My Quest To Teach

January 31, 2018

The Book Deserts of Underserved Communities

20180106_143559
The Book Deserts of Underserved Communities

by William Jackson and Aida Correa
@wmjackson and @latinapheonix

There are deserts that span vast distances around the world.
They lack the resources to support the diversity of life seen in
places that have sufficient environmental conditions that allow
for growth of foliage allowing animals to live, survive and thrive.

The definition of a desert by Wikipedia is:
“A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation
occurs and consequently living conditions are hostile for plant
and animal life.” The application of this definition in many ways
can be applied to under-served communities across this nation
that suffer from lack of educational
materials promoting reading.

Even though there are books in schools, libraries and community
centers conditions may not be motivating for children in
under-served communities.
Looking at the Twitter tags #BookDeserts #BookDesert
#ReadingDeserts there is a serious discussion promoting literacy
in communities. When there are children that love to read it can
be challenging to find materials that excite them and their passion
to learn about the areas they love.

Stated by Derrick Young (Mahogany Books in Washington, D.C.)
about book deserts, “A book desert isn’t a community-created
situation.”
Derek Young states, “It’s because other people have decided not
to invest into these communities. It’s not because these
communities aren’t readers.”

As an educator and two children attending universities I
understand that education is an investment that has long term
applications, people living in distressed areas are on survival
mode and not seeing long term events because they are surviving
from day to day. Aida a mother and grandmother understands
the value and importance of reading. She taught her children
that reading is a foundation to educational success.

As an inner city Title 1 teacher over 20 years I have seen students
attention directed to just living, not worrying about where the
next book will be coming from.
So books may not be available to inspire reading. Studies in 2015
and 2016 have shown that book deserts exist when there is a rise
in income segregation, lack of infrastructure investment or
financial stability is affected by job loss, incarceration and even
when a school receives a failing grade on state assessments
and funds are cut.

Negatively impacting a family’s and community’s capability to
provide reading material. The focus changes and diminishes the
chances of academic success. The impact on adults is big as well,
children do not see their parents reading the newspaper or
books so they do not have role models or engagement to talk
about the news and current events.

Even neighborhood libraries face challenges because their
materials maybe old, outdated and not culturally relevant.
If a child does not see themselves in a book they may not
want to read it if there is no previous exposure.
Jacksonville Public Libraries often work within communities
to provide resources and materials that broaden the vision
of children and create a welcoming environment for Black,
Latina, White, Asian, etc. There are still some parents that do
not access the resources because of their lack
of reading skills or past experiences.

In Jacksonville, Florida there are book stores “Chamblin”
that have books bursting out of the walls to be purchased
and can even be returned in exchange at a lower cost for
other books. Teachers can even have accounts setup for
their classrooms so students can purchase books and the
teacher can pay for all or part of the book.

In this digital age where information sharing, collaboration
and knowledge based application is important. Reading
is an essential skill that transcends generations, genders,
lifestyles and cultures. Communities of color
sometimes lack the educational investments necessary to
inspire children, youth, teens and young adults to read,
but parents do guide their children to educational success
and movement, parents are the first role models by
modeling.

Too often the societal perception and even the media has
the idea that people in challenged or poor neighborhoods
don’t care about the achievement of their children. This is
further from the truth, parents in under-served
neighborhoods want the best for their children, because
of circumstances in finances, educational lacking, and other
social issues do not have the means to provide proper and
lasting resources.

Book stores like “Chamblin” and Jacksonville Public Libraries
fill the gap in book deserts so long as there is proper investment
and a vision for growth and success to meet the needs of
diverse communities.

Parents make 2018 the year for engagement with your
children to get them to enjoy reading. Make it a part of your
and their life every day…
Over 200 Books for and about People of Color and Culture
Video created by William Jackson #MyQuestToTeach
https://youtu.be/Uo6UDfrJgqk

Resources:
Twitter: #bookdeserts #bookdesert
Book Deserts
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/book-deserts-leave-low-income-neighborhoods-thirsty-reading-material-n833356
Chamblin Book Store – http://chamblinbookmine.com/default.aspx
Facebook for Chamblin Book Store
https://www.facebook.com/chamblinbookmine/
Jacksonville Public Library Twitter – https://twitter.com/jaxlibray
Jacksonville Public Library Online – http://www.jacksonvillelibrary.com
Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library – http://fjpl.info
San Marco Bookstore
@SanMarcoBooks – Twitter
Jacksonville, FL
http://sanmarcobookstore.com

Advertisements

January 19, 2018

Why Families Should Visit the Orlando Science Center

Filed under: Education,STEAM and STEM — William Jackson @ 12:30
Tags: , , , , , ,

family time
Why Families Should Visit the Orlando Science Center

by William Jackson and Aida Correa
@wmjackson @laphoneix

The visit at the Orlando Science Center (OSC) was
one of the highlights for our family during the winter
school break. A great period for family time, learning,
participation in activities that were fun, educational
and creating “ah ha” moments. There were many
instances that highlighted the day included those
below.

1. The interactive play areas at OSC are fun and educational.
They have the family involved and engaged.
2. OSC embraces the STEAM educational initiative
that 21st century careers demand.
3. OSC embraces the diversity of cultures visiting
the center with a welcoming atmosphere.
4. The presenters of the programs are knowledgeable,
engaging and entertaining.
5. The building and infrastructure is inviting and
sensory stimulating. The visuals are colorful.
6. Families are welcomed and assisted by the staff.
7. There are opportunities for children to be
involved in multiple activities that require different
skills.
8. Children with disabilities are welcomed and
supported.
9. The facility is clean and well maintained.
10. Families with autistic or special needs will
find activities that are hands on and stimulate,
but not overly excite the senses.
I (Aida) would like to add a few additional points
to this list that, as a mom, I noticed.
11. The OSC has something for everyone in the family.
As William mentioned above, we had as much fun as
the kids did.  What he didn’t mention, however is that
one of the kids is 9 and the other is in college yet,
they both enjoyed themselves. There is even a
section of the museum set-up exclusively for
children 7 and under.  Knowing that there is something
for everyone can be a stress reliever when trying
to find something to do with the whole family.
12.  Along the lines of “something for everyone,”
the exhibits varied. There were dinosaurs in one
exhibit, complete with animatronics and a
fossil dig in one area and a complete
gingerbread village in another area, which I
thought was wonderful. Also, while everyone else
was enjoying the show on space, my little one
was having a go at being a weather forecaster –
so no one was “bored.”
13. The exhibits change.  While we were there
we noticed some areas blocked off in preparation
of new exhibits, which made us decide that we
need to come again and check them out.
14. There’s plenty of interaction.
As William mentioned above, there are plenty of
interactive activities throughout the entire museum.
We cut out paper snowflakes, jumped in the
hurricane simulator, “dug” for fossils and so much
more.
15. Location and practicality.  Firstly the OSC is
conveniently located and offers plenty of parking.
We also noticed that in same location as the OSC,
there are other centers and museums we can check
out during future visits. As for practicality, there is
a cafeteria located on the ground floor of the museum
and there are plenty of restrooms.
16. The cost is reasonable.  While the regular cost is
fairly reasonable, check out their website for
additional discounts you may be eligible for.

Activities from the hurricane simulator, to the
dinosaur discovery, to the high tech presentation
about our solar system provide unique learning.
There is evidence of STEM, STEAM and even STREAM
learning. Aida and I (well past our teen years) had a
wonderful experience, not just watching
our girls, but participating with them as well.
Family time is about enjoying the experience
together and building lasting memories.
The OSC employs traditional and hands on
activities that allow for touching (tactile)
stimulation, video and auditory presentations.
Visual acuity and auditory sensory experiences
are not overwhelmed. The VR or virtual reality
provides a full range of learning.
Parents take the time to schedule family
time and arrive early enough to have
children participate in a rich learning
environment. There is plenty to do see,
hear, learn and experience.
Resources:
Orlando Science Center – http://www.osc.org

 

January 3, 2018

Rediscovering SPACE A TEDxFSCJ Event

Filed under: Education — William Jackson @ 13:30


Rediscovering SPACE A TEDxFSCJ Event

William Jackson, Social Media Team Member
of TEDxFSCJ http://tedxfscj.com

“Rediscovering SPACE” a TEDxFSCJ community event
hosted at the Museum of Science and History (MOSH)
in Jacksonville, Florida.
William Jackson, M.Ed. and Dr. Jose G. Lepervanche,
Social Media Team broadcasting on Facebook, Twitter
and Instagram.

The knowledgeable panelist speaking about the future
of SPACE travel, evolving careers in STEM, manufacturing
in space and traveling to distant planets and galaxies.
The panelists shared their knowledge, experiences
and passion for the SPACE industry and discovery.
Also discussed that minority children need to be
exposed to careers in STEAM to allow them growth
in careers that will allow educational
progression, exposure to new and developing
technologies and equipping minority children to
have a voice and a place in future decision
making areas where technology is the key to
advancement and success in life.

Taylor Richardson a 7th grade student one of
the awesome panelists dreams of being an
astronaut and is an advocate for literacy for inner
city children, STEAM education in schools and
is active in her community of Jacksonville,
Florida.

Taylor is an honors student at The Bolles School
and travels nationally speaking to youth, teens
and young adults about career choices in STEAM
and building girls’ confidence to motivate them
to dream big and reach literally for the stars in
space exploration.

Other members of the panel represented
private space industries, NASA scientist, engineers
and astronauts that will be flying into space in
the future. SPACE allowed the audience to learn
about constellations, future missions to deep
space, the importance of the International
Space Station and humanities potential role
in the galaxy and beyond.

There is great passion for the exploration
of SPACE and the experimentation of manu-
facturing in weightless environments that offer
new opportunities to discover and create new
substances.
The development of new industries in science,
engineering and the passion for exploration
helps to fuel industry, education and coming
commerce related to SPACE.

The passion for SPACE was seen in the audience
as a video production of the formation of the stars,
the importance of comets and how deep
space research influences life on earth.
The community is encouraged to take opportunities
to visit the MOSH and learn more. How to apply
that knowledge to future careers that broaden
man’s understanding and take advantage of
community events.

The panelists consisted of:
KATHLEEN O’BRADY
Lead Certification System Engineer for NASA’s
Commercial Crew Program
CHELSEA PARTRIDGE
Engineer for Lockheed Martin Space Systems
at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
DR. MIKE REYNOLDS
Professor of Astronomy and Physics at
Florida State College at Jacksonville and
the Executive Director Emeritus of the Chabot
Space & Science Center in Oakland, California.
TAYLOR RICHARDSON
Student at The Bolles School in Jacksonville
and an accomplished science advocate.
She is a student space ambassador for
The Mars Generation.
ANDREW RUSH
President and CEO of Silicon Valley-based
Made In Space, Inc., the first manufacturing
company in space.
JENNIFER RULIFFSON
A NASA Solar System Ambassador and
has hosted several events centered on space
and space exploration.

Resources:
TEDxFSCJ – http://www.tedxfscj.com

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: