My Quest To Teach

January 31, 2018

The Book Deserts of Underserved Communities

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
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

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

Twitter: #bookdeserts #bookdesert
Book Deserts
Chamblin Book Store –
Facebook for Chamblin Book Store
Jacksonville Public Library Twitter –
Jacksonville Public Library Online –
Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library –
San Marco Bookstore
@SanMarcoBooks – Twitter
Jacksonville, FL

November 28, 2016

Edward Waters College Professor and Student Attend WordPress 2016


Edward Waters College Professor and Student
Attend  WordPress 2016
Prof. William Jackson – Edward Waters College
Joshua Rodriquez – Biology Major

HBCU students are learning that the content they
create is valuable in the career direction they are
taking. Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, LinkedIn and
other Social Media platforms can be used to enhance
Brands beyond being a student, it can enhance
visibility as an innovator, smart creative,
developing leader in the ever changing tech industry
and a  potential rising star in intellectual exchanges
and collaboration.

HBCU students can now become entrepreneurs
while still in school if they have the vision and skills.

Joshua Rodriquez a student majoring in Biology and
a new user of #WordPress has learned as a first time
participant at#WordCamp 2016 conference, the
importance of writing  and blogging. Josh, a
junior attending Edward Waters College
has aspirations of medical school and blogging
about his experiences and journey.

Pro. Jackson a veteran of WordPress attending
each year; I learn something that I can apply
personally and professionally as a teacher, blogger
and business owner with #MyQuestToTeach
On the teaching side it is required that students
taking Educational Technology and Social Media
course that Prof. Jackson teaches blog each week
about what is passionate and interesting to them.

Allowing students to develop WordPress sites
encourages students to read, build comprehension
skills and share on a digital and literary platform
their growing knowledge and  understanding how
to apply technology intellectually towards their
career interests. They learn that literacy is just
not reading and comprehension there are other
dynamics as  written by Rusul Alrubai‏ @RusulAlrubai
She gives a very good explanation of literacy and
its dynamic use not just for academics, but other
areas of learning.

Building future technology professionals HBCU
students need to be able to write, share content
and information on a professional level that is
required in many careers. Just as important is
the ability to comprehend what is read and
able to apply what is read to achieve the goals
and missions of their careers. Many businesses
claim that students from many institutions are
not competent writers and even lack comprehension
skills. These skills can be gained and strengthened
from reading.

Being an educator on the elementary and higher
education level I see the importance of students,
especially students of color strengthening their
abilities in reading and comprehension.
HBCU students even after graduating need to
continue to read and engage in diverse literary
genres, join book clubs and participate in reading
events at their local libraries.

Joshua and Prof. Jackson had the opportunity to help
elementary students at the conference to develop
a web presence, sharing our knowledge and skills
with these growing writers.

More HBCU students should attend conferences
like WordCamp, BarCamp, EdCamp, and EdCampNABSE.
Students like Mr. Rodriquez are the growing leadership
that is needed to assist African Americans to
increase the 2% that own technology companies.
There needs to be more to empower African
American communities.

In order for HBCU students to expand beyond traditional
career roles and enter into entrepreneurship roles,
management roles, and business startups they must
be involved in leadership roles.
To be engaged in video blogging, podcasting,
microblogging and creation of Apps and the
area of virtual reality.

“I would like HBCU students to understand they are
the authors of  their story, they are authentic, they
are unique and they are eternal in the stories
they provide.” William Jackson

Reading is vital to building language and intellectualism,
“books may look like nothing more than words on a page,
but they are actually an infinitely complex
imaginotransference technology that translates odd,
inky squiggles into pictures inside your head.”
Jasper Fforde

Joshua speaking at #WordCamp

WordCamp Central

William Jackson
My Quest To Teach

Educational Technology and Social Media
at Edward Waters College

Some Edward Waters College students presenting
blogs in class. 

October 2, 2016

Fighting The Criminalization of Black Students

Fighting The Criminalization of Black Students
William Jackson, M.Ed. @wmjackson
Parent, Educator, Blogger, Community Activist

Voting Protests

My personal opinions from my
observation and experiences as a parent,
educator and community activist. I’m not
referencing to specific organizations or people.
Providing an insight into the situations and
circumstances of people of color and culture and
to encourage positive change and education.

Malcolm X,
“To have once been a criminal
is no disgrace. To remain a criminal is the


The lessons of life are a reflection of the developing
maturity of Black boys that are developing into Black
men. Society’s perception of Black males has developed
into a growing state of fear, apprehension, uncertainty
and even panic. Bang Bang Bang Bang is the sound
of another Black male being murdered either by those
that look like him or those that only see him as a threat
and use a badge and gun to create their own justice on
innocence, killing another Black boy that may be a
potential criminal in society, but wait Black girls
are being killed as well. Judge – Jury and
Executioner just like in too many movies.

Through the media, entertainment industry, sporting
industry and even educational systems of our nation
(school to prison pipeline) Black boys and Black men are
criminalized. You may ask where the evidence is, it comes
in the form of expectation, evaluation and execution.
Too many expect our Black boys to fail, to many
evaluations say our Black boys are slow and of lower
levels in understanding and comprehension. To
many that are supposed to protect and service are
to ready to be judge, jury and executioner.

Listen to NPR and see how educators are already
passing judgment on Black boys.

The expectation that is portrayed in the media is that
Black males are feared because of their color, the
insinuation and expectation that eventually they will commit
acts of crime and participate in criminal behavior. The
unrealistic ideas that all Black men want white women
and most Black families are single parent homes.
The definition of racism is defined in the actions of
police and politicians that seem to be in collaboration
to execute and incarcerate.


President Obama has even stated in several speeches
outlining how women are uncomfortable in the vicinity
of Black males. Sharing his frustrations as a Black man
even with Black daughters.
Women clutching their purses closer to their bodies,
nervously watching with side glances while riding in
elevators, subways, buses and even in public stores.
Even professional men face scrutiny, ridicule and
fear from white men, white women and even their
own color and culture because the media has control
of their minds and hearts just like in The Matrix.

The expectation is that Black male mentality is not
a productive place. This is shared, shown and thrust
before us from a media that glamorizes violence, but
uses it to direct biases and even racism against
people of color. The Presidential candidate Trump
even sees Blacks as a threat, he entices Black
ministers and those claiming to be “Black leaders”
willing to bend over for Trump to enjoy “exploratory”
anal journey’s that create further division in the
Black community when ministers start running for
handouts not hands up for their people.

Black males are followed in stores, monitored in their
travels and assessed in school not just for educational
attainment, for the potential to be involved in behaviors
associated with academic challenges and as potential
drop outs. National Public Radio even
shares research about teachers and how Black
children in early childhood education are treated and
looked at.
Racial Bias It’s in Pre-School

In music videos Black men are seen as drug dealers,
hustlers, rebellious against laws and law enforcement.
Black boys are portrayed as educationally challenged,
socially estranged from the social courtesies of common
morals and values. This is further from the truth and
in many cases lies. Black children are talented, creative,
innovative, but are bored with a teacher centered
classroom that looks at Black boys and girls as second
and third class educational citizens that only
deserve to be tested for Special Education,
suspension and expulsion. Lastly when this
is done enough come incarceration.

Professional athletes are highlighted as drug abusers
(this is not the majority of Black athletes), involved in
creating multiple children and not accepting the
responsibility for the financial and emotional care
of these children. Involved in alcoholic binges and
frivolously spending money with no moral compass
or direction to community service until almost bankrupt
then looking for sympathy and a job to keep their
lavish lifestyles.

All of us; parents, educators, administrators are
responsible for children’s educational growth.
Malcolm X was in the eighth grade when his teacher
crushed his desire to be an attorney, sending a then
Malcolm Little on a direction of criminal behaviors.
The power of teachers to promote learning or destroy
a child’s dreams is in the power of their expectations
and words. Teachers need to remember their words are
powerful and influential. Stop looking at the color of
that child and look at their content, how will you build
this baby up to be better than society views them or
are you just as racist in your teaching as you are in
your homes?

Teachers are accountable to society because of their
inherited responsibility to build children up and
educate them, not to be judgmental, not to be bias
(although many are and not know it).
R. Lee Gordon has claimed a transformative
statement, “if you’re not part of the solution, then
you are part of the problem.” The solutions is not
a one size fits all, but a holistic approach to helping
students achieve and earn success.


Parents, choose to make a difference in your homes,
in your community, in your child’s schools. You do not
have to be that mad Black man or that mad Black women.
Just be active, engaged and determined to make a
difference so the future will have a chance to blossom
and bloom for all children not wasting away in
Special Education classes, labeled and put on
drugs like rabid dogs to be mentally and emotionally
controlled with drugs that take away the beauty of
that person.

Take the time to listen to Dr. Claud Anderson
as to Why Black Need To Have Businesses

Educational Technology and Social Media
class at Edward Waters College. Students and Prof. Jackson
reviewing project data….


September 12, 2016

Fatherhood from the First Day of School

Fatherhood from the First Day of School To The Last
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Educator of 27 years, Teacher of the Year,
Instructor with Edward Waters College
Parent of 2 college students

William and Sean

William and Sean

Each school year is an opportunity to begin anew not just for
kid, but for parents as well. To start off on a great foundation of
learning and discovery. It is also another opportunity to encourage
fathers, grandfathers, uncles, stepfathers and surrogate fathers to
mentor and volunteer in schools.
Fathers must understand they do have an impact in schools and
the need to be involved and engaged.
To be involved in making their children’s lives a better opportunity
to grow and to be better than their parents.
Fathers have to understand they leave a legacy with their children.

Nationally through the Million Father March the first day of school
is important to set the foundation for a academic year of 180 days
for learning. To improve reading and develop comprehension. To
celebrate the creatives, the innovators, the intellectuals and the
students that are not athletes nor are they entertainers. They are
the “smart” kids that sometimes to do not get recognized,
they do not get noticed and sometimes even picked on and bullied.

A father presence can stop bullying, they can stop harassment,
they can build self-esteem and self-confidence. In this mission
fathers are key to motivating, encouraging, and making learning
exciting and even protecting and guiding their and other kids.

No matter the educational level of the father, data shows how
important fathers are. Dads, stepdads and male figures
do account for success in the classroom and school environment.
Not to mention active fathers improve communities.


School districts if they are not should accept
fathers and use them as a motivational tool
and role models to help students see other
options in careers and success.
In many school districts fathers are welcomed
and encouraged to attend PTA meetings,
join School Advisory Councils and even
encouraged to attend school board meetings
contributing in school improvement discussions.
Fathers have a different perspective and need
to be used for their wisdom and knowledge.

Men don’t let a potential background issues
keep you from registering to volunteer for
your child’s educational success. Children need
the support and value that men show for education.

dad and shae
My daughter and I when she was in elementary
school, I visited her school once a month with
my son and daughter.
Took off work and made that sacrifice. Still
picked up my son and daughter every other weekend.
It was not easy and many miles of travel.

Support should not be just on the first day,
it should be every day, every week and every
month. What would happen if parents decided
they do not want to be parents for a week or
a month. That is the case in some situations
in schools.

Many schools started after the Labor Day
weekend. Fathers should know their children’s
teachers, the Principal, Vice Principal, who
the Guidance Counselor is.
Father should know or have a copy of the lunch
schedule and even locked in their phones
the schools number.
Fathers should know what the school start time
and end time is as well so they can pickup their
kids or be able to attend parent / teacher

Tag yourself through the year in the hashtag
#BackToSchool, #MillionFatherMarch on Twitter,
Facebook and other Social Media platforms to
show your support and involvement in the
schools this year in your community and in your city.

Keep  up to date on school events and activities,
stay connected and engaged.

Everyone wins and everyone benefits when
fathers and concerned men are part of the
educational process for children.

All fathers have a responsibility to be engaged and active in their
communities. You never know who you influence and how you can
help children grow. #MyQuestToTeach


The Alphabet of Fatherhood

The role of being a father

Change the Discussion on Black Fathers

GetConnectDAD @GetConnectDad

Dad 2.0 Summit @dad2summit

Daddydaddydaddy @daddydaddydadus

Melanin Bloggers @MelaninBloggers

The Father Effect @thefathereffect

Dad Summit

New Fathers Chronicles on YouTube


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