Current News


Go-Go Performers Coach Next Generation in D.C. Classrooms

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What an experience to see renowned go-go musicians coaching and mentoring students in D.C. classrooms. Students perform with expert guidance, ask questions, and wear out the performers with requests for photos and autographs before they left. Meanwhile, the go-go performers leave with new-found respect for the dedication and hard work of classroom music teachers. The visits began in June and continue through the end of September as part of a special initiative… Read more.


An Outside Perspective on a Tellin’ Stories School

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Just after the start of the school day on June 5, 2015, more than 20 parents gathered in the large meeting room to share their triumphs and challenges from the 2014-2015 school year at Thomson Elementary’s (DCPS) final Parent-Principal Chit Chat for the school year. The hour long breakfast meetings were established three years ago through a partnership with Teaching for Change’s Tellin’ Stories Project as a way to foster conversation and effective collaboration between families… Read more.


From D.C. to Central America, from Voting Rights to Sports: Teaching for Change at NCORE

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Teaching for Change co-hosted four dynamic sessions at the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) late last month in Washington, D.C. NCORE had invited Teaching for Change to host these sessions in honor of our 25th anniversary. Read more.


2015 Summer Reading List

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At Teaching for Change, we are proud of our carefully selected booklists that highlight titles by and about people of color as well as social justice themes. Unfortunately, this is not the industry norm. In the last 10 years, fewer than 10% of children’s books published in the U.S. were by or about people of color. This year’s New York Times Summer Reading List is comprised 100% of white authors. Read more.


Monseñor Oscar Romero: Tribute Poem

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On the occasion of the beatification of Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar Romero on May 23, 2015, we share “I Am the Land,” a tribute poem by our colleague (and former Teaching for Change board member) E. Ethelbert Miller. We also encourage educators to teach about Romero and many other unsung heroes in Central America with these resources designed to Put Central America on the Map in Schools. Read more.


Changing the Narrative About Selma

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On this 50th anniversary year of the Voting Rights Act, the mainstream media features images of President Lyndon Johnson making history with the stroke of a pen. Hidden is the more pivotal role of brave people such as the child in the photo,  about to be arrested in Selma as he demands voting rights for all. Through our widely read article, The Selma Voting Rights Struggle: 15 Key Points from Bottom-Up History and Why It Matters Today by Emilye Crosby, we are pleased to have played a key role in uplifting… Read more.


Parents Visit Classrooms at Thomson Elementary School

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The parents at Tellin’ Stories third-year partner school Thomson Elementary (DCPS) sat with anticipation for this meeting with the principal. On Friday, May 8, 2015, they gathered in the school cafeteria with Principal Carmen Shepherd and interpreters for a special Parent-Principal Chit Chat. “We’re going to do class visits today, because that’s something you requested—to see more of what classrooms in action look like,” said Principal Shepherd to the 20 parents in attendance. Read more.


International FilmFest Goes to D.C. Classrooms

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Teaching for Change was pleased to help Filmfest DC 2015 bring filmmakers and students together for the fourth year in a row. In April 2015, students at three high schools in Washington, D.C., had the opportunity to talk with film’s directors about their documentaries. This year’s films were about gay marriage in the U.S. and education in Israel and Palestine. Read more.


Teach the Beat: Go-Go Goes to School

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Teaching for Change, in partnership with DCPS, is pleased to announce that the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) has provided funding for the “Teach the Beat: Go-Go Goes to School: Artists and Scholars in the Classroom” initiative to infuse D.C.’s rich and unique tradition of go-go in the curriculum. To achieve this goal, go-go performers and scholars will be available to provide in-school coaching to D.C. public and public charter school teachers and students in music, social studies, and… Read more.


Orr Parents Take to Radio to Advocate for New Building

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“The [condition] of the building doesn’t reflect the community inside the school,” stated Orr Elementary (DCPS) parent Ms. Sirrell Phillips in a radio interview to discuss the pressing need to modernize the building where her youngest child attends pre-Kindergarten. Phillips and another Orr parent, Mr. Bernard Dickey were featured guests on Taking Action, a weekly radio show hosted by Empower DC on WPFW 89.3FM. The parents and community supporting Orr Elementary, located in Ward 8 in Washington, D.C… Read more.


Victory Stolen from Ward 8 Community: Parents Fight Again for Orr ES Modernization

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Orr Elementary School (DCPS) parents in Washington, D.C.’s Ward 8 have organized for many years to have the building modernized. Orr, with an almost entirely low-income African American student population, is among the last open floor plan schools in the District. Built in 1974, it has never been modernized. The dedicated, high quality administration and teaching staff make this an over-enrolled and popular school, despite the building. Orr also serves the largest population of preschool through Kindergarten students… Read more.


Twitter Chat on Roving Readers Program April 22, 2015

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Please join Teaching for Change for a discussion of the Roving Readers program on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 9pm EST. The chat, hosted by the Institute for Educational Leadership, will give insights for schools that want to implement Roving Readers, a program to bring parents into the classroom to read multicultural books. Read more.


Race, Rights, and Responsibility: NY Education Conference

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Teaching for Change is pleased co-sponsors Race, Rights, and Responsibility: What Educators Can Do to Help Their Students Think Critically About Protest, Law Enforcement, and Civil Liberty on May 16, 2015 at the NYU Global Center. The conference is coordinated by Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools (Metro Center), under the leadership of Professor David Kirkland. As explained on the Metro Center website… Read more.


International Filmmakers Come to DC Schools

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Filmfest DC is back for its 29th year with an exciting new program of over 70 features, documentaries, and shorts representing the best in new cinema from around the globe. Producers from two of the films are available to visit with students in DC public or public charter school classrooms on April 23 and 24. Read more.


Lessons of Vietnam: Power of Protest

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We encourage students and teachers to attend this convening in Washington, D.C. for the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam Peace Movement on May 1-2. Here is the description from the conference organizers: As war continues to be a clear and present danger to our democracy, we will gather to reflect and renew our commitments. Hundreds of us will come to the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, a meeting place and staging area for the huge anti-war mobilizations of the late 60s and early 70s. Read more.


Selma in Kosciusko

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“Women can do just as much as men can when it comes to leadership.” This is just one of the comments made by students in Jessica Dickens’ class in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Dickens, a teacher the Kosciusko School District and Mississippi Civil Rights movement and Labor History teacher fellow, recently introduced the lesson, Stepping into Selma: Voting Rights History and Legacy Today, to her 10th grade class. Read more.


Participatory Principal Selection Process

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Maria squeezed into the packed Parent Center at Bruce Monroe at Park View Elementary School in D.C. on Friday morning. She came to find out how she can be involved in choosing the school’s next principal in an interactive session led by Teaching for Change that brought to life information DCPS shared the previous week via PowerPoint. As Dr. Palacios, long-time educator and champion of bilingual education prepares to retire, the parents are electing representatives… Read more.


Food Justice Youth Summit

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By Jill Weiler

Our 11th grade FOOD JUSTICE EXPEDITION is an interdisciplinary three-part study (past, present and future) of the impact of food on our community–both locally and globally. The expedition begins with an exploration of our students’ families’ cultural connections to foods; as 99% of our students come from African American and immigrant families, we discuss the significant role of food in dictating cultural identity. Read more.


Teaching for Change Bookstore Memories

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On this 25th anniversary of Teaching for Change and 10th anniversary of our bookstore, we are passing on the operations of the bookstore at 14th & V to Busboys and Poets partner Politics and Prose. As we prepare to end our operation of the bookstore at 14th & V, we are collecting testimonials and memories about the store, favorite books, author events, and more. We invite you to read, share, and add your own.


Making Voices of D.C. the Text: Workshop for DCPS Curriculum Team

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“We want our texts to provide mirrors and windows for our students,” said Brian Pick, chief of teaching and learning for DCPS, in his introduction. “We want to make sure that they see themselves reflected in the curriculum and that they have texts that allow them to see beyond the 61 square miles of DC.” On March 17, DC Public Schools (DCPS) held a 2-day work session for educators to review current texts and develop a culturally responsive curriculum as part of the Empowering Males of Color Initiative. Read more.


Teaching for Change at NCORE

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As part of our 25th anniversary series of events, Teaching for Change will co-host four sessions at the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE). Held in D.C. this year, NCORE 2015 runs from May 26-30, 2015. The conference will open with a special forum called, “Dispatches from the Movement: Perspectives on Leadership, Organizing and Solidarity in the Struggle for Racial Justice.” The opening keynote speaker is hip hop activist and journalist… Read more.


25th Anniversary Author Events

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For this 25th anniversary year of Teaching for Change, we are hosting a series of special events. The first three events are author talks hosted by Teaching for Change at Busboys and Poets (14&V) in Washington, D.C. Join us to learn from these authors about cutting edge issues in education. Read more.


Bookstore Sale

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On this 25th anniversary of Teaching for Change and 10th anniversary of our bookstore, we are passing on the operations of the store to Busboys and Poets partner Politics and Prose. In advance of our departure on April 27, we need to clear out as much of the inventory as we can. Towards that end we are offering discounts on in-store purchases. This is a good time to stock up on books for your classroom, family, gifts, and/or to donate to your local school. Read more.


Students Become Unsung Heroes

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On a Sunday afternoon in early March, twenty students took on the roles of unsung heroes in a Zinn Education Project lesson, facilitated by Teaching for Change curriculum specialist Julian Hipkins III. The students are members of Operation Understanding DC (OUDC). Operation Understanding DC’s mission is to “build a generation of African American and Jewish community leaders who promote respect, understanding and cooperation while working to eradicate… Read more.


Thank You to Our Bookstore Shelf Sponsors

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We greatly appreciate the National Education Association and the Keene Family for sponsoring the education and children’s book sections at our non-profit, independent Teaching for Change Bookstoreat Busboys and Poets (14 & V). Read more.


In Memory of Claude Sitton, From an Admiring Beneficiary

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Teaching for Change board member and SNCC veteran Timothy Jenkins wrote this personal tribute to award winning journalist Claude Sitton (December 4, 1925 – March 10, 2015). It was altogether fitting and proper that Claude Sitton, the fearless Pulitzer Prize winning journalist of the Sixties civil rights revolution, waited to die on March 10th of this year, just days after President Barack Obama joined Congressman John Lewis, the erstwhile… Read more.


Essential Resource for Kids on the Complexity of the Movement

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When my daughter started writing a historical fiction short story about friendship and school integration, she didn’t have the background to get inside her characters’ heads. I started pulling books for her to explore. One of the first I picked helped her the most, Putting the Movement Back Into Civil Rights Teaching. My daughter responded immediately to the Eloise Greenfield poem included in the chapter on education. Read more.


Teaching for Change Bookstore at Busboys and Poets to Close

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In this 10th anniversary since the founding of Busboys and Poets at 14th and V Streets NW in D.C. with Teaching for Change as the partner on the bookstore, both organizations are poised to celebrate anniversaries, expand, and make a major transition. “Teaching for Change is celebrating ten years of our partnership with Busboys and Poets and the 25th anniversary of our founding. As our national teacher and parent programs expand and the Busboys and Poets locations… Read more.


A Gift for Ellington: The Books We’ve Read

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By Clarence Lusane As a young child I became a voracious reader. I don’t remember a time when my mother did not read to me. Then she and I began to make weekly trips to the library as I got older. It was the best time of the week bar none. Finally, I grew old enough to go by myself which I did frequently. While I remember reading lots of books, I don’t remember exactly which books I read. I do remember the feeling that books gave me. Read more.


Two Dollar Subscription to Black History Journal Leads to Life of Activism

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By Timothy L. Jenkins Since I had been the principal lobbyist for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) back in the day, I was recently interviewed by a Washington Post reporter writing about the 1965 Voting Rights Act. I had also testified about the legislation while I was in law school. The reporter asked, “how did you first learn about and take an interest in Civil Rights?” My immediate answer was, “when a school-teacher aunt… Read more.


Bring Lessons of Selma to the Classroom

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We need your help so that students can learn and apply the lessons from the bottom-up history of the Selma Voting Rights Movement to their lives and struggles for justice today. With the release of the film Selma on this 50th anniversary year of the Selma-to-Montgomery March and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, there is great interest in this pivotal story from the Civil Rights Movement. Read more.


The Selma Voting Rights Struggle: 15 Key Points from Bottom-Up History and Why It Matters Today

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On this 50th anniversary year of the Selma-to-Montgomery March and the Voting Rights Act it helped inspire, national attention is centered on the iconic images of “Bloody Sunday,” the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the interracial marchers, and President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act. This version of history, emphasizing a top-down narrative and isolated events, reinforces the master narrative which civil rights activists describe as, “Rosa sat down… Read more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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