Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Was there a Book Under the Tree? Knowledge is Power

If you've shared a book with a child, you know the joy and excitement this small but meaningful act can bring. Did you keep that in mind when selecting your Holiday gifts? If not, start the new year out right, buy a book, visit a library, or share one from your bookshelves with a child. Children who are read to at home have a higher success rate in school, Children who read frequently develop stronger reading skills, Reading together helps grow the bond between family members.

According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, the Black community is still lagging behing when it comes to reading: White, non-Hispanic students had higher scores in 2005 than their Black, non-Hispanic and Hispanic peers at grades 4, 8, and 12. There were no changes in these gaps from 1992 to 2005 at grades 4, 8, and 12. This has got to change.

Our ancestors built pyramids and invented almost everything. Perhaps it was easier to excel then because positive role models were everywhere and excellence was not only a necessity, it was expected. We can duplicate that environment today. Read, read, read! The local black press has loads of information on positive contributions in the community. Sit down and read the papers with your child. In addition, there are now thousands of exciting multicultural children's books and history books to choose from. Although Black brick and mortar book stores are becoming extinct, bookstores online and offline are still the source for your broadest selections. There is bound to be some that your child would love and will also interest and inform you. Read, read, read!


Anonymous said...

I found your post most interesting. I opened a small private school in Henderson,NC to take in students who had been suspended by the public school system. I was shocked to learn most did not have a dictionary or books in their homes.

I promptly went to the dollar store and bought all 14 a one dollar dictionary.

Those cheap books that tore up with daily use opened doors. They found words there that were not in their personal vocabulary arsenal.

We need to teach parents to skip the bling bling and buy books.

Over the holiday I was impressed when the children returned to tell me among their gifts were dictionaries and workbooks.

Education is a continuous learning process. We must instill that in our children and parents.

I'm still having trouble connvencing parents of the importance of redirecting just $50 a week to educate their children.

We're so set on getting things free. We don't know what to do when the free ride ends. I'd like to set up small private schools in the 100 counties of NC. Public education is currently not working for the black community. However, it's like a bad marriage. As one noted doctor once said "We don't know how to stay and we don't know how to leave."

I hope I quoted that correctly. I'm tired. With no funding to pay staff I'm the chief cook and bottle washer. Got to go get ready for tomorrow.

Deborah Gary said...

Applause to you. By starting as early as possible to build the interest in reading, we could go so much farther. Well, 99 more to go. Good luck! Perhaps others will follow your lead.