It’s Really About Power

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By Gadeer Alawdi

This article was first posted on http://www.energyconvertors.org

The key to success is knowledge and success equals power.

Education has a huge impact in my life and I take it seriously. When I look around, I see my fellow students reach more for popularity than learning and making the most of their education. I’ve always felt like I needed to be popular and “fit in” rather than pass a class but I have changed. I learned people will judge you regardless of what you do.

Some people just crave attention and it doesn’t matter if it is negative or positive. This constant need for attention drives a lot of people to do negative things rather than be praised for working hard and showing dedication because those things take time.

The need to feel cool is such a powerful drug and most of us are addicts. From my perspective it mostly affected us teenagers. There are so many kids that started out focusing on their bright futures that are now in corners smoking and looking for attention in the wrong places to feel “cool”. While people are out in the street being “cool” they don’t notice that everything they are doing is just making them look bad and putting them on the wrong path.

I just wish that everyone knew that there are different ways in getting attention. You don’t have to do negative things such a fighting, bullying, and doing drugs. You can grab people’s attention by making a positive change to this world and be a role model to lots of people. Gang banging and drugs doesn’t make you look cool nor does it make you look tough. You need power in order to be tough and success in order to have power and success is knowledge.

I want to learn how to build real power. That’s my goal.

Roosevelt Elementary School College Fair

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Roosevelt Elementary sixth-grader Stephanie Reyes’ eyes lit up when she described the famous alumni of Princeton University – from former First Lady Michelle Obama to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and President James Madison.
 
Reyes joined classmates Estevan Sandoval and Kianna Jimenez as representatives of Princeton for their school’s fourth annual College Fair on May 22. Nearly 650 Roosevelt students in preschool through sixth grade were taught college options by their peers, detailing school colors, mascots, and programs of more than two dozen universities.
 
“Princeton is a very beautiful campus; it looks like a castle,” Reyes said. “The university also offers great clubs and activities, including equal sports opportunities for girls.”
 
The College Fair has been in the works for the entire school year, with each Roosevelt classroom adopting a college in the fall and researching its programs and major offerings. Students showcased their findings on large cardboard displays highlighted with pictures, pennants, maps and fun facts about their adopted schools.
 
“The college fair gives our students the opportunity to teach and learn about college life,” Roosevelt Elementary Principal Sandra Verduzco. “It also allows us to plant the seeds of higher education by giving our children a glimpse into college life.”
 
Roosevelt students adopted more than two dozen college campuses, from Ivy League schools and UC campuses to Cal State schools and the University of Alabama. Students made presentations on their college’s programs using visual aids such as pamphlets and graduation regalia.

Enrollment data, financial aid procedures, and school demographics were often included in the college displays, along with representations of school colors, mascots, and pictures of significant campus architecture. As classes toured the fair, college presenters attempted to get students to sign their name to a sheet that expressed interest in a school. Each college set a goal of achieving 30 signatures. 
 
“Our District’s college-going culture begins at the elementary school level where we equip our students with the information that can help them begin dreaming of a successful future,” Lynwood Unified Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “By inspiring them early, we are providing them with a blueprint for success.”
 
Throughout the tour, Roosevelt teachers announced college trivia questions over a microphone giving the students the chance to earn prizes. After visiting the College Fair, all Roosevelt students completed a typical application to the college they found most interesting.

Message for Graduates

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One of my favorite times of year is graduation season. It's a joy to see students celebrate the culmination of a journey and embark on another. I love seeing the eyes of parents and loved-ones well up with pride. But, as I reflect on my journey after high school, I wish people were more honest with me about how life would be after high school. So, here are my tips for graduates.

1. Reach for every crazy dream and lofty goal you have. Don't let anyone taint the vision for your life with their cynicism. It doesn't matter where you grew up, whether or not you had both parents, you could have been a foster or homeless youth. Your dreams and goals are valid, and you put them within your reach when you blend your God-given talents and abilities with hard work. You will face obstacles and disappointment, push past them and persist anyway.

2. Explore, live a full and productive life. Most importantly, learn and understand who you are and who you are not. Your sense of self allows you to understand your passions and clearly articulate your needs, wants and aspirations. Your sense of self should not be in comparison to anyone else's journey. There is no such thing as an age by which you should have accomplished anything. Go at your own pace; everything will happen for you in its own time.

3. Find work or hobbies that are tied to your passion. If you are fortunate, you will be able to make work out of your passions. If you cannot, make hobbies out of things you are passionate about. When you do, you enrich your soul and add to the depth and quality of your life. Too often, we focus on the means we need to survive and forget to do what it takes to live. So we must make time for things that matter to us most, those things that set our souls on fire, things that bring us joy and fulfillment.

4. You must also understand that we will inevitably face disappointment. Not every experience we have will be a positive one. At times, you will have to be amenable to incremental change and small victories. But no matter how disappointing an experience may be, you must not lose hope that things will get better. What is meant to be will be, and even though it may not seem like it now, everything is going to be okay. So, take a deep breath, chin up and press on.

5. Finally, understand that anything worth having is worth working for. The road you embark on that leads you to your dreams and success will not be an easy one. But I promise you every twist and turn, every bump and detour will be worth the view from the top. Often, people get discouraged and turn around because there isn't as much comfort as they'd like. But if you can get yourself to push past the discomfort, great things await you.

The life I have lived was not easy by any means. I have dreams that I don't share out of fear they might be too bold or lofty. One thing I know for sure is I don't think God would give me any dreams and desires that are out of my reach. The same is true for all of you. Everything you want to do, everything you need to do, you can do; you will not fail so long as you understand that rejections are lessons, delays are not denials and when you fall you should fall forward, get up and keep going. Put God first; without him, we can do nothing. The journey is long, and it is not easy, but it is worth it, and I know you will change the world for the better.

Congratulations and best of luck!

 

Wayfinder Foundation Launches First Fellowship Cohort in Indianapolis and Los Angeles

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Now more than ever, activists have a critical role to play in shaping the future of our country and its public policies. A new program, launched this week, is cultivating the next generation of voices in communities of color around the country. By doing so, the Wayfinder Foundation is creatively finding new ways to support activists through its Community Activist Fellowship.

Starting  June 1, fourteen fellows in Indianapolis, Indiana and Los Angeles, California will lead projects focused on various issue areas including parent engagement, education access, domestic abuse, immigration, women’s rights and the use of digital media for advocacy.

“The Community Activist Fellowship is providing a way for our activists to begin a year of  intense training and support to help them change the world in which we know it. By providing resources to marginalized communities, not only are we supporting their activism, we are freeing their voices to be heard, and strengthening their regard to continue to fight,” said Wayfinder’s chief program officer, Angela Jones Hackley.

Wayfinder will begin accepting applications for its second cohort in Washington, DC, Memphis, TN, and Oakland, CA, later this month.

“Wayfinder was founded in 2017 with the mission of putting resources behind activism through investing in mothers and mother-figures by using a two-generational approach – when you help the mother, you help the child,” said Chris Stewart, CEO, Wayfinder Foundation. “It is clear in this country we create systems that are designed to punish the mother – welfare systems that keep her poor, school systems that keep her and her child undereducated. These activists are saying no more! We will not be silenced. It is our duty to support them in their efforts.”

With a combined contribution of more than $100K in financial and expert resources, the Wayfinder Foundation launched this inaugural cohort as part of their “This is Activism” multimedia campaign, focused on highlighting acts of activism across the country.

“Our Fellows are excellent examples of what happens when you don’t give in to the status quo and you aren’t afraid to stand up to fight for yourself and others. It’s heroic,” said Stewart. More information on the CAF and a list of Fellows can be found on the Wayfinder Foundation website.

 

JAZZY ROWE & THE ANXIETIES OF BEING BLACK ON CAMPUS

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by Shamaya Bowen

There are a long list of fears and anxieties students suffer as they prepare to go off to college. I should know, I’ve experienced those feelings myself. First when entering my freshman year at The University of Hartford and again on my way to San Diego State after deciding to transfer. However, as a young black woman, there’s an additional list of anxieties that have never and will never cross the minds of my peers. In addition to anxious questions like: What if I don’t make any friends? and Am I prepared for my classes? I asked questions like, will I lose touch with my culture? & How inclusive is the student body?

Another question that plagued my mind: What if my roommate is racist?

The experience of Chennel “Jazzmin” Rowe solidified a fear that most people of color have as they enter university. Rowe, a student at my past school -The University of Hartford- was purposefully “poisoned” by her roommate who later boasted of the crimes in an Instagram post. After weeks of feeling unwanted, disrespected and “like a ghost in my own room,” Jazzmin decided to move out. 

In the process of moving her stuff, a neighbor brought to Jazzmin’s attention an Instagram post of her former roommate, Briana Brucho. It read:

“Finally did it yo girl got rid of her roommate!! After 1 1/2 month of spitting in her coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in her lotions, rubbing used tampons oh [on] her backpack, putting her toothbrush places where the sun doesn’t shine and so much more I can finally say goodbye Jamaican Barbie.”

As I watched the Facebook Live video where Jazzmin detailed her experience I was horrified, infuriated even, but not surprised. College campuses across the country have seen an increase in the amount of hate crimes. More and more, those who were banished to soapboxes have seemingly found a stage on college campuses. But students are fighting back. At the University of Hartford, students took to social media to campaign on Jazzy’s behalf. Through their efforts, they informed the media and the world at large about her experience. They then organized to meet with the university president, chief of public safety and other school faculty, to address this incident as well as racially charged incidents where students of color felt unheard and unsafe.

As my former classmates live streamed these dialogues for me to see, it felt reminiscent of the various protests and sit-ins held by black students throughout the 60’s and 70’s.

After a day of rage, disgust, disappointment and confusion, I felt reassured. Something was being done, Brianna Brochu the perpetrator has been charged with criminal mischief, breach of peace and intimidation based on bigotry or bias and if found guilty could face up to five years in prison.

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As black students who have left behind the safety and comfort of friends and family to chase our dreams, goals and ambitions on college campuses, our fears are not irrational or unfounded. That said, we can take comfort in knowing our situations are not without hope. In situations of adversity, we do what we historically, have always done: We become, organized whilst offended, inspired whilst infuriated and encouraged whilst enraged. This is the shared essence of being a black student on campus. And sadly, it’s as familiar to us now as it was nearly 60 years ago.

This article was first published at www.lappthebrand.com

Parents Boycotting School

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In the wake of another school shooting that claimed the lives of 10 students at Santa Fe High School, former United States Secretary of Education suggested parents boycott school until gun laws change. Initially, this idea seemed a bit off, but when I sat and thought about it, it makes sense, and I think I could get behind it.

Parents should not have to worry about whether or not their children are safe when they send them off to school. They should go to the school to view their students' work not to identify their remains after another instance of senseless violence involving guns.

Each time this happens, we see the same playbook; the immediate outrage, thoughts and prayers, and inaction by lawmakers. Students walked out and held rallies in capital cities. Educators and parents supported the call for change and demanded school districts update their safety plans and conduct training. Still, nothing has changed, and we have had an average of one shooting per week in 2018.

Boycotts have had a tremendous impact on spurring change because of the immediate economic effects they have. So, in theory, if parents kept their students home until laws were passed to keep students safe in school, we would see change. Lawmakers at every level would feel the brunt of the economic impact resulting from students staying home and school districts losing out on ADA funding. As a parent, this is more than a political stunt or protest. Why should we send our students somewhere where they are not safe?

 

Art Education

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Abbott Elementary School will expand its arts curriculum to include a 45-minute art lesson per week for all K-6 students and add harmonica classes for third-grade students as part of a partnership with Turnaround Arts: California, which will provide up to $10,000 in annual financial support to help ensure arts education for every Abbott student.

Turnaround Arts is a national program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, created in 2011 under the leadership of First Lady Michelle Obama. Turnaround Arts: California, co-founded by renowned architect Frank Gehry, is the regional administrator of the program and will provide teacher training, a regional coach to facilitate Abbott’s strategic arts plan and coordinated support for public arts events.

“Abbott’s partnership with Turnaround Arts: California is a huge step forward for our visual and performing arts curriculum, allowing us to spread arts education evenly and equally across all grade levels while creating exciting new opportunities that will have a positive impact on classroom learning,” Abbott Principal Adolfo Herrera said.

Abbott’s commitment to the arts is exemplified by its annual student performances at the Lynwood Unified Winter Concert, coordinated by third-grade teacher Gwendolyn Spears. Despite a limited budget, Spears directs three stage performances a year, with considerable assistance from Abbott staff and community members.

Abbott’s arts curriculum provides introductory programs exploring art history, playwriting and dance through Meet the Masters, the BRIDGE Theatre Project and Conga Kids. District partnerships with The Music Center and P.S. ARTS provide arts support for kindergartners and second-graders. Additional art resources are provided by Abbott teachers and the Abbott PTA.

“Lynwood Unified recognizes that arts education is a critical element in developing students who are creative thinkers,” Lynwood Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “By joining the Turnaround Arts network, Abbott Elementary is providing its students a nurturing environment that will spark innovation and ingenuity.”

Turnaround Arts: California was created in 2014 with financial support from Berta and Frank Gehry and the California Arts Council. The program recently received a $2 million investment to expand its network to include 27 schools and more than 17,000 students across California, providing art resources, musical instruments, high-profile mentors and teacher training.

“Over the last 40 years, I’ve spent time with kids in the classroom using architecture and art to get engaged, focus their attention, and even introduce mathematics, civics, and other subjects that they might not have otherwise been receptive to,” Gehry said. “This inspired me to create the same opportunities for the California students who need it most through Turnaround Arts: California.”

Turnaround Arts partner schools have seen increases in English language arts and math proficiency, better student engagement for arts-integrated instruction, improved attendance, declining suspension rates and increased family participation in art events.

 

Los Angeles Chargers Donate CPR Kits

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Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle Corey Liuget kneeled beside a group of nearly 30 Lynwood High School student-athletes as they administered chest compressions to CPR manikins while the Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive” blared in the background. 

Liuget visited Lynwood on April 18 to donate 10 CPR kits to Lynwood high schools as part of the American Heart Association’s CPR in Schools program. Sharing his personal story of respiratory issues within his family, Liuget discussed the importance of CPR while AHA representatives provided hands-on training to both Liuget and the students.

“Six years ago, my son was born with a heart defect, and it was only through his access to medicine and technology that he is now able to enjoy a healthy life,” Liuget said. “Today, doing CPR techniques is a good refresher for me. You never want to be in a situation where you don’t know how to save someone’s life.”

The LHS girls basketball team, which reached the CIF Southern Section Division 2AA final last month, and members of the LHS football team were among the attendees. The offices of U.S. Rep. Nanette Diaz-Barragán and state Sen. Ricardo Lara presented Liuget with a certificate of appreciation for his work with the AHA.

Led by an AHA representative, each student was guided through life-saving techniques with a CPR manikin that included: checking for breathing, calling 9-1-1 and providing chest compressions. The “Stayin’ Alive” tune helped the students find the ideal pace of the compressions, which is about 120 per minute.

 Lynwood High School students pose with Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle Corey Liuget after receiving CPR training from the American Heart Association on April 18.

Lynwood High School students pose with Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle Corey Liuget after receiving CPR training from the American Heart Association on April 18.

“It’s pretty cool to know that I can now save someone’s life,” LHS junior Aaron Olivares said. “It says a lot that Corey Liuget would come to our school and make this donation. I’m glad that I got to experience this.”

The training kits, valued at $10,000, will serve Lynwood, Firebaugh and Vista high schools.

“The training kits will solidify our dedication to the safety of our students,” Lynwood Unified Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “Of equal importance is the life-saving skills that our students learned today and can share with their peers and families.”

The donation stems from Liuget’s 2017 NFL Season Win/Sack Initiative, where he pledged to donate one CPR in Schools kit for every Chargers team win and every sack he recorded during this past season. Liuget totaled 1.5 sacks to go along with San Diego’s nine wins.

Lynwood Students Stage 100th Play

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Lincoln Elementary School fourth- and fifth-grade students shared the emotions of losing a friend or family member during two plays performed on April 25 that were the 99th and 100th written and produced through the District’s Building Relationships and Inspiring Dialogue through Global Exchange (BRIDGE) Theatre Project.

The two plays – “Sad and Stuck, Without Tears” and “Facing Deportation” – were performed in front of fellow students and family members at the Lincoln Elementary library. The BRIDGE program productions gave Lynwood students the opportunity to address issues of great concern in their voice.

“We have some amazing minds at Lincoln Elementary,” BRIDGE Project teaching artist Tony Gatto said. “What BRIDGE does is give them the opportunity to share what’s going on in their hearts and their heads.”

Lincoln Elementary School students hold up certificates of completion on April 25 following the 99th and 100th performances by Lynwood Unified’s Building Relationships and Inspiring Dialogue through Global Exchange (BRIDGE) Theatre Project.

In “Sad and Stuck,” a girl has difficulty coping after the death of her best friend and efforts to console her are unsuccessful. The girl discovers a magic bracelet in her room and an angel in the form of her best friend appears. After a heart to heart, the girl realizes she has been in denial, unable to reveal her true emotions. Finally, she breaks down in tears.

“We are kids and we are tough. We know it’s always hard to deal with death. And it is new to us, because we are just beginning our lives,” Lincoln Elementary School’s Melanie Gonzalez said. “But we want you to know that communication is a good thing. We want to be able to share our feelings with you, and have you share yours with us.”

“Facing Deportation” used a mock trial to address the challenges immigrant families experience in the face of expulsion, calling on political leaders to seek compassion and understanding of cultures different than their own.

The plays were bookended by two cultural ensemble pieces performed by Lincoln students. “Dancing in the Streets” explored the Civil Rights era through dance and Motown music. “Imbabazzi” explored the creative spirit of Rwanda. After each play, audience members were asked to share their thoughts.

Through the BRIDGE Theatre Project, Lynwood Unified students in grades four through eight learn to write and perform short plays and study other cultures. The program provides 19 workshops for nearly 500 District students over eight weeks to teach students the basics of improvisation, character creation, writing conflict and dialogue.

“Lynwood Unified’s partnership with BRIDGE empowers our students to think creatively and channel their passions into an art form that is an extension of the students themselves,” Lynwood Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “Over the course of four years and 100 plays, Lynwood students are speaking their minds while learning empathy and compassion for international culture.”

 

Lynwood High School Students Travel to South Korea

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Lynwood High School students Andrea Gonzalez and Litzy Santoyo stood at the Third Tunnel of Aggression, located just outside of Seoul, staring through a window that separates a passageway between South Korea and North Korea. The two students relished how far they had journeyed from their homes, and how much of the world they have yet to experience.

Gonzalez and Santoyo indulged their curiosity of the world through the Project Bridge intercultural youth leadership program, which aims to cultivate community leaders with increased awareness of diverse cultures. The Lynwood duo was part of a group of 16 students who trekked to South Korea from March 28 through April 8.

“It was an amazing trip, and it gave me so much more appreciation for South Korean culture,” said Gonzalez, a junior at LHS. “To get to know a culture you really have to experience it and this makes me want to travel to other countries to gain a better understanding of the people there.”

Eight students apiece from high schools in New York and Los Angeles made the trip, which included visits to historical sites like the four Tunnels of Aggression, built to covertly move North Korean troops onto South Korea soil. The Project Bridge group also met with South Korean students to exchange experiences and learn commonalities.

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“The way South Korean people treat elders is similar to the way we do in Mexican culture,” said Santoyo, a senior. “We both treat elders with a great deal of respect and address them with more formal language.”

The tour was based in Seoul, but also journeyed to Gyeongju and the North Jeolla Province. Students were surprised to learn that South Korean students attend school during the day and night, and were fascinated to discover how much the culture covets beauty – often framing faces during photos.

Lynwood High junior Andrea Gonzalez posed with a South Korean student during her trip abroad from March 28 through April 8 as part of the Project Bridge leadership program.

The trip also exposed the American students to South Korean government and industry with visits to the National Assembly and the Hyundai Motor Co. headquarters. The group enjoyed authentic kimchi at restaurants during leisure time and ziplined over the Yellow Sea.

“To have two of our students leave the familiarity of their environment to experience a new world was a life-changing experience for them,” Lynwood Unified Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite. “This will open their eyes to the possibilities that exist beyond what they know and allow them to continue aspiring to new heights.”

Project Bridge was created in response to the 1992 Los Angeles riots to improve intercultural relations. Gonzalez and Santoyo met with fellow students of the program every two weeks, exploring Korean culture through workshops and articles.

Participants in the program must demonstrate active involvement in their community and school and receive two recommendations. The 16 Project Bridge Youth Ambassadors were selected from more than 150 applicants.

Santoyo said she first became interested in the culture after discovering Korean pop music, or, K-pop, on YouTube. She helped start a Korean club at Lynwood High to spread cultural acceptance to her peers.

Gonzalez had only traveled out of the country on family trips to Jalisco and Guadalajara in Mexico before Project Bridge, recommended to her by an LHS counselor. Now, Gonzalez is determined to experience life in new countries.

 

LA School Report to Partner With California Children’s Organizations for May 15 Gubernatorial Forum on Education, Equity, Juvenile Justice

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This article was first published on the74million.org

On May 15, California gubernatorial candidates including Antonio Villaraigosa, John Chiang, and Delaine Eastin will discuss the most critical issues facing the state’s 9.1 million children at a forum hosted by three Los Angeles–based nonprofit organizations in partnership with LA School Report, which is powered by The 74.

The Chronicle of Social Change, the Children’s Defense Fund–California, and The Children’s Partnership are co-hosting the nonpartisan community forum in partnership with LA School Report and The Los Angeles Daily News. 

Titled “Building Our Future: A Forum on Children With California’s Gubernatorial Candidates,” the May 15 forum will be held at Los Angeles Trade Technical College from 6 to 8 p.m. and is open to the public.

The evening’s discussion will focus on educational equity, child welfare, juvenile justice, health care, poverty, and access to technology for California children and youth. It comes three weeks before voters go to the polls for the June 5 primary, which will determine the top two candidates vying for the governor’s seat in November.

In addition to Villaraigosa, Chiang, and Eastin, who have already confirmed their participation, both State Assemblyman Travis Allen and businessman John Cox have indicated they are likely to appear. Additional candidates will be confirmed closer to the 15th.

(Related — California Preview: How Education Could Shape the Governor’s Race in California … Funding, Accountability, Charter Schools)

The eventual winner will replace Jerry Brown, who cannot run again due to term limits. During one of the most successful political careers in state history, Brown guided California out of a recession and promoted several reforms affecting children, youth, and families.

For the first time in years, candidates will have an opportunity to offer big-picture education solutions that aren’t tied to a funding crisis. Brown has presided over a series of spending improvements, including boosts to improve student equity and a localized funding formula.

More is needed: California continues to score poorly in an annual evaluation of school financing systems, ranking 39th among the states. Student academic performance in reading and math is also below most of the nation, according to the 2017 results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, though California did make some gains in reading.

Early indications suggest education will be an important issue in the race. In a statewide survey released this month by the the Public Policy Institute of California, “Californians & Education,” nearly two-thirds — 64 percent — of likely-voter respondents said education was “very important” in the race for governor, an increase from 58 percent four years ago when the same question was asked. A full 90 percent said candidates’ positions on education are important to them.

Six million children under the age of 18 attend California public schools — including 600,000 in charter schools — while nearly 3 million students are enrolled in the state’s higher education system.

If you would like to attend the forum, please register HERE. There will also be a livestream available on the day of the event.

#EDlection2018: See The 74’s preview coverage of key education races to follow through 2018 — visit The74Million.org/Election. 

Teacher Appreciation Week 2018

By David McGuire

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Monday, May 7 kicked off Teacher Appreciation Week. What are you doing to recognize staff members at your school during Teacher Appreciation Week? During this week, principals, students, and parents have an opportunity to celebrate the hard work teachers do all year long.

I've learned early on as a school leader that recognizing teachers is a critically important part of my job and affects the success of a school. Teaching can sometimes feel like unappreciated effort day in and day out. Many teachers can go an entire year without the appreciation they deserve for all they do for their students and their school. 

It is vital we recognize our teachers throughout the year, but there is nothing wrong with dedicating a special week to them each year. The idea began in 1980 when Congress declared Teacher Appreciation Day on March 7, 1980. The following year, the NEA and other affiliates continued to observe Teacher Appreciation Day the first Tuesday in March up until 1985. Then, they established Teacher Appreciation Week for the first full week of May. If you are short ideas on what to do for Teacher Appreciation Week here are some ideas:

"Thank You Breakfast" 

Student vs staff basketball game 

Personalized “Thank You” note 

Have the principal take over the teacher’s class to give them an extra break throughout the day 

Provide doughnuts in the morning -- for no special reason at all other than to say, "Thank you."

Take a teacher's duty as a reward for a special contribution.

Jeans day for staff

Raffle drawing for a “two-hour break” or “leave school early”

Plan a "Pamper Day." 

Have students make random shutouts to their teachers 

Staff lunch purchased by the administration

 

Here is how we are celebrating teachers at Tindley Summit:

Monday - Mini Bottles of Lotion with the saying, “I know our scholars are in great hands.”

Tuesday - Handheld fans with the saying, “We are your greatest fans”

Wednesday - Doughnut Day

Thursday - Goldfish Crackers with the saying, “You are offishly the best”

Friday - Staff Lunch 

I want to say to all the teachers that read this blog, thank you for your unselfish effort day in and day out to ensure your students receive the best education possible. You are the rock that holds each school day together and you may never see the fruits of your labor, but always remember you played a part. 

 

More than just a teacher

 Mr. Bey, Ethnic Studies Teacher, Madison Park Business & Art Academy, Oakland, CA   

Mr. Bey, Ethnic Studies Teacher, Madison Park Business & Art Academy, Oakland, CA

 

This article was first published on http://www.energyconvertors.org

By: Alondra Gonzales

This is Mr. Bey. I met him my first day of freshman year. I remember walking in through his classroom doors late because my schedule got messed up, you know, typical first day of school stuff.

When I saw his name, I didn’t recognize it. I finally found his classroom, and when I walked in I was greeted with a huge smile, “Good morning! How are you doing today?” was the first thing he said to me.

That day he basically ran us through how his class works. Right away, I knew he wasn’t like other teachers. His classroom even felt different. He made himself very clear “if you don’t want to be in my classroom, don’t come.” He teaches differently. He didn’t tell us what to do and what not to do. He set up his classroom in a way where the students are involved. It felt more like a family than the stale classrooms I’m used to. This is important because unfortunately not everybody has this in their life’s. He made the students connect with him and each other.

By the first month of school, everyone was in love with him. He’s dynamic. The way he cares about every single one of his students is amazing. It’s crazy because even the “bad” students go to his class and participate and are active. Why? Mr.Bey helps them connect with their inner intelligence. Not only that, but he teaches us, not makes us memorize. That’s crazy because not ONCE has he ever used those old textbooks; he teaches us in a way in which we interact.

Every single thing we have discussed in his class has stuck with me. People who go in his classroom see that dynamic he has with students. He’s upfront with us, he expresses himself and lets us communicate freely. He teaches us what matters and he does it in a way in which we remember it. I remember at one point the only reason I went to school was his class. He’s in his room until 5–6pm. There are REALLY students in there not because they are in trouble but because we enjoy the sense of safety and family he brings to us.

He delivers the curriculum in his own way, and surprisingly it has been more impactful to me than any other class. We need more teachers like him. He’s really teaching us; he’s found a way to help us learn and feel like family all while still establishing a strong sense of respect. You don’t cross him; he doesn’t cross you.

Mr. Bey is not the norm, he is not the common experience I’ve consistently had in schools. He stands out mostly because he’s great, but also because the majority of my teachers have been disappointing. He has not only earned our respect, but he’s deserving of our love.

Thank you, Mr. Bey.

Lynwood Signing Day

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Firebaugh High School senior Mayra Ayala walked across a stage on April 27 and added her college destination of Cal State Long Beach to a poster as her peers cheered her announcement. Across town, Lynwood High senior Brian Charles reveled in cheers from his classmates as he revealed he would be attending Philander Smith College in Arkansas this fall.

The two students were among nearly 400 seniors from Lynwood and Firebaugh celebrated during Decision Day ceremonies at both schools on April 27. This is the third year Lynwood Unified has hosted Decision Day events, which encourage students to attend college and support those making their higher education plans.

“For me, this event shows that a small community like Lynwood can do big things,” Ayala said. “This is a huge step for us and shines a lot of light on our city.”

Lynwood Mayor José Luis Solache keynoted both events, sharing his experience as a high school senior working at McDonald’s. Solache said he had neglected to apply for a scholarship that would’ve earned him $1,000 as a McDonald’s employee. Encouraging students always to pursue opportunities, Solache challenged the seniors to correctly guess a number between 150 and 300 before rewarding the two who came closest with $300 a piece.

Lynwood High packed its gymnasium with underclassmen who cheered as the college-bound seniors announced their destinations over a microphone. During the lively celebrations, the cheerleading squad fired T-shirts and streamers into the crowd.

“To see all of my classmates taking the next step in their lives and going to college made the day special,” Charles said. “I’m one of the first in my family to go to college, so it’s a big deal to me. I’m excited to get out and experience a new world.”

Firebaugh held its ceremony in its courtyard, where the Falcon mascot congratulated the students as they announced a variety of college destinations – from UCLA and UC Riverside to Mount St. Mary’s University.

“We are proud of all of our students who are making their way to college and are confident they will continue the success they enjoyed at Lynwood Unified,” Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “I am very impressed with the number of students who committed to colleges this year; it’s reflective of their desire to create a bright future.”

 

By Any Means Necessary

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Erika Lopez, mother of two, has been homeless for two years.  Lopez is also very involved in the education of her children.  Lopez will not allow her circumstances to dictate their future.

“I am determined to break the pattern that I had, and that I learned from my own mom, of not showing up to any school meeting, parent conferences, open houses. I think we are not the only ones. It happens too often in my community, particularly among Latino parents. I want to make sure every parent can hear my experience and will decide to be involved in school because that’s the only way to improve the chances of our kids having a better life.”

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