March 1, 2017
The rainy weather did not permit the citizens of Gary Indiana from attending the 2017 Black Author’s Voices “From Pen to Pages” Literacy event yesterday evening. Presented by The Gary Literacy Coalition, Inc…A Methodist Hospital, Inc. Partnership, Shirley Thomas Board President of the GLC and Era C. Tyman the Coalitions Director hosted this platform at St. Timothy Community Church located on West 25th on the cities westside. Prior to the panel discussion, the forum was presented by prayer by Pastor Curtis Whittaker of the Progressive Community Church.
Attendees had the opportunity to address questions on traditional publishing, self publishing, storylines, and technology. Honest answers and sound advice were provided by the following writers; Dr. Danita Johnson-Hughes author of The Unapologetic Woman, Imani Josey author of the Blazing Star, Sharon Mallory author of Drama Dollars and Dreams, Krissy Mosley author of Saltwater on my Knees, Tavetta Patterson author of Learning how to Love me, Modga Walker author of From Faith to Faith his Treasure, and Adra Young author of The Misfits.
Lasting for approximately two hours, the literary oriented discussion led by Natalie Ammons left the audience immensely inspired by the knowledge obtained by the six panelist. For more information on the Gary Literacy Coalition Inc., log on to http://www.garyliteracycoalition.org
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January 24, 2015
Being a teacher, we find ourselves privileged to educate great minds with pure souls. No matter what age, they come to us instilled with unique and divine spirits making our job as educators a pure delight. This year, I have the honor of teaching one of those notorious beings.
This past year of 2013, one of our community school churches hosted an annual essay contest. Based upon the importance of giving, I encouraged my entire class to enter. To my surprise, my current sixth grade student, Albert Breeden a child who has attended our school since kindergarten, was nominated the victor.
This studious young man who brings joy to our entire academic facility won not only for himself; he won holiday gifts for everyone in my entire classroom present this school day. Attending the church this particular morning to support him, I stood proudly as they called his name. Passing the other attendees present in the aisle of the pew, tears of joy fell down my face as I watched this young man receive acknowledgment from the church’s pastor for his outstanding achievement.
In just a few months, our journey as student and teacher will come to an end. This young man will indeed as a seventh grade student carry on his legacy as a young man from Detroit that all of his teachers will take a pride in knowing and educating.
December 15, 2014
Wild! The year of 2014 has just about come to an end. As I reflect upon everything I learned this year, I must admit, the majority of my development personally came from outside resources not having a lot to do with the work I conduct within my classroom.
This forum in particular took place last Tuesday, is just one of the many I’m referring to. I along with other citizens residing from Detroit, were selected by Friends Schools in Detroit, a prominent organization supporting schools within the region, to serve as panel members.
Serving as experts on a topic impacting our country heavily, for approximately sixty minutes, we addressed the questions and concerns of our audience. “A Conversation on Empathy: Eliminating Bullying was the title. What made this topic on bullying even more interesting were the emphasis placed upon practices of the “Quaker Approach.”
Although the audience only consisted of eight to ten individuals, the questions presented for us to answer as panel members were, serious, relevant, and needed greatly to be addressed. Evolving from various backgrounds and from all walks of life, the panel presented solid and sound advice to the listening audience. Out of all the various answers and strategies that were presented that night, the one thing in common this panel placed emphasis on was simply to provide and give more love. The big lesson I received from serving on this panel is that humans have so much more in common than we actually think.
November 9, 2014
Celebrating the fact that this past October made nineteen years for me in the educational arena, I sat back and reflected upon the good and bad of being in this profession. With excitement and sincere enthusiasm, I can honestly say that I still get a kick out of what I do for a living.
Meeting Dr. Vivian Johnson several weeks ago at a Detroit Public School Professional Development forum, she gave me the opportunity to come in and listen to some of the “creative writing” and poetry written by her students attending Mary Grove College pursuing degrees within the field of education.
Lasting for only two hours, it seemed as though our time together went by entirely too fast. As each one of these males and females brave enough to enter into this field deemed by society in my opinion as the “bottom of the totem pole” I said to myself, “they all have the light within to make it in this field. These few students at Mary Grove College have are going to change the lives of many children.”
After the last student presentation was completed, I had the opportunity to discuss the following; my writing style, why I became an author, and what I loved most about my job as a teacher. After questions were posed and addressed, I was given a round of applause for being in attendance. Leaving the Liberal Arts Building yesterday at Mary Grove College, I felt confident in knowing that “Future Teachers” are truly being produced and ready for the challenge of educating children.
October 7, 2014
As an educator serving Detroit’s youth for 19 years, I’ve attended numerous amounts of workshops and seminars to prefect my craft. From curriculum building, to class room management, I’ve attended them all solely on the basis to help me achieve the desired results with my students. I’ve even went as far as self publishing two books and one e-book based upon today’s youth. I guess you can say that working with kids is my cup of tea.
The education that I received in order to become a teacher was beneficial. However, it could never compare to the education I received at the 2014 “Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend.”
Upon arrival to the Palace of Auburns Hills in Michigan, I could feel the positive energy from every individual in the building. Men and women stood up swaying from left to right listening and singing the words of “Kool and the Gang’s Celebrate.” Iyanla Vanzant energetically walked around the perimeter of every seating section to get the crowd ready for Oprah’s appearance.
When Winfrey entered the stage, the immediate sounds of piercing screams began! Finally, after everyone had settled down, she started her magnificent weekend event off by saying, “thank you for being here tonight. You could’ve taken your money and spend it on anything else but you choose to be here with me despite of the fact that I am not singer.” Proceeding directly after her joke, “Lady O” touched upon some very serious subject matters that in the words of Iyanla Vanzant would require us to all to put our big girl panties on.
Addressing the importance of energy and the power behind our words. Everyone was provided a “techno bracelet” that lit up every-time emphasis were placed upon the words she and her special guest wanted us to think deeply about. There were moments that touched everyone so deeply that thousands of people laughed, cried, and screamed together in unison.
World renowned authors and speakers such as Mark Nepo, Elizabeth Gilbert, Rob Bell, and Iyanla Vanzant brought the house down literally and spiritually. What stood out with me the most this one special weekend of September 2014 was the simple sentence provided inside of the “Oprah’s the Life you Want Weekend” booklets. Written by Oprah herself the sentence stated the following, “Pay attention to the whispers. Thanks to this weekend, I will do exactly that and then some. I am so glad that I got an opportunity to participate in this life changing experience. I will treasure this one moment in time for the rest of my life. In just this one empowering weekend, I learned so much more than any school text book could’ve ever taught me.
August 1, 2014
Education is the most important accomplishment that any youngster will accomplish in their lifetime. Traditionally, reading, arithmetic, and social studies are what’s normally instructed in today’s class. Aware of this known fact, Financial Guru and Detroit Native Gail Perry Mason, decided to add the missing piece to the educational puzzle.
Nineteen years ago, she created the “Money Matters for Youth” camp series for Detroit’s youngsters. Annually, eager kids ranging from elementary through high school range receive a full week of Financial Literacy. Through various seminars, field based related trips, and hands on activities, Mason makes it her mission to ensure that the Detroit Youth receive a bountiful amount of knowledge as it relates to the value of a dollar.
Aware of the fact that the average cost of college is roughly around twenty-thousand dollars a year, school aged children who attend this annual camp get a jump start on preparation for college funding, and strategies on how to make their dollars work correctly for them. Parents residing within the south-east region of Michigan, if you missed the opportunity to get your children enrolled this year, I encourage you to get your kids involved in the “Money Matters for Youth” camp series in 2015.
July 10, 2014
Wild everyone. It looks like we are just about to head towards the midpoint of July. With saying that, I want to encourage parents over the summer to make sure their youngsters continue reading throughout the entirety of the season.
During the standard school year, the majority of what kids read is mandated. A plus to summer time is that youngsters have more flexibility in literary selections. Parents, this is the time of the year to really make reading fun for your youngsters. Tie a theme into their book selections. Schedule some read aloud times together. Allow them the opportunity to upload e-books and audio books on the internet. There are a lot of free e-books available on the internet just waiting to be read.
Allow them the chance to pick books of their interest. Make reading entertaining. Try dressing as the main characters within the storyline. Yes parents, these crazy tactics work for tweens as well. Remember reading just 30 minutes per day can increase fluency and comprehension levels. Parents what are you waiting for? Get your children involved with some great reads before the season once again comes to an end.
April 26, 2014
Hello everyone. Can you believe that the month of April is just about over? My only regret is that the temperatures in Michigan don’t seem to be cooperating with the actual season. Spring break for most educators is about to come to a close within this region. Although vacation time is just about over, I must admit that I the educator was enlighten by one magnificent young lady and student over the break.
Currently serving as a host for the Cooks & Books Show on Urban Nation Radio located in Detroit, I had the privilege of interviewing Nkiyasi Helm. At just the tender age of thirteen, this young lady has written ten books, illustrates her own book covers, and has formulated her own publishing company. Conversing with this young lady for approximately a solid twenty five minutes, Nkiyasi addressed every question in a sound and very professional manner. What I love about the spirit of this young lady is that she is wise beyond her years. As she explained her lifelong goals and mission as both an author and teenager writing for the cause of our youth today, I instantly reversed roles and became her student.
Every book written by Nkiyasi Helm sends a world-wide message of love as well as provides a teachable life lesson. Be on the lookout for my review of her book titled, “Bully A Bully With Love” on http://www.bookreviewsbyadra.blogspot.com To find out more about this dynamic young lady, log on to http://www.writenbykids.com