Thank you for subscribing to the Irby Review and sharing your thoughts with me each month. Here are some articles I read that I think would be of interest to you and your family.
It Takes a Village – Black Parents Protecting Black Genius
The journalist of this article interviewed Will Jackson, Village of Wisdom founder, about his vision for changing the education system to enhance the academic performances of students. Village of Wisdom creates tools and resources to help parents and teachers create an ideal learning environment for Black children by building individual profiles. Mr. Jackson states that learning is about connecting new information to prior knowlege, so if the students have backgrounds and cultures which are not understood and shared by the educators, how can the students relate? With this special program, the families build a “Black Genius profile of their kids and the teachers develop inspiring and responsive lessons kids may actually be interested in.
Brownsville Parents Transform Local Supermarkets into Kid Learning Zones
How do frustrated residents stimulate kids’ brain development outside of school? United For Brownsville is a collaborative board of families and professionals who are improving the early childhood system in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Parents and guardians on UB’s Family Advisory Board created their own program, “Learning Landscapes,” which began by transforming two local supermarkets into scavenger hunt zones. With cooperation from the local proprietors, supermarket shopping became a fun learning experience for children. The idea is novel and the environment is fitting – filled with numbers, weights and measurements. Let’s hope there are more proactive parents and community partners amenable to creating learning experiences outside of the classroom.
Inside One of N.J.’s Last Black-Owned Bookstores, Where ‘Your Black ss Beautiful‘
There may be gentrification taking place in Newark, New Jersey, but a beloved local business remains: Source of Knowledge, one of two black-owned bookstores in the state. Source of Knowledge is a hub of empowerment and comfort, from its vast selection of book titles, to its vibrant ambience and passionate owners. “When somebody comes in here, they get amazed. They’re so shocked to see that there’s so many books that represent us,” says Dexter George, one of the store’s owners. What else make this entity so special? Source of Knowledge is a force in the community. The owners are working with the Newark Board of Education to get more books by Black authors into the schools. No wonder Source of Knowledge won the 2019 NAACP Newark’s Small Business Champion Award.
Experts Say Widely Used Reading Curriculum is Failing Kids
Lucy Calkins created the most popular reading instruction program for teachers, but now, a groundbreaking report from Student Achievement Partners reveals Units of Study is not beneficial to all children, particularly those who aren’t already prepped to read. Embedded in Calkin’s “Units of Study” is the premise that people learn to read from cues. The lessons encourage children to look at pictures and contextual cues but cueing is contrary to cognitive scientific research which tell us phonics improve children’s reading success. Science has proven students need oral language development, reading comprehension and explicit instruction. It is evident that teachers and school districts need to find a new guru or Calkins needs to make amends for the next school year.
Please share your thoughts by replying to this email. I’d love to hear your thoughts about any of these articles.
Founder & Chief Reading Inspirer
– For book recs, helpful tips, more ed commentary, visit Barbershop Books’ blog!
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