Some courts recognize a presumption against removal as a point of departure; others use a presumption in favor of removal; still others presume nothing and rely on a best-interests analysis. (Driscoll, 1997) In assessing whether to grant a custodial parent’s application to relocate with a child over the noncustodial parent’s objection a number of important issues must be examined. Included in the

examination are questions concerning whether the child will receive educational opportunities at least equal to what is currently available as well as consideration of any of the child’s special needs or talents that require accommodation, and whether such accommodation or its equivalent is available in the new location. An education expert is an invaluable resource to help parents make critical determinations at a time when emotions can overtake a parent’s wellintentioned desire to provide a better quality of family life. The expert makes a considered and impartial recommendation concerning educational programs and placement. The expert helps parents to make informed and beneficial decisions for their child’s future. Looking at and analyzing the overall strengths and weaknesses of school systems and schools can be useful in these cases. However, the education expert who possesses appropriate experience in reviewing student records, reviewing education programs, and in making education placement decisions will conduct an in-depth and careful review of a child’s academic history and potential. Great benefits are derived from an in-depth and careful study that seeks to understand individual children and their particular needs and desires; how the current school meets those needs and desires; and whether the proposed school is


reasonably likely to do the same. This process entails gathering data and background information about the school system and community and applying that data within an analytical structure that includes a thorough review and analysis of the child’s needs and desires. For a custodial parent such as Kathleen, the parent of a seven-year-old second-grader, what does she do when she wishes to move out of State and James, her ex-husband, resists? Case law places the burden on the custodial parent to show that any move would “significantly improve the quality of life” for the child. (See Gruber v. Gruber, 583 A.2d 434 (Pa. Super. 1990); Lozinak v. Lozinak, 390 Pa. Super. 597, 569 A.2d 353 (1990).) Some courts have incorporated a variation on a best interests analysis and require proof that the child will not suffer from the move. (See Holder v. Polanski, 111 N.J. 344, 544, A.2d 852 (1980); Cooper v. Cooper, 99 N.J. 42, 491 A.2d 606 (1984). The New Jersey Supreme Court holds that the burden is on the custodial parent who seeks to relocate to prove: (1) a good faith motive and (2) that the move will not be inimical to the interests of the child. (See Baures v. Baures, 167 N.J. 91, 770 A.2d 214 (2001). The noncustodial parent is required to show that resistance to the proposed move is based upon a concern for the child and his or her relationship to the child. In Kathleen and James’s case, the non-custodial parent, James, must look at all relevant issues surrounding a proposed move. This includes his daughter’s education. When educational opportunities at a proposed school are not comparable to those that a child currently receives, the educational component of the best interests test may fail and it may not be in the child’s best interest to move. However, the analysis should not end there. The critical question then becomes what path should be taken that will not cause detriment to the child? An important factor for consideration then is the quality and opportunities that different school systems and individual schools within those systems offer. Will Lisa, who has a disability, have the same opportunities to benefit from her education in the school system where her mother is proposing to live as she has in the district where she currently resides? Will the move and

subsequent transfer to a new school system significantly improve Lisa’s quality of life? Does the proposed new school system offer more opportunities for Lisa to benefit from her education? Is it likely that she will suffer educationally if she moves from the current school system? These are questions that can be effectively addressed and answered by an education expert who has experience conducting school reviews, is a trained and experienced school administrator, and a trained special educator. After the education expert’s complete and careful review he will write an expert report and provide testimony to assist the trier-of-fact determine the propriety of the proposed move in light of the child’s individual circumstances, needs, and desires. To use the example above, a careful review of Lisa’s record revealed specific data about her educational needs. The student data and school data was integrated into a “picture” of Lisa, including her educational needs and the school programs and services that are currently responding to those needs. That data was confirmed through a telephone interview with her teacher and the school principal. Lisa was receiving all of the related services that were outlined in her Individualized Education Program (IEP), such as speech/language therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. A review of her record indicated that she was succeeding in the placement and that the school system appropriately implemented the IEP. An interview with Lisa’s teacher revealed that Lisa had a well-established circle of friends, both within her special education classroom and within the school building. The principal indicated that his school has established a very successful “Circle of Friends” program, integrates Lisa in many regular classrooms, and provides afterschool care for her at which time a teacher assistant reinforces many of Lisa’s academic and social skills. The purpose of the interview with the principal at the proposed school was to generate a descriptive picture of Lisa as well as questions about how the school system and the school would meet Lisa’s Continue on page 55


Kindergarteners (continued from page 49) 

Cut along a line with scissors

Establish left- or right-hand dominance

Understand time concepts like yesterday, today, and tomorrow

Stand quietly in a line

Follow directions agreeably and easily

Pay attention for 15 to 20 minutes

Hold a crayon and pencil correctly

Share materials such as crayons and blocks

Know the eight basic colors: red, yellow, blue, green, orange, black, white, and pink

Recognize and write the letters of the alphabet in upper- and lowercase forms

Know the relationship between letters and the sounds they make

Recognize sight words such as the and read simple sentences

Spell his first and last name

Write consonant-vowel-consonant words such as bat and fan

Retell a story that has been read aloud

Show an opinion through drawing, writing, or speaking (e.g. “My favorite book is…”)

Identify and be able to write numbers from 0 to 20

Count by ones and tens to 100

Do addition problems with sums up to 10

Do subtraction problems with numbers 0 to 10

Know basic shapes such as square, triangle, rectangle, and circle

Know her address and phone number

Let the journey begin, it is one for the entire family and one that will surely be filled with fun, handwork and great accomplishments. Looking forward to seeing you and your child at the 2024 graduation in your town!


Living Education Everyday


Best Educational Interest in Child Custody (Continued from page 52)

individualized educational needs. The interview process revealed that Lisa would be placed in the school’s special education classroom with students who were described as similar to those in her current placement. Asked about the level of services available in the school for Lisa, the principal indicated that the school, by law, would have to provide the services as outlined in the IEP. Further probing revealed that the school did not currently employ a speech/language therapist because, according to the principal, the students in the special education class were all verbal and did not need such services. Additional interviewing demonstrated that this was the only special education class in the school system and that all the other students with disabilities attend either private or other state schools for the handicapped. The school did not employ an occupational therapist or physical therapist. The school did not integrate any of the students from the special education class into the regular school program except for lunch and some assemblies. In addition to the data gleaned from the interview process, both school systems’ statistics were thoroughly reviewed. This included data pertaining to student enrollment; teacher-to-student ratio; standardized test scores; numbers of students graduating; the amount of money spent on each student and other factors that relate to indicators of education quality. Information about schools is readily available from State, County, and local education authorities. There are services that collect data for comparison. While this standardized information is useful, when the custody case involves a highly individualized program or placement, it is advisable for each child and each individual school to be individually reviewed and analyzed. Every case involving a custody issue requires a review and analysis for each affected child. A school-age student may have particular gifts and talents. These must be considered and addressed during the overall evaluation process. Does a school system or

An education expert uses professional resources and expertise to help client lawyers narrow the gap between where their clients are and where they want and need to be. -- Edward F. Dragan, Ed,D

school offer specialized programs and services and are they easily obtained? Does the school offer a “pullout” enrichment program? Are enrichment programs infused into the regular classroom? Will the proposed new school offer a similar program and what are the resources to provide such programs? The education expert provides the professional and expedient path to answer these complex questions. Legal battles often defuse and more easily resolve, often in less time, when a trained education expert offers an objective analysis of the situation. Quicker resolution benefits the child and the parents. The education expert is one of the most important tools a lawyer can use during the dispute resolution process in matrimonial cases. An education expert uses professional resources and expertise to help client lawyers narrow the gap between where their clients are and where they want and need to be. Through training and relevant experience these impartial individuals see and understand complex data and understand and evaluate situations that oftentimes, emotionally involved participants cannot navigate. Impartiality is crucial to a “best interests” analysis and this is what defines the expert. An education expert is not an advocate for one side or the other. The expert is an active and objective participant who has training and the ability to authoritatively and effectively push forth solutions to complex, emotional, and life altering issues. In matrimonial matters it is critical that lawyers recognize early on the value of the consultant expert. Early intervention helps the expert to undertake a comprehensive and detailed review and develop the requisite contacts and relationships that are critical to the overall conclusion and recommendation. An education expert can have the greatest beneficial


Problem Affecting School Reform in America (continued from 36)

and resources that could be used for the country’s benefit. America can no longer afford to function with only a select few of its citizens receiving a quality education and high standard of living; it can no longer afford to have only a few citizens become wealthy, while the majority struggle to get by and make ends meet. America must return to the principles it was founded upon and provide equal opportunities for all of its citizens – regardless of one’s socioeconomic status. The opportunities must be educational as well as financial – intellectual as well as economic. If these opportunities are not forthcoming, America’s worst problems could be yet to come. impact when the issues are in their infancy; before emotions run too high and a crucial amount of time has passed and money spent. In many cases, the effectiveness of the consulting expert will determine the outcome of the dispute. A lawyer should look for an education expert with a broad background that includes teaching, supervision, management, curriculum development, and program monitoring. An expert with a majority of career activities in one or two areas may not be as credible as one with a broader background. Of course, educational opportunities are just those – opportunities. Students must take advantage of the opportunities in order to benefit from them. It’s not a one-way street. However, when conducting school reviews for custody decisions one must assume the optimal. That is, that the student will strive to take advantage of opportunities, programs, and services that are regularly offered in the school system. It is critical during school reviews to indicate those opportunities, programs, and services that a particular student needs (based upon student data) and is likely to pursue. Simply put, if it is not there, the student cannot take advantage of it; and this affects the future. Driscoll, Ann M., “In Search of a Standard: Resolving the Relocation Problem in New York,” 26 Hofstra L.Rev. 175, 176 (1997).

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I don't measure! I cook from my soul and taste as I go!. Some people prefer more of one ingredient to the other so I give the tools and the cook builds the masterpiece. -- Brigeria Queen

Louisiana Seafood Fried Won Ton Yellow onion Green onion Minced Garlic Olive oil Won Ton wrappers Shrimp Crab meat Crawfish Goat cheese Cream cheese Salt and Pepper Chop Shrimp, and Crawfish, lightly salt before cooking. Chop green and yellow onion. In a non-stick skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray add small amount of olive oil, then minced garlic, onions, shrimp and crawfish and sautĂŠ just until shrimp are slightly pink(will cook more in the frying), and cool. In a separate bowl combine goat cheese and cream cheese, to your taste, (some like more goat cheese, others cream your choice) until creamy. Salt and pepper to taste. Combine shrimp mixture and mix well. Gently fold in your crab meat. Take a spoon and drop mixture into won ton wrapper, and tightly seal with wet finger tips. Water will do fine. In a cooking oil of your choice fry won tons until golden brown. Won tons can also be baked if preferred. Enjoy while hot and fresh.

Cherry Orange Juice Sauce Maraschino cherry juice Sugar Rice wine vinegar Saffron Olive oil Orange juice Continue on page 80


Letter from the President’s Desk Alumni and Fundraising:

By

Michelle Howard-Vital, Ph.D., President of Cheyney University It has been my good fortunate to serve as the president of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania for the last five years. The value of alumni in helping a university reach its fundraising goals cannot be underestimated. Beyond their ability to donate funds and to develop an endowment, alumni are also an important constituency for the president to cultivate. In fact, as has been demonstrated in the tenures of several college presidents, alumni can be important supporters (or detractors) of the president and can help sway public opinion at difficult times in a presidency or in the life of an institution. Even though we use the word “alumni,” it is clear the alumni constituency of any institution is not a monolithic group. Rather, like our national political spectrum, there are factions of alumni who view issues depending on their age, their experiences since graduation, and their location from the institution. This range of interests and views can also be beneficial to a higher education institution. There is an understanding among most college presidents that you want to cultivate alumni for a range of contributions from bipartisan political advocacy to volunteer leadership in fundraising campaigns. Successful alumni affairs offices at colleges attempt to understand the range and interests of alumni and employ the “right” alumni for specific projects that advance the institution. Moreover, in addition to their role as advocates for the institution, alumni also hold the special role of serving as products or outcomes—signifying the educational and intrinsic values of the institution. Thus, alumni help to define the legacy of the institution by the accomplishments they achieve after they have graduated. Institutions often point to their talented and accomplished alumni to demonstrate the contributions to society that they have helped to furnish. Thousands of highly placed and visible alumni, make it easier for an institution to claim more value added. For some institutions, like Harvard and Yale, who have presidents of the United States of America among their alumni, the accomplishments of their alumni enhance their image, allow them to be more selective in admissions, and probably influence the perceived value of prospective students. There are also other characteristics of alumni that influence their interactions with the institution and the president. One is distance from the university. Alumni who live near their alma mater tend to visit the institution more often and sometimes become more knowledgeable of, and more involved in, events and issues at the university. Another is the current connection that the alumni have with the university. If one of their children or family members is attending the university, then alumni also tend to be more intimately involved in the inner workings of the university. Retired


alumni, who live close to the institution might also volunteer or participate in more campus activities and homecoming events. Regardless, it is very important for the leadership team at a university to be aware of the various levels of interactions and knowledge of alumni when they are courting alumni for fundraising and other activities. Not surprisingly, alumni who have heard negative reports about the university in the press or through their network of friends and other contacts are going to be less likely to contribute funds to the university or to serve as positive advocates. Moreover, alumni who have children or relatives attending the university who are experiencing difficulty with specific offices such as financial aid are also going to be reluctant to contribute to, or advocate for, the university. Usually, the university can control the image of the university more with alumni who live farther from the institution through the alumni website, direct mail communications, and the alumni magazine. If distant alumni are thanked for their contributions and can see their names in the alumni magazine, they are usually positively influenced. How does the leadership team cultivate the various groups of alumni for fundraising and support for the mission and goals of the university? This is indeed the million dollar question—pun intended. Since alumni are important constituents of the University, it is important to keep them apprised of the achievement of goals of the university, and it is equally important for the president or vice president for institutional advancement to meet regularly with various alumni groups to keep them apprised of stories of the current students and the needs of the University. We have all read that in order to secure a large gift from an alumnus you have to determine the interest of the alumnus and their desire to leave a legacy. Unfortunately prospective alumni who can become major donors are not always clear, or might not have been that introspective, about what they really want to leave as their legacy for the institution. My six years as a college president (including the one year at Winston-Salem State University) lead me to believe that the president or designee might spend considerable amount of time attempting to determine what exactly interests or compels the alumnus to make a significant donation. Ultimately, courting a donor is a long process that may or may not lead towards a major gift. The courting is more akin to the establishment of a key relationship that must be maintained and expanded, as appropriate. Someone once stated to me that alumni of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) are more passionate about their universities because of their interactions with faculty and staff, because of the opportunities the institution provided them to transition into a middle-class lifestyle (when they might have been excluded from other colleges), and because of the lifelong friends that they still maintain from the collegiate experience. A brief scan of articles regarding alumni and the tenure of college presidents of HBCU’s reveals the tenuous relationships that can exist between alumni and the leadership of a HBCU. The relationship between HBCU alumni and the college leadership does not seem necessarily to correlate with the value of monetary and other contributions to the college or university. Rather, in some regards, HBCU alumni seek to protect, and to memorialize the experiences they believe exemplify “their university.” Conflicts between alumni and the president and college leaders seem to occur when the institution appears to be drifting from the treasured memories of the alumni.


Alumni of HBCU’s also are on an upward trajectory in giving back to their alma maters. In order to encourage, increase, and continue the positive feelings and advocacy that can come from the alumni, it is extremely necessary for the president and leaders at the institution to develop long term positive relationships with a range of alumni, so that the alumni/university relationships can weather the storms of negative press. As a college president, I have enjoyed meeting with members of the various alumni associations of Cheyney University. Each class or group is like a window into the past of the university. By attending their various class alumni events, I learn about the very transitions in the university’s history from people who lived through them and helped to create some of these evolutions. All of their memories and their connections are the legacy of the institution. When they are recalling their stories of “what it was like when,” it is the perfect time to remind them of the new generation of leaders who need advocates, scholarships, and guidance.


Living Education Everyday


Obtaining Academic Success through the use of support services at Hampton University By Dr. Barbara LeSeur Inman Hampton University has invested many resources in order to provide support for students to obtain academic success. Research suggests that many students decide within the first six weeks of class whether to remain enrolled. The first six weeks of students’ time in college is a critical period for them; therefore, it is important to be proactive in providing them with structured support services and guidance during this time. Getting students started on the path to success in college is an exciting and challenging goal. Excellent orientation programs, advising sessions, and special support services are all means toward that end. More information is essential to discover how academic support programs contribute to the participants’ academic performance and retention. HU is a mid-size, private institution located in. in 1868 by General Samuel Chapman Armstrong. Its chief mission is to establish an environment that promotes learning and the philosophy of an education for life. An education for life in this context means the preparation of students to become useful citizens in society. HU goes to extraordinary lengths not only to prepare its students for academic success but also to be forthright and productive citizens. Presently, there are several support services available to assist students with achieving academic success at the University. Before students fully matriculate, some enroll in the Pre-College/Summer Bridge Program. The program is a five-week residential experience that provides an opportunity for students to experience postsecondary academics and for the school to determine the kind of support participants may need to be successful in college. Participants take six to nine credit hours of course work, attend mathematic tutorial sessions and academic enrichment seminars while becoming familiar with the campus. Most of the participants will attend HU full time during the fall semester. Specifically, the participants are required to attend weekly seminars that address time-management skills, test-taking skills, study skills, health issues that plague college students, and participate in library and technology orientations, career counseling and a seminar addressing “The Freshman Experience.” Some of the other resources available to help students obtain academic success at the University are housed in several departments within the Student Affairs Division


including, the Assessment Center, the Career Counseling and Planning Center, the Counseling Center, the Freshman Studies Department, the Office of Disability and Testing Services, Residential Life, and Student Support Services. The Assessment Center uses an "early warning" system whereby students who receive academically deficient grades (any grade below a C) at mid-term automatically receive letters instructing them to report to the Center for academic counseling, referrals and tutorial services. The center uses a mobile unit, called the HU Compass that travels to buildings throughout campus to meet students where they are that day. This component offers better student accessibility and campus visibility. The overall aim is to encourage students to map out their curricular and co-curricular experiences and to provide maximum exposure to opportunities at the University. Additionally, academic support is provided through academic counseling, selfmanagement tools, study skills development, and free tutorial services held in the evenings during the week and during the day on the weekends at the students’ convenience. The Calendar of Academic Success, created by the Assessment Center each semester, features skill building and empowerment workshops that are designed to provide students with success strategies that will serve them throughout their educational experience. These workshops will also help students establish a foundation to realize future goals. Additionally, the “Academic Alert” is a tool that is available online for faculty and professional staff to recommend a student for support services. Finally, The Peer Led Team Learning (PLTL) model is a program that is being developed to assist students in improving performance

performance in targeted historically difficult courses. Faculty and peer leaders work together to provide supplemental assistance to students taking historically difficult courses. (Student Handbook 2011-2012.) The Career Counseling and Planning Center offers an online interest inventory, to discover if students are unsure of their major of study. The Center provides students with experiences that will assist them with the transition from college to the workplace through a series of scheduled seminars and workshops, all of which are designed to assist with academic achievement. The Counseling Center provides clinical mental health counseling and also advises two groups that provide support to students: Peer Counselors and Peer Helpers. The Peer Counselors are confidential listeners for students in need of emotional support, serve as role models of psychosocially healthy and selfactualizing young adults, and offer psychosocial programs and activities for the benefit their HU peers’ growth and development. In the event that a need or problem brought to their attention is beyond the scope of their training and ability, they refer the individual to one of the professional counselors. Summer Peer Helpers provide supportive assistance to students in the Summer Pre-College and Bridge programs. Each Peer Helper works with an assigned


group to provide a forum for discussion of adjustment-to-college-life issues. The groups meet weekly to discuss progress, successes and challenges, and to engage in appropriate social activities. Helpers also are available to individuals who need ‘one-on-one’ time. In the event that a need or problem brought to their attention is beyond the scope of their training and ability, they refer the individual to the Counseling Center. (Student Handbook 20112012). In order to address the specific needs of freshman,

through structured activities led by Student Leaders. All freshman receive a college information packet, are given a campus tour and encouraged to interact with their peers and share experiences, In addition, Student Leaders host several events geared toward student traditions here at HU. In addition, Academic Counselors monitor students weekly through individual counseling while also managing the University 101 Program. All freshman students are required to enroll in “University 101 – The Individual and This course is designed to provide freshman with a common core of experiences in order to facilitate their transition into the college environment. The course consists of a coordinated series of unit topics such as “Becoming A Successful Student,” “Making the Classroom Work for You;” “Listening Actively and Taking Good Notes,” and “Learning to Think Critically,” all of which will assist students academically. The Office of Disability and Testing Services provides accommodations, support services and auxiliary aids to qualified students according to specific guidelines. The Residential Life team, with the

a separate but interrelated Freshman Studies Office was created. This office, with five officers, provides three major services: New Student Orientation, Academic Counseling, and Social Adjustment Counseling. The goal is to ease the transition from high school to college. Entering freshmen and transfer students are required to participate in our New Student Orientation program one week prior to the beginning of classes. The primary goal of the orientation program is to assist new students in the transition from high school to the University, or from another institution to HU. All incoming freshman are paired with a student mentor. These upper-class students are members of the Student Leadership Program. This begins the transitioning

support of student groups, provides wellcoordinated, and integrated, residence hall programs to motivate academic achievement and wholesome group living through a series of workshops and seminars. HU’s Student Support Services provide a plethora of outlets for students to help strengthen their performance in various disciplines: advice and assistance in postsecondary course selection, individualized counseling for personal, career and academic matters, seminars to motivate participants and provide pertinent information and knowledge, financial aid information and direct financial assistance for those who qualify, education and counseling services designed to improve Continue on page 87


Do something healthy for your child.

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To Read or Not to Read: That is the Question By Yolanda Abel Parents are a child’s first teacher. The way in which we nurture, protect, and provide for our children is fundamental in their developing into healthy and productive adults. One of the most critical ways we, as parents, can nurture, protect, and provide for our children is by helping them to learn to read. Learning to read begins before a child enters school. It can start as early as when the child is in the womb (Shelov, 2009). Reading is a critical skill in all aspects, both socially and economically

economically (Stadler, & McEvoy, 2003). Stadler and McEvoy (2003) inform us that “reading is a language skill and the seeds of reading acquisition are sown in early childhood as children are immersed in a print-rich environment, at home, in the community, and in schools.” Once your child is born, you should continue to read to him or her. If you have a shower, request baby books, too. It is never too early to begin building a home library for your child. A good investment for a baby’s first type of books is board books. Board books are printed on thick paperboard and tend to more durable, which is a great quality as infants and toddlers manipulate the books. As you and other loved ones read to your infant you are helping him or her to develop pre-reading skills that will be be a benefit in more formal schooling. One of the


most critical skills is phonological awareness. Children, in general, learn phonological awareness from their parents and caregivers (Stadler & McEvoy, 2003) as we talk to and read with them. The practical definition of phonological awareness is being aware that words are made up of sequences of meaningless and somewhat distinct sounds, known in academics as phonemes (Juel, 1988). As we read to our children it is important that we read with expression and identify the author and the illustrator and what they do in relation to the book. Children will begin to notice how we hold a book and read (right size-up and left to right). As the child progresses into toddlerhood

(two-three years of age), provide him or her with more autonomy in the joint reading. It can be fun, for both of you, to allow your child to select a book to read, read to you (use picture books or books with a few words per page), and allow them the opportunity to draw and write (scribble) to create their own books (Templeton, 1997). The National Institute for Literacy has a variety of guides to help parents develop their children’s reading skills. There are some examples of their materials listed in the resources section. As your child continues to grow and develop it is imperative that reading (books, newspapers, graphic novels, etc.) be an activity that happens together. However, also utilize reading conversational strategies in your everyday life. For example, point out letters in street signs, grocery store product signage, and/or engage in conversation while cooking a meal together about what you are doing, the products you are using, and how you will serve it to the family (Allington, 2001).When your child is ready to enter school (kindergarten) and become more immersed in the formal process of learning to read, make sure that you keep up with reading at home and be in contact with the teacher to better understand what is being done at school to develop reading fluency and comprehension and how you and the rest of the family can support the child in becoming an even better reader. By the end of third grade, your child should be a

well-developed reader on or above grade level (Lloyd, 1978). Why is the third grade reading level important? This is what the experts tell us. Whether your child graduates from high school or not can be predicated by his or her third grade leveling and overall school achievement (Lloyd, 1978). Who cares about research conducted in 1978? Snowling, Adams, Bowyer-Crane, and Tobin (2000) examined literacy levels among juvenile offenders and found that the reading and spelling skills were below the expectation for their age range. Areas of concerns could be traced back to vocabulary and phonological

impairments. So, once it again it is important that we are reading with our children and supporting them in their literacy development prior to them beginning formal schooling. Hart and Risley (2003) investigated vocabulary development among young children. They were particularly interested in the vocabulary gap that seemed to exist, once in school, between children from low-income families versus children from more middle or upper class families. They spent two and a half years observing 43 families to learn what went on in homes with 1 and 2 year old children learning to talk. At three years of age, children who were living in households receiving welfare had fewer Continue on page 89


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Parents of

Middle Schoolers Middle School is a different experience from what you and your child have previously understood about school culture and student expectations. The anxiety and stress of leaving the elementary school your child has attended since kindergarten or perhaps since preschool can be enough to give pause to the best of students. The importance of being aware of the new experiences awaiting your child and how to prepare to assist your children navigate the unique experiences will be a key factor in their adjustment to middle school life (Steinke, 2012). In Steinke’s article he highlights a few major experiences you and your child will have to adjust to:  Classes: Individual classes for each subject, no main teacher  Supplies: One locker somewhere in school  Organization: Student responsible for organization  Changing classes: Student expected to find her own way  Development stage: Pre-puberty/puberty  Homework: Increase in volume and level of difficulty of homework. Independent work with some parent support recommended  Size: Larger school — often several schools combine into one school O'Donnell (2012) recommended parents know and adhere to the code of conduct policies such as:  Dress Code  Social and Behavioral Rules  What is allow on school ground

One unfortunate experience your new middle schooler may have to face is an increase in bullying. In a long term study on bullying, researcher Maria Bartini, M.S., of the University of Georgia and psychologist Anthony D. Pellegrini, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities found that bullying increased with the initial transition from fifth to sixth grade and then declined. This study also noted that some children are bullied throughout their academic experience. Continue on page 83


Promise Neighborhoods and Academic Success

For School-Age Black Males By: Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D. & Juwanza McIntosh, M.A.

The Health Behavior in School-age Children Survey (United States Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, & Maternal and Child Health Bureau, 2008) Findings suggested Black males were significantly more likely to report feeling unsafe at school, and Black males reported problems with feeling safe and trusting others in their neighborhoods. Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D. & Juwanza McIntosh, M.A.


Can neighborhood characteristics influence academic performance among school-age black males? One of the primary objectives of Breaking Barriers 2 was to examine social and environmental factors that have a relationship with educational outcomes for Black males. One study in the report analyzed black, Latino, and white males (black male N =1,351) who completed the Health Behavior in Schoolage Children Survey (United States Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, & Maternal and Child Health Bureau, 2008). Findings suggested that feeling safe in and outside of the school improved academic performance across all races. Black males were significantly more likely to report feeling unsafe at school, and Black males reported problems with feeling safe and trusting others in their neighborhoods. Specifically, compared to White males, Black males were significantly more likely to disagree with the following statements: (1) Generally speaking, I feel safe in the area where I live; (2) It is safe for younger children to play outside during the day; (3) You can trust people around here; and (4) I could ask for help or a favor from neighbors I feel safe in the area where I live (strongly agree – higher plot; strongly disagree – lower plot).

You can trust people around here (strongly agree – higher plot; strongly disagree – lower plot).

FIGURE 1a and 1b: Relationship between Race (separate plots) and Academic Achievement (X Axis) on Neighborhood Security Variables (Y Axes). Note.  = black Male Students;  = Latino Male Students;  = white Male Students. Data Retrieved From Health Behavior In School-Age Children (2007). The dashed reference line on the Y-axis marks the estimated mean of the dependent variable.

As Figure 1a and 1b illustrate, neighborhood safety issues are associated with lower levels of academic success across all races. Note, as neighborhood safety levels improve, so does academic performance among all races. However, when examining neighborhood safety ratings for black males, even those at higher levels of academic functioning do not exceed the average safety ratings of all races, as indicated by the dashed reference line along the y-axis. These findings have some implications for formulating policies and practices that are conducive to academic success among Black males. Promise Neighborhoods The U.S. Department of Education can play a key role in helping states develop systems, strategies and policies to ensure that school leaders and teachers understand the importance of, and have the resources and support to, create positive learning environments for students. One of the ways the Department of Education has tried to combat these obstacles is by creating Promise Neighborhoods. Promise


Neighborhoods is a federal initiative to provide children and youth with academic and developmental support by fostering resilience and deepen their appreciation for their community environment (U.S. Department of Education, 2012). Inspired by the Harlem Children’s Zone which provided free parenting workshops, pre-school programs, and three public charter schools, the Promise Neighborhoods program would seek to aid students from underserved communities. Under this program local non-profit organizations are given grants to provide academic and developmental support to ensure that students are fully engaged through activities that foster resilience. Proposed in 2008 by then candidate Obama, the program received roughly $500,000 in grants from the Department of Education in 2010 to build 21 of the communities.

as the students inside the Zone. They further explain that there was no relationship between community services and academic outcomes. Despite the controversy, it is clear that Promise Neighborhoods have the potential mitigate the various issues related to environmental strain and academic performance. In general, there are a number of strategies that can be employed to create a better environment for Black students to succeed. Educational policy that emphasizes the role of peer education and mediation, and social skills training that recognize the role of peer relationships in academic success is essential. Safety is another factor that is uniquely related to the performance of school age Black males. Legislators should consider ways to encourage and support schools and school districts in developing policies and practices designed to ensure student safety, developed in partnership

Promise Neighborhoods appear to be working and according to the Bridgespan Group (2009), if the program succeeds, there would be evidence that a new, integrated and educationcentered approach to ending poverty could give poor children a greater chance at economic opportunity. There are, however, a number of challenges that have been associated with implementing Promise Neighborhoods. Since the program is based on the Harlem Children’s Zone, some question if the same principles apply to other locations. City dynamics, local politics, and the influence of the local school district are all potential barriers to Promise Neighborhoods succeeding in other cities.

with students. In addition, schools and neighborhoods should enact policies that build connections between schools and communities to improve

Blair Taylor (2009), CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League, suggests that without properly coordinating with the local government, neighborhoods might have difficulty integrating proposals with existing economic and social development initiatives. Critics of the Promise Neighborhoods initiative also scrutinize the efficacy of its predecessor, the Harlem Children Zone. Dobbie and Fryer (2009) found that students outside the Zone garner the same benefit from the HCZ charter schools

References Dobbie, W. & Fryer, R. (2009). Are High Quality Schools Enough To Close the Achievement Gap? Evidence From A Bold Social Experiment in Harlem. The National Bureau of Economic Research. November 2009. No. 15473. Taylor, B. (2009). Realizing the Promise of Promise Neighborhoods. The Bridgespan Group. Comments. Retrieved from http://www.bridgespan.org/realizing-the-promiseof-promise-neighborhoods.aspx. The Bridgespan Group. (2009). Realizing the Promise of Promise Neighborhoods. The Bridgespan Group. Retrieved from Continue on page 80


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Promise Neighborhoods and Academic Success (continued on page 79)

from http://www.bridgespan.org/realizing-thepromise-of-promise-neighborhoods.aspx. U.S. Department of Education (2012). Promise Neighborhoods Retrieved March 21, 2012, from http://www2.ed.gov/programs/promiseneighborho ods/index.html United States Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, & Maternal and Child Health Bureau. (2008). Health Behavior in School-Aged Children, 2001-2002 [United States] [Computer File] (Vol. ICPSR04372-v2). Ann Arbor, MI: Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor]. Food Allergies and Kids (continued from page 34)

Is there a cure for food allergies? Unfortunately, today there is no medicine to cure people with food allergies. The best prescription that many doctors give is for the person to completely avoid the food that they are allergic to. Some sources state that people can grow out of their allergies; however this is not always true for everyone. How can I tell if my child has a food allergy? You cannot look at someone to determine if he or she has a food allergy. If your child develops hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, etc. after eating, the first thing to do is to see head to the emergency room if the child is having difficulty breathing or contact your child’s health care provider for a consultation. He/she may require that you do a food allergy panel test either via saliva, finger prick or some other form of testing. If my child is diagnosed with a food allergy, how do I know what and what not to buy? Discussing your child’s food allergy with a dietician or a certified nutritional counselor is a start. Because food allergies in children have become more prevalent, food allergy

support groups have become quite common. Seek out a children’s food allergy network or group in your area or start one on your own. 1

“Healthy Youth! Food Allergies.” CDC. June 11, 2008 . 2 “Food Allergy Information.” Food Allergy Initiative. June 11, 2008 . 3 “African American boys at risk for food allergies.” KOAA.com. October 7, 2010. 4 “What is a food allergy?” The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. June 10, 2008 . 5 “Allergies: Problem Foods: Is It an Allergy or Intolerance?” WebMD. June 10, 2008 . A Twist on Tailgate (continued from page 59)

In non-stick sauce pan combine, rice wine vinegar, cherry juice, olive oil sugar and saffron. Now the ratio is 2:1:.5 for the r.w.v , cherry juice and olive oil. Sugar is to your liking of how sweet you want your sauce. Sugar can be omitted if cherry juice is sweet enough. Boil until it reduces to thick syrup. Add orange juice at the end to thin out to the consistency you want for your dipping pleasure.

Smoked Gouda cheese and Pear Bites Smoked Gouda Cheese Pears Lemon or pineapple juice Panko Egg Cut gouda cheese and pears toas close to same size bite size pieces. With toothpicks skewer pear and cheese, roll in egg wash, then panko coat well repeat if needed. Place on baking sheet and bake 15 min oruntil panko is golden brown. Can also use apple and goat cheese.

Touchdown Pistolette Pistolette Rolls Velveeta cheese Gruyere cheese Yellow onion Continue in page 86


Increasing the Representation of Black Male Teachers: A Brief Examination of the Pipeline to Teaching Chance W. Lewis, Ph.D. Carolyn Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Urban Education Director, The Urban Education Collaborative The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

E-mail: chance.lewis@uncc.edu Web: http://www.thecollaborative.uncc.edu

Over the past decade, recent media attention has highlighted an emerging trend related to the demographic composition of the U.S. teaching force -- the lack of Black male teachers in our nation’s classrooms. As an example, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Filmmaker Spike Lee, in March 2012, announced a 5-year national initiative to recruit, train and place more than 80,000 Black male teachers into U.S. classrooms by 2015 to benefit all learners (see http://1.usa.gov/N83taH). To examine this issue, research over the past decade by scholars (e.g., Dr. Marvin Lynn, Dr. H. Richard Milner, Dr. Tyrone Howard, Dr. Chance W. Lewis and others) have sought to understand issues related to the work lives of current Black male teachers, incentives needed to recruit this population to teaching and how this population understands their importance as role models to all students in the field of education. However, the fundamental question for this article is, “What does an examination of the pipeline tell us about the future representation of Black males in teaching? To examine the future outlook of Black males in the teaching ranks, we will take a brief journey and examine the pipeline to teaching for this population.

Pipeline Stage 1: Black Males with a High School Diploma As we take this brief journey, it is imperative that we know how many Black males 18 years and older in the U.S. currently have a high school diploma or GED. This is an important criterion to be eligible to become a teacher -- all candidates must have a high school diploma or GED and a postsecondary degree. However, at this stage of the pipeline, we examine the number of Black males that meet the first criteria. By having this credential, Black males are able to pursue postsecondary options. Considering this criteria, Figure 1 provides us with insight on the status of Black males at this stage of the pipeline to teaching.


Table 1 Black Males Educational Attainment - High School Diploma or GED over 18 years of Age ______________________________________________________________________ # of Black Males with a High School Diploma or GED over 18 years old

Total # of Black Males in U.S. over 18 years old

Percent

10,305,000

12,351,000

83%

______________________________________________________________________ Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010

Table 1 highlights that 10,305,000 Black men over 18 years of age have a High School Diploma or a GED. Additionally, we learn that this is approximately 83% of the total Black male population. Additionally, we learn that despite misconceptions constantly played by media, a large percentage of Black males have completed high school or a GED equivalent. This data allows us to understand the cohort of Black males that pass this stage of the pipeline that are eligible to become teachers in our nation’s classrooms. Pipeline Stage 2: Black Postsecondary Students in Educator Preparation Programs The next stage of the educational pipeline that we now analyze is the number of Black postsecondary students in education programs at U.S. colleges and universities. While data isn’t readily available on specifically the number of Black males in educator preparation programs, we are able to get a snapshot of Black students that are pursuing the field of education as a career option. Figure 2 provides with a snapshot of full time and part-time

Black students by undergraduate and graduate status.

23859

26082

6500 15729 Black Full-Time Undergraduate Black Full-Time Graduate Black Part-Time Undergraduate Black Part-Time Graduate Source: PEDS (revised Dec. 2009). Programs include all those that prepare individuals to work with P-12 schools are not exclusively preparation programs for teaching candidates

Based on current data, Figure 2 reveals that 26,082 Black students in 2009 were enrolled as full-time undergraduate students in educator preparation programs. Additionally, another 15,729 Black students are enrolled in educator preparation programs as graduate students. When we examine part-time students that are Black, Continue on page 85


Middle Schoolers (continued from page 75)

There is also the seriousness of cyber bullying. Cyber bullying or online social cruelty is define by Kowalski and Limber (2007) as bullying through e-mail, instant messaging, in a chat room, on website, or through digital messages or images sent to a cell phone. Of the middle schoolers studied 11% indicated they had been bullied electronically at least once in the last year. The report also indicated 7% of students been both bullied and victims of bullying. When asked if they had bullied someone 4% admitted to bullying someone electronically. The most common methods for electronic bullying (as reported by both victims and perpetrators) involved the use of instant messaging, chat rooms, and email (Kowalski and Limber 2007). Sadly, according to the Kowalski and Limber their study revealed nearly half of the middle schoolers studied did not know the identity of the electronic aggressor. As a parent it is crucial that you know the bulling policy of your school district. Although most school districts across the country do have some form of bullying policies in place, there are a few things you can do if your school is without a policy. You can contact your school district and find out why and who you can work with to develop a sound anti-bullying policy. As you partner with your child’s school district to address bullying behavior, it is important that you are aware of the warning signs as it relates to bullying. Parents take notice, if your middle schooler’s behavior changes. Do not chalk all variations of their behavior to adolescence. If you discover your child is being bullied you role is to become their safe haven. This is best accomplished by listening to your child and contacting the school in a professional manner to discuss the situation. Finally if you discover your child is bullying is it your responsibility to talk to you child. Being a mean girl or mean guy is not acceptable. Parents should never tolerate any form of bullying. If necessary seek professional help in finding out why they are bullying others. However, one of the best ways to show your child that bullying is an unacceptable behavior is by modeling the behavior you expect from them. If you show how to treat others your middle schooler will likely do the same. Bullying should not be viewed as a childhood rite of passage. Education.com (2012) has posted some warning signs of bullying: 

Comes home with torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothing, books, or other belongings

Has unexplained cuts, bruises, and scratches

Has few, if any friends, with whom he or she spends time

Seems afraid of going to school, walking to and from school, riding the school bus, or taking part in organized activities with peers (such as clubs)

Takes a long, "illogical" route when walking to or from school

Has lost interest in school work or suddenly begins to do poorly in school

Appears sad, moody, teary, or depressed when he or she comes home

Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches, or other physical ailments

Has trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams

Experiences a loss of appetite

Appears anxious and suffers from low self-esteem


Parents of

Students in High School Parents there will be many aspects of the high school experience you will have to learn and familiarize yourself with as your child matriculates toward graduation. You and your child will have several discussions long before graduation about their post high school life. These discussions will set the foundation of their future plans and goals around the importance of education. What most parents discover about the high school experience is it was the beginning of the process of their child becoming independent. This also marks when you begin to have mental glimpses into their future. You also realize you have done the best you could guiding them toward adulthood. Now you simply hope and prayer the decisions you made were enough to set the framework for them to become a responsible, caring individual and citizen. Letting go is hard! However, before you get too far into the future realize they need your involvement just as much in their academic life now as ever before. Here are some facts to show you are still needed: 

The national dropout rate is around 7% (IES 2012)

Only about two-thirds of all students who enter 9th grade graduate with a regular diploma four years later.

Among poor, Black, and Latino youngsters, the likelihood that they will graduate is even smaller. According to the Urban Institute and the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, only 50 percent of black students, 51 percent of Native Americans and 53 percent of Hispanic students graduated from high school.

Males drop out somewhat more often than females,

Graduation rates for white and Asian students are higher than the national average; with completion rates for the two groups at 75 and 77 percent respectively. In their own right, these statistics are troubling since they show that even among the most advantaged groups, one in four students drops out (Pew Partnership for Civic Change 2006). As you and your child continue to look for responses from college and universities they dream of attending, while also searching for scholarships to pay for it; continue to be engaged in their academic progress. Far too often we make the mistake to think the work is done. You may not think that these facts have anything to do with you and your child’s situation. You may be right, but what should gleamed for these facts are; while our kids can see the hard work of K-8 and they can see the importance of graduation, you cannot assume they get there without the same level of your involvement in their homework, with teachers, during after school activities and knowing their friends. Stay engaged, they almost there!


Continued from page 81

we learn that 6,500 Black students were enrolled at the undergraduate level and another 23,859 were enrolled at the graduate level in 2009. Considering the number of Black male and female students, we learn that educator preparation programs have a steady flow of Black students pursuing the field of education. It is also important to note that education is the top collegiate major choice for Black males. Also, it is still important to note that educator preparation programs are primarily composed of White female teachers. Pipeline Stage 3: Black Male Educator Program Completers Our next stage of the pipeline provides us with data on the number of Black males that complete educator preparation programs that are now eligible to pursue teaching options after successful completion of any state testing and licensing requirements. Figure 3 informs us that 7,603 Black males in comparison to 25,725 Black females that completed the degree requirements in 2009 to be eligible to pursue employment as classroom teachers in U.S. schools and school districts. When we focus specifically on Black teachers, we see the disparity in the production of Black male versus Black female teachers that are completing educator preparation programs.

Stage 4 is a very important stage of the pipeline given the fact that all students who complete educator preparation programs given the fact that all students who complete educator preparation programs do not choose to pursue employment in the field of education. As a result, Figure 4 provides us with the percentage of Black males who have completed postsecondary programs at U.S. colleges and universities who chose to pursue employment as teachers in public schools and school districts. According to Figure 4, 23% of Black males that completed educator preparation programs opted to pursue teaching as a career in comparison to 27% of White males, 41% of Black females and 42% of White females. While data is not available to explain why such as small percentage chose to pursue teaching, my professional opinion is that many career options are now available to this population so schools and school districts must do a better job in the recruitment process for this population.

45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0%

0.41 0.23

0.42

0.27

Education Program Completers Source: Journal of Negro Education, Vol 80, Number 3 - Diversifying the U.S. Teaching Force: Where are we now? Where do we need to go? How do we get there? (Toldson)

Pipeline Stage 4: Black Male Educator Degree Holders that Select Teaching Stage 4 is a very important stage of the pipeline

Black Male Education Program Completers (2009) White Male Education Program Completers (2009) Black female Education Program Completers (2009) White Female Education Program Source: Journal of Negro Education, Vol 80, Number 3 Completers (2009) Diversifying the U.S. Teaching Force: Where are we now? Where do we need to go? How do we get there? (Toldson)


Pipeline Stage 5: Current Status of Black Males in Teaching in comparison to Black Male Students in U.S. Schools Our final stage of investigation into the pipeline to teaching for Black males allows us to examine the current status of this population in the teaching force in comparison to the number of Black male students in the U.S. public K-12 schools. This data is important for us to understand so we can examine what work needs to be done in the future. According to Figure 5, Black male students represent 7.39% of the student population. In comparison, Black male teachers comprise 1.81% of the teaching population. This data is important to bring to our attention given that this is the largest disparity by race and gender when compared to student demographics in U.S. public schools. Source: Journal of Negro Education, Vol 80, Number 3 Diversifying the U.S. Teaching Force: Where are we now? Where do we need to go? How do we get there? (Toldson).

Recommendations for the Future Considering our brief examination of the pipeline to teaching for Black males, we understand from our pipeline analysis that we have to continue to encourage Black males to enter postsecondary options and pursue the field of education. As previously mentioned, the field of education is the top collegiate choice for Black males in postsecondary settings; however, we must encourage more to enter into the pipeline to teaching. To aid in this endeavor, programs such as the Call Me Mister program (see http://www.clemson.edu/hehd/departments/edu cation/research/callmemister/) at Clemson University should be replicated nationally to encourage Black males to enter into the field of education. Additionally, initiatives such as those started by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are noteworthy; however, we must continue to watch closely the impact that this ambitious initiative will have on the pipeline to teaching for Black males. Finally, the research literature tells us that Black males are open to pursuing the field of

education. So, a fundamental question that we should consider is as follows: Why do we need Black male teachers? In my opinion, we need more Black male teachers to demonstrate that this population is more than capable to educate the next generation of 21st century learners to meet their full academic potential. Additionally, since most students want to become like those they see, Black males are important role models for all students. In closing, it is my hope that this article provides a short and concise picture of how Black males are moving through the pipeline to become teachers. The numbers have increased, but there is more work to be done in an effort to attract more Black males to the field. Having this segment of the population represented in our nation’s classrooms presents a unique opportunity filled with positives for the students whom they teach. As a result, let us continue to remind Black males that teaching is a viable career option which allows them to make a positive impact in the world.

A Twist on Tail-gate (continued from page 80)

Red onion Green onion Celery Green bell pepper Minced garlic Ground turkey Salt and pepper In a non-stick skillet, brown turkey meat, and remaining ingredients, except cheeses and rolls, add salt and pepper for taste. Then add cheeses, melt just enough to bond the ingredients. Carefully remove the inside of you pistolette as not to rip it or poke holes in it. With small spoon fill pistolette. Place in hot oil and fry for just a few seconds. They cook really fast. Pay attention. And enjoy.

Continue on page 87


A Twisted on Tail-gate (continued from page 86)

Honey Bee’s Stinger Guava juice Pineapple juice Honey Tequila Apple brandy Mix, shake over ice, strain in martini glass and enjoy being stung.

Southern Royalty Kahlua Chocolate whipped cream vodka Southern comfort Milk Mix, shake over ice, strain in martini glass and enjoy the feeling of southern royalty.

Obtaining Academic Success through the use of support services (continued from page 67)

economic literacy of students, assistance with applying for admissions and financial assistance for enrollment in graduate or professional programs;, and exposure to cultural events. (Student Handbook 20112012.) Every student academic support is provided is assigned through academic counseling, an academic self-management tools, study advisor skills development, and free housed in the tutorial services held in the major evenings during the week and department. This advisor during the day on the assists weekends at the students’ students with convenience. class Dr. Barbara LeSeur Inman selection and referrals. There are also mathematics and English laboratories where students may receive tutoring in these subjects from professors and peers. Student support services play a major role in the growth and development of college students. Understanding the variables that influence academic success is paramount when creating support services that will assist students’ academic achievement. It is my personal belief that all students have the potential for academic success and personal development; however, some students need extra attention and guidance as they adjust to college life. Consequently, we at HU have designed our student support services to be of the utmost benefit to our student population.

Bibliography Hampton University Student Handbook (20112012). Hampton, VA 23668


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To Read or Not (continued from page 70)

words in their vocabularies than children who were growing up in more affluent households. Another researcher followed up with some of these children when they were nine and ten years old. For the children who participated in the follow-up study their scores, at 3, were predicative of their scores at 9 and 10 and the gap still existed. Hart and Risley (2003) estimated that children whose family was on welfare experienced 616 words per hour compared to 1,251 words per hour for a child whose family was designated working-class, and 2,153 words per hours for a child whose family was designated professional. Doing an extrapolation analysis it was determined that children from a “professional’ level family would have

help him or her learn several new words a day or a week depending upon your child’s needs and those of the family; focus on the complexities of the English language. As you engage in your efforts at home (check out the resources section) also be in contact and communication with your child’s teacher. If you need additional resources or information about what your child is learning, you must ask the teacher. Call the teacher and ask to schedule an appointment to discuss strategies and activities you can use at home to support your child’s learning in school. Teachers want their students to do well and for parents to assist, especially during the early childhood years, and to focus on academics and not just behavior Communication that is two-way (between parent and the teacher), consistent, and focused on a child’s academics helps

experience with 11.2 million in a year, the child in the “working-class” level family would experience 6.5 million words, and a child in a “welfare” level family would experience 3.2 million words. They drew the conclusion that the child from the family receiving welfare would experience 13 million fewer words than their more affluent counterparts by the age of four. It is critical that we read with our children and engage in conversation with them about what they are reading and experiencing in life, before they start school. Once a child has started formal school and is learning from the teacher, how to read, we must still be involved. Jalongo and Sobolak (2011) inform us that children need to learn five to six new words a day, 38 words per week, 2000 words a year, and 10,000 words by age 6, to become proficient readers. Brabham and Villaume (2002) discuss the importance of vocabulary and a child’s success in school. Their focus is on developing a rich vocabulary. They define a rich vocabulary has containing lots of words. However, it is not just the sheer number of words (though they too look at the gap in vocabulary), but the ability to know, recognize, and use the nuances of words to understand and communicate. As your child grows

to support a child’s learning and mastery (Abel, 2012). Remember that you are your child’s first teacher and the interaction you have with your son or daughter will influence his or love of books and the development of their overall literacy skills. What have you read to your child today? What have you read to or with child your today? What robust conversations are you having? Carpe Diem! Reference Abel, Y. (2012). Process into products: Supporting teachers to engage parents. Education and Urban Society. Advance online publication Continue on page 95


The Lighter Side of Education An iPad is the Holy Grail…and Other Lies I Tell Myself By Jill Jackson So, it’s Sunday night and I have another one of my recurring thoughts: How is THIS week going to be different with my diet and exercise? Can you relate? I mean I haven’t been doing too badly…I’ve cut Diet Coke (except for the five I drank on Friday night, but it was Friday night and so it doesn’t count because Friday is different than other days in so many ways, but I digress…a lot) and I’ve tried to not eat after 7pm and I’ve walked twice in the past week (I know, breaking records all over the place for commitment). These little changes do add up, but are still NOT the golden ticket. So late this afternoon while I’m packing for my trip tomorrow and sipping my Diet Coke…um, water…I have a brilliant thought. And here it is: I need an iPad. An iPad? To do what? Duh! If I had an iPad, I would download my mp3s that I listen to for my business coaching and books on tape. Then I would take said iPad to the gym that I joined in a fancy shmancy part of town (you know, the gym I joined because it’s in a safer part of town so that when I’m coming home late from the airport and I want to put in a workout at midnight after an 18 hour day I could be safe…yeah THAT gym – the one I’ve not visited in a month). I would hook up my iPad with said mp3s into the elliptical (my favorite thing, if anything in the gym could be characterized as “favorite"). I would listen to my coaching recordings and take notes on the little bitty post-it note app. All whilst (I like saying that word as often as possible) I was working out and sweating up a storm. Tell me this doesn’t sound like a GREAT idea! Here’s the problem –it’s not about the iPad. It’s not about the elliptical. It’s not about the fancy gym in the good part of town. It’s not about the 18 hour days. It’s about me. And my commitment! So all of my shenanigans have brought me to remember this one quote that I have on my office bulletin board,” A YEAR FROM NOW WILL YOU WISH YOU HAD STARTED TODAY.’ Oh my, I love that! And I hate it at the same time…it’s too true for me! So, here I am on Sunday night now, getting ready for the week after a fun dinner with friends and some good TV catching-up to do (my not-so-guilt pleasure after lots of hard work). And I don’t want tomorrow to be yet another start to the week where I say, “Tomorrow’s a new day. You are going to work out 19 times this week,” and then do nothing and crab at myself in my head. Because that’s what I do – I over-commit and then get down on myself when I don’t follow through.

Continue on page 94


Perspective Transitioning from High School to College: An Administrators' Perspective Yvette Mack, M.S. Ed., M.B.A. Across the country, the months of August and September begin the annual ritual of welcoming new freshman to college campuses. College is a time of transitioning and learning. It is also a time of independence and freedom. As a full-time college Administrator, I have compiled a list of a few ways to assist your child with a smooth transition from high school to college. When it comes to dealing with the “business” of going to school, plan ahead and “welcome to campus!”  Read ALL the literature and materials with your child. Most if not all information needed to have a successful freshman year in transitioning to college is in the barrage of literature a new freshman receives over the summer before school starts.  Make sure you are aware of FERPA. The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act essentially makes your college student an adult if they are at least eighteen years of age when they enter college. One of the biggest complaints I receive is " since I pay the bill..." “I should receive…” Those statements are from parents that believe they should they have access to student information. As a parent, your rights are extremely limited by this law. The student, your child, must give you access to see their records. This includes the tuition bill and grades. Find out what the schools’ policy is because there may be a release form required to receive any information for your child.  Have your financial house in order. There are a variety of ways to pay for college and the decision should be made before enrolling not at the time of registration. This means making sure the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has been filed and tax forms submitted. Look for additional resources for assistance. It should never cost money to receive information on how to file your forms. If your financial house is not in order, or you have not taken advantage of programs like the 529 Savings Plan, U Promise or savings bonds or accounts that accumulate funds overtime, make sure you get to know the Bursar and Financial Aid office staff. These are the people most responsible for either a student staying or leaving school (next to the academic advisors and related academic issues). There are a variety of ways to pay for college including grants, loans, scholarships, work study, and payment plans. Plan ahead.  Know the refund policies of the school your child is interested in attending. As a Bursar, many

of the questions I receive revolve around expected refunds to pay for books and living expenses. Know whether the school accepts book


vouchers or if you are expected to pay for books out of pocket. Refunds are often given after an established period of time, based on federal requirements of attendance and school requirements. This generally means students may not have funds available to be refunded to them until well after school begins.  Adhere to deadlines. Ignoring Deadlines in the Financial Aid, Bursar and Registrar's offices can have costly effects. Admittedly the Financial Aid process can be daunting. To avoid missing steps in the financial aid process, or missing published deadlines for dropping classes which can lead to financial penalties, ask questions as necessary. Familiarize yourself with the school written materials: catalogues, websites, anything that relates to the policies and procedures of the “business” of attending school.  Let your child handle their own issues and don't be afraid to parent. While this sounds like a contradiction, as soon as your child decides and gets accepted to a school, begin guiding them with critical decision making questions. When is the tuition bill due? Have you processed your required financial forms? Make the filing of the FAFSA a joint event. There are many freshmen who can handle their own issues yet often traditional freshman, students’ right out of high school, generally needs guidance. School staff are there to provide those services, but there are critical decisions students and parents should make together. Make sure to ask your children are they checking their campus email!  Become tech savvy. Students continue to enroll in college with high expectations of the technological services offered. As those services are delivered, the increasing need of parents to have access to data electronically allows them to effectively learn to "speak" the language of their children. Schools generally have a multitude of services on the web, which require parents to create their own guest logins to access data. Financial aid packages, tuition bills, registration are all often competed online now . Developing a plan with your child and making the transition from high school to college a family affair can help to take the scariness and nervousness out of first year jitters. Resources: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/students.html http://www.ifap.ed.gov/ifap/ http://www.fafsa.ed.gov http://www.upromise.com/welcome http://www.savingforcollege.com/intro_to_529s/what-is-a-529-plan.php


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An iPad is the Holy Grail (continued from page 90)

When I’m trying to break a habit or start a new one, I try to stay positive by doing a few little things:  Focus on what IS possible, not what is not possible  Cast a wide net and give myself a big vision for the future, but figure out one small, do-able change I can make to get closer to my goal  Talk nicely to myself  Change my morning routine a bit to accommodate the change – get started off on the right foot  Get away from the “I’m so bad I ate a cookie” or “I was so ‘good’ because I didn’t eat a cookie” mentality – after all, I think I’m a pretty good chick most of the time, so this isn’t about ‘bad’ and ‘good’ anyway – a missed workout or one-too-many cookies doesn’t make me a bad person – or at least I hope it doesn’t because I’m in deep trouble… What do you need to do to improve the health of your literacy work? If you’re a leader…what small habits can you get rid of or add to your life to become a more effective instructional leader? If you’re a coach…is there anything in your role that’s standing in the way of you being a more excellent coach? If so, what step can you make to remove that block? If you’re a teacher…is there an area that your data is showing that you need to make some improvement? Do you need to ask for help or start a conversation with a colleague to help you build something into your instruction to deal with that data? My goal this week is to get three, yes only three but I’m trying to be realistic, workouts in this week while I’m on the road. Where will you start?

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To Read or Not To (continued from page 89)

doi: 10.1177/0013124512446307 Allington, R.L. What really matters for struggling readers: Designing research-based programs. New York, NY: AddisonWesley Educational Publishers, Inc. Brabham, E.G., & Villaume, S.K. (2002). Vocabulary instruction: Concerns and visions. The Reading Teacher, 56, 264268. Hart, B. & Risley, T.R. (2003, Spring). The early catastrophe: The 30 million word gap by age 3. American Educator, 4-9. Jalongo, M.R., & Sobolak, M.J. (2011). Supporting young children’s vocabulary growth: The challenges, the benefits, and evidence-based strategies. Early Childhood Education Journal, 38, 421429. Juel, C. (1988). Learning to read and write: A longitudinal study of 54 children from first through fourth grades. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80, 437-447. Lloyd, D.N. (1978). Prediction of school failure from third-grade data. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 38, 11931200. Snowling, M.J., Adams, J.W., Bowyer-Crane, C., & Tobin, V. (2000). Levels of literacy among juvenile offenders: The incidence of specific reading difficulties. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 10, 229241. Stadler, M.A., & McEvoy, M.A. The effect of text genre on parent use of joint book reading strategies to promote phonological awareness. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 18, 502-512. Templeton, S. (1997). Teaching the integrated language arts. (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Do You Know Diabetes (continued from page 14)

Academic Achievement of Children with Diabetes.

A recent article by McCarthy, Mengeling, Tsalikian, Engvall (2012) highlighted the results of their study on the academic achievement of children with diabetes. According to the authors, while the purpose of their research was to examine achievement among students with diabetes, it also sought to identify predictors of achievement among diabetic children. The study by McCarthy, et al., discovered reading scores were lower for children with poor metabolic control than children with average control. In addition, children who had been hospitalized for Hyperglycemia had overall lower achievement scores than children who had managed their metabolic control and had fewer visits to the hospital due to their Hyperglycemia. The study suggested children with diabetes did not have any real differences in academic achievement; conversely, there are several studies that show some children may suffer some neuropsychological deficits. A neuropsychological deficit is a cognitive dysfunction characterized by a slowing of mental speed and a diminished mental flexibility, whereas learning and memory are spared (Brands, Biessels, de Haan, Kappelle, Kessels, 2012). According to both McCarthy, et al. and Brands, Biessels, et al. cognitive dysfunction of diabetic children due to lower management of metabolic control and fewer incidence of hospitalization for hyperglycemia is mild to moderate. But can cause difficulty at times hampering everyday activities.


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COMMENTARY 10 Ways Parents Can Ignite Excitement about School Dr. Stephen Jones Did you know that a parent’s excitement about school plays a great role in a child’s enthusiasm on the first day of school? A parent can ignite the fire and passion for learning just by saying the right words. One way to encourage a child is to brainstorm a list of 25 positive words that you can use to encourage your child. Place it in a very visible location in your home. It is important to keep this year moving in a positive direction. Use words of encouragement whenever you can. View any academic obstacles as stepping stone on your son/daughters journey to success. There are some things that you can do and say to make this a successful school year. There are limitless learning possibilities for the new school year. Consider how you can also coordinate your activities with other parents. Here are some other ways that you can ignite excitement: 1. Share your excitement about the new school year with your son/daughter. 2. Complement them on their growth over the summer. 3. Verbally express your confidence that they will be a success. 4. Let them know that you are proud that they are your son/daughter. 5. Work together on a fun project right before school starts. Let your student select the project. 6. Feed them breakfast in the morning and encourage them to have a great day. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. 7. Talk about different resources and activities that would be great learning opportunities such a visiting a museum of a great play. 8. Visit the local book store to find discount books that your son/daughter can use during the school. 9. Make sure that you are available to talk the day before your child’s first day of school. 10. Allow your son/daughter to teach you something that they have learned over the summer or during the last school year. Getting the school year off to a good start is an important way to lay a good foundation for learning. Build your foundation on the positive aspects of learning. Stay in communication with teachers and the school administrators about school related activities. Also review the school website for organizations that may benefit you child.


Men Make A Difference Day For Academic Success Celebrate the positive influence fathers and male role models have on the academic success of children. For more ways to be a part of the academic success of your child go to: http://menmakeadifferenceday.weebly.com/


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