Laila Patrick held her breath in anticipation, waiting to hear her name called as her two children played on the floor nearby. Ms. Patrick sat with her muscles tensed, at the edge of her seat, with her mother supportively sitting in the chair beside her. “She’s talking about me!” Ms. Patrick whispered to her mother as the event host shared the story of her role in the parent activism that earned her children’s school two major victories last school year – funding for a new building, and… Read more.
Do you remember those long evenings, seated in the auditorium at Back to School Night? Were you struggling to keep from nodding off while one school administrator after another took the stage to tell you all you need to know about the school rules and expectations? By the end of the evening, school staff and parents alike are tired and frustrated. In schools across the country, this is the first and only introduction for parents to the school community. Read more.
In a recently released report, the Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundation celebrated efforts by Teaching for Change to expand the impact of our parent engagement work through storytelling. Sharing stories is an integral part of Tellin’ Stories, Teaching for Change’s parent engagement approach, but it had not been a core piece of the organization’s communications strategy. After attending a training series offered by the Meyer Foundation, associate director Allyson Criner Brown found… Read more.
Teaching for Change is pleased to partner with the D.C area afterschool program called For Love of Children (FLOC). FLOC runs a Neighborhood Tutoring Program, Scholars Program, and Outdoor Education Center. As a result of active participation in FLOC programs, students gain an average of one year of grade level equivalency in reading skills in just four months. On November 15, 2014, For Love of Children (FLOC) is hosting their Eighth Annual Book Festival for FLOC students… Read more.
Charles McDew describes the terror of imprisonment and threats to the lives of Civil Rights Movement activists and others during the freedom struggle in a Moth Radio Hour story, “Why The Others Died” (9/30/2014). In the conclusion to his chilling and tragic story, he notes, “It gave me to understand that it is not a struggle of black people or white people dominating black people; it is a struggle of people without power being exploited, run over, and destroyed.” Read more.
The Hurston/Wright Foundation has announced the nominations for the 2014 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. A winner and two finalists in each category will be honored at the 13th annual Legacy Award Ceremony on Friday, October 24, at the Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C. Wil Haygood, award-winning biographer and journalist, will serve as master of ceremonies and the program will also feature special guest Nikki Giovanni, the author of… Read more.
This year, bilingual school counselor Senovia Hurtado has been entrusted with the mission of revitalizing family engagement at Brightwood Education Campus (DCPS), a pre-K through eighth grade school in Washington, D.C. It’s her 15th year in DC Public Schools, but her first as a parent coordinator. With a reopened parent center, a supportive principal and colleagues, and a partnership with Teaching for Change, Hurtado is poised to make Brightwood a school that is open and inviting to parents. Read more.
Teaching for Change’s Bookstore is the Washington, D.C. area’s best source for books that encourage children and adults to question, challenge, and re-think the world beyond the headlines. The bookstore is located in Busboys and Poets (14th and V Streets NW), a restaurant, performance space, and coffeehouse, which features a dynamic events schedule. Teaching for Change needs donations and sponsorships (tax-deductible) to keep the bookstore in operation, curate the… Read more.
On September 19, the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum (ACM) hosted the symposium: “Revisiting Our Black Mosaic.” We are honored to have been invited to the participate in this 20th anniversary of the 1994 Black Mosaic exhibition, described below: The progressive 1994 exhibition Black Mosaic at the Anacostia Community Museum was among the first documentation projects to examine the perceptions and realities of race, nationality, and ethnicity of black urban immigrants. Read more.
Our colleague Pat Goudvis has launched an extraordinary new student-friendly website on Central America called When We Were Young, There Was a War. Visitors are introduced to the powerful stories of two individuals from El Salvador and Guatemala. (Eventually there will be more.) Through short video clips, they describe the impact of the war on their lives when they were children and today. The website builds on a documentary film Goudvis made 20 years ago called… Read more.
Alice Cook wanted to introduce her pre-service teachers to culturally responsive and social justice teacher resources, including literature and curriculum for their classes, materials on best practices in education, and books about the interaction between teacher identity and student diversity. Cook was teaching a core diversity course in their master’s certification program (MCERT) at the University of Maryland, College Park. As a part of the course, Cook invited two Teaching for Change staff… Read more.
In celebration of the 2014 Américas Award, CLASP and Teaching for Change are hosting a K-12 teacher workshop “Exploring Immigration and Identity in the K-12 Classroom with Américas Award Books.” This hands-on workshop will explore issues of immigration and identity using children’s literature. The workshop will feature the work of this year’s Honorable Mention book, Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote by Duncan Tonatiuh and Commended Title Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick your Ass by… Read more.
‘Is This America?’: 50 Years Ago Sharecroppers Challenged Mississippi Apartheid, LBJ, and the Nation
Fifty years ago this month, Mississippi sharecropper Fannie Lou Hamer gripped the nation with her televised testimony of being forced from her home and brutally beaten (suffering permanent kidney damage) for attempting to exercise her constitutional right to vote. “Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, where our lives be threatened daily, because we want to live as decent human beings?” she asked the credentials committee at the Democratic National… Read more.
As the new school year begins, first and foremost on our minds and hearts will be the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Teachers may be faced with students’ anger, frustration, sadness, confusion, and questions. Some students will wonder how this could happen in the United States. For others, unfortunately, police brutality and intimidation is all too familiar. Here are a few ideas and resources for the classroom to help students think critically about… Read more.
We are pleased to announce that Teaching for Change board member Michael J. O’Brien’s book, We Shall Not Be Moved: The Jackson Woolworth Sit-In and the Movement it Inspired, is one of the 2014 Lillian Smith Book Award recipients. The award committee noted, “We Shall Not Be Moved is a triple threat: part biography, part history, and largely just good old fashioned storytelling.” Read more.
Of the many hats I wear, one of those hats is that of the community organizer,” shared Thomson Elementary Principal Carmen Shepherd. “As principals, we are really here to serve and work with families.” On July 30, 2014, Ms. Shepherd, principal of Thomson Elementary (DCPS), joined principals from six other DCPS schools and one Prince George’s County elementary school for a meeting to launch the Tellin’ Stories Family Partners Series. Thomson ES hosted the meeting, which was… Read more.
Award-winning high school teacher Julian Hipkins III has been a long time collaborator with Teaching for Change on countless initiatives from the Zinn Education Project to Storycorps to Civil Rights Teaching. We are very pleased to announce that the collaboration will now be full time as Hipkins joins our staff as the Civil Rights Movement and Labor History Initiative for Mississippi Project Director and overall Teaching for Change Curriculum Specialist. Read more.
This summer, the U.S. public has been hearing about a massive influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America. It is estimated that up to 90,000 children will arrive by September. Why the “sudden” influx? Has this happened before? What’s the difference between a migrant and a refugee? In the mainstream media coverage of this humanitarian emergency, the… Read more.
We are pleased to share with you the speech delivered by Timothy L. Jenkins on June 27, 2014 in the memorial plenary of the 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer convening. Hundreds of people of all ages gathered for this historic event at Tougaloo College in Mississippi. The plenary session, convened by Judy Richardson, was called “In the Mississippi River.” Read more.
Ken Hatter, steadfast ally of Teaching for Change, is leaving his decade long role as general manager at Busboys and Poets on June 27, 2014. On this occasion, we want to express our immense appreciation for his invaluable support of our Teaching for Change Bookstore. Ken’s insights and intellect have helped shape our work. Teaching for Change intern Rachel Mullin had a chance to sit down with Ken this week and learn about his life and plans. Read more.
In the face of the attack by Rush Limbaugh early this week, Teaching for Change has been showered with calls, emails, facebook comments, tweets, donations, book purchases, and even a delivery of flowers from people letting us know that they stand by our commitment to feature children’s books by and about people of color and not to sell Limbaugh’s “history” books for children. Here are just a few of the countless responses we have received… Read more.
In the last five years, only 10% of children’s books published were about people of color despite the fact that 37% of the U.S. population are people of color.
Rush Limbaugh found out that Teaching for Change is trying to challenge this disparity and he is hopping mad. Limbaugh devoted a long segment of his show on June 16 to tell his listeners that Teaching for Change is racist for featuring children’s books by and about people of color. Read more.
On Tuesday, June 17, 2014, eleven students and their teachers from McComb will be in D.C. for the National History Day (NHD)competition. This is the third time McComb has participated in National History Day. They won at the state level and now they are coming to DC for the national competition. One of their entries was a mini-documentary about the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee(SNCC) and the voting rights struggle in McComb. Students also created a website… Read more.
We’re going back this summer to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture to present at the fifth annual Black History 360 Summer Institute for teachers. This year’s themes include: Freedom Summer 1964; American Maroons and Resistance to Slavery; The Motown Sound: A Voice for Freedom; The History of Education in New York City; Book Arts and the African American Experience; The Civil Rights Act of 1964; Hip-Hop History; Abolitionism in Brooklyn… Read more.
The stories of teachers and students moved the audience at the Teacher Appreciation Week Speakeasy, co-hosted by Teaching for Change. D.C. area teachers had been invited to audition for the program in January and a cast of eight was selected from among many strong applicants. After much rehearsing and coaching, the show was held on May 9, 2014 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center to a full house. Read more.
A spaceship representing the United States and El Salvador. The church from a small pueblo (village). The “Birthday Party Express” bus. These are a few of the family projects proudly on display in the hallways of Thomson Elementary (DCPS) this spring. The first graders at Thomson Elementary (DCPS) are learning all about shapes, so in April 2014, the first grade team held a Parent-Teacher Grade Level Dialogue to show parents what their children were learning and introduce… Read more.