My Quest To Teach

January 31, 2018

The Book Deserts of Underserved Communities

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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

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April 24, 2017

When You Educate Women You Educate Generations

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When You Educate Women You Educate Generations
by William Jackson, #MyQuestToTeach
STEM and STEAM Advocate

The goal of education is not to just educate that specific
person, it is a goal to educate generations that come
afterwards. Establishing education as a foundation to
achieve success can be seen when families continue to
send their children to higher educational institutions,
vocational school and even military service to work
towards a level of degree in the service of their country.

The past decade has seen an increase in careers that
require technical skill, certificates and diplomas. At the
forefront are women that see these as stable careers
to raise a family and have access to the benefits
that they may not have had from their parents. Families
of color are beginning to encourage their children to
think out of the cultural box and aim for the stars,
the seas and medical professions that explore
the inner spaces of the human bodies.

STEM, STEAM, STREAM are seen as the gateways
to achieving the American Dream and dreams that
are deferred because of social-economic situations.
The increase in mentoring groups is exposing
girls and young women to careers not thought
of that require higher order thinking, problem
solving, critical thinking, thought leadership,
creativity and out of the box developmental
abilities that foresee future challenges that
may threaten humanity on local, national
or international levels.

When you educate a mother your educating a generation
because mothers will continue to open the minds of her
children and her children’s children. Fathers provide
the support systems and help build foundations. The
recent Markerspace presentation at the Jacksonville
Public Library “STEAM INTO STEM” brought together
women in Jacksonville, Florida that show the diversity
of parenting, careers, business applications, educational
levels and entrepreneurialism.

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Jax Markerspace panelists:
Shawanna Brooks, the hostesses, Akia Uwanda, Latonja Richardson,
Princess S. Rashid, and Angie Nixon. Each woman involved in
Jacksonville as community activist, business leaders and have
children in the schools systems of Jacksonville either public
or private.
The aspirations are the same for academic success, the goal of
graduating their children from high school and attending higher
education is similar, but the roads to achievements are
diverse and different. Each women are successful in their own
ways, are unified in their goals for their children to be better
educated and have better access to the resources that are open
in today with the integration and implementation of technologies
that involve STEAM INTO STEM.

Trans-formative statements: “The biggest danger of unemployment
today is not of immigration it is the advancements of technology
in robotics,” made by Princess S. Rashid a Physicist, educator,
parent and Artist. This shows that science can embrace the Arts,
there is coexistence.  The blending of STEAM and building a
relationship with careers comes into place when Angie Nixon
and Latonjay Richardson comment that the holistic approach
to education comes to play that children will not change if they
continue to be limited by their environments. The value of
exposure and relevance is real when education is applied to
careers and the changing of the mental and relevancy of what
is learned when applied in real life.

The FIRST LEGO LEAGUE, is the dream of Mark McCombs,
“I teach people how to build robots and to do what they used
to think was impossible.” Mark McCombs is the visionary of the
FIRST LEGO League competitions going on at middle and high
schools across the state of Florida . This creates dynamic
opportunities for team building in youth, teens and young adults.

Engineering, building and coding of robotics that are involved
in competitions and can be applied to real world or off world
future exploration. Women are playing key roles in these areas,
looking at the recent Hidden Figures movie that careers in NASA
and other aerospace, inner space, space travel and applied careers
are the keys for generational success academically and culturally.

STEM, STEAM and STREAM are not just acronyms to decipher
they are Real, Relevant and Ready to help youth, teens and young
adults reach their dreams and beyond. Parents check your child’s
school to see if they have a STEM or STEAM curriculum that builds
your child to reach beyond their potential and abilities. Never put
limits on the learning of your children or you will limit their
abilities to take care of themselves and their children.
Generations depend on the advancements of the children now.
If your children do not know how to aim, how will they aim
high for success?
Resources:
Jacksonville Public Library:
http://jaxpubliclibrary.org/

 

January 18, 2017

HBCU Bloggers What Does It Take in 2017

wm-jackson
Attending WordPress WordCamp in
Philadelphia #WordCampUS

HBCU Bloggers What Does It Take in 2017
Updated 2017
by Prof. William Jackson
Edward Waters College
Educational Technology and Social Media

Ideas from a Blogger, Influencer, Speaker,
Thought Leader, Presenter and Educator

What does it take to be a blogger and social media
influencer? The ability to create content and share
on Social Media platforms is a process to influence
thinking, decisions and actions of readers. To
develop a personal Brand that exemplifies the
spirit of HBCUs. Students need the exposure and the
opportunity to network with those in the industries
they are interested in. To become serious in their
quest for success and growth.
Exposure is important and networking is vital
to being seen digitally and socially.

blog

Provided by Prof. Jackson
1. Write as if the world is going to view your content
and provide feedback. When people read your blogs
they should understand your passion and the direction
you are going.
2. When blogging take the time to read, review, rewrite,
and revise what you have written. Grammar and spelling
count a great deal.
3. Reflection is important, it is vital to think on your
writings and consider your desired end result, what is
your mission and vision for your content?
4. Embrace the diversity of the world, it expands your
ability to connect and engage with the diversity of your
audience. Your blogs should be able to reach out to
diverse audiences and make a connection.
5. Attend conferences that allow for sharing of ideas
and concepts. No blogger is an island to themselves.
6. When writing remember your building relationships
with others. This is important to establish connectivity
and validity.
7. Read writers that you respect and admire, this
inspires your creativity and literary growth.
8. Storytelling paints a picture, so use words that
encourage the imagination and inspire consistent
content development. Be careful of using cultural
or street language, think about the audience and their
interests.
9. When writing understand that writing is a process,
the more you write the better you get.
10. Don’t be afraid to submit your blogs to newspapers
to be published. You never know who will publish your
works. Even if you are rejected 100 times 101 might be
the one that gets you an awesome gig.
11. Keep your passion and excitement about your writing,
it is an extension of who you are.
12. Write for enjoyment and a purpose.
13. Your writing is an important part of who you are,
what you are growing into and how to expand your voice.
14. HBCU students continue to grow in your field, you may
start off in a tradition blog, be willing to
incorporate Microblogging, Podcasting, Vblogging and
other technologies that reach diverse audiences.
15. Never doubt your ability to grow beyond where you are.
16. Don’t blog when you are emotional, your judgement will
be blurred.
17. Never use your blog to spread racism, profanity,
prejudice, hate, sexism or involve in Sexting. This will
damage your Brand and your reputation.
18. Be careful of who you associate with, this may influence
future internships and scholarships.
19. Never let random people take your picture, they can be
used later against you.
20. Freedom of speech is a constitutional right until you
slander, accuse, threaten and demean others.
21. Be careful and protect your intellectual property, don’t
use company or school based hardware/software to store
blogs, videos or photos.

A blogger is a life-long journey and should be a life
long adventure.

December 30, 2016

Building African Bloggers and Innovators in 2017

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Building African Bloggers and Innovators in 2017
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Twitter @wmjackson – #MyQuestToTeach

“What should we be doing going forward?”
Africans can save Africa: Arnold Ekpe at TEDxEuston
There are millions of potential brother and sister bloggers
in Africa, diverse people of color and culture, yearning to
tell their stories, developing and waiting to share their
Brands and expand their opportunities to collaborate in
education, business,commerce, finance and global
entrepreneurship.
This writing is a contribution of knowledge to share and
hopefully motivate and inspire Africans desiring to Blog,
Microblog,  Videoblog, Podcast and create dynamic content
within their communities. Their (African) voices and stories
are important and should be shared on a global platform of
respect and collaboration on dynamic Social Media platforms.
To represent the African diaspora and historical significance
of the art of storytelling.
What better way than to share with the world, to create unique
content that is just as diverse as the most culturally rich
continent in the world, Africa. I encourage Africans of all ages
to write their stories, to use their creativity to share innovative
ideas and create content that bridges generations and cultures.
The ability to create unique and transformative content that
can connect and unify their continent.

Following the literary talents of Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa
Thiong’o, Wole Soyinka, Ben Okri, Buchi Emecheta, Ama
Ata Aidoo, Dinaw Mengestu, Africans are historic creators
of stories’, poets, and diverse content creators.
African children are learning that through education
they can contribute to the world in ways not available
decades ago.
Colonialism attempted to silence the voices of Africans,
it failed because the voices of Africans can be heard
whispered on the flowing waters and in the air currents,
stories that travel through the trees, and the paths both
dirt and paved across the continent.
Social Media platforms and tools are allowing African
boys and girls to share their stories with the global
community, bringing attention to their lives right from
their mouths and to the ears of billions globally.

kids

As an educator and parent I want to encourage African
children, teens, youth and young adults to share their
stories through the diverse tools that blogging has to
offer and enhance their language abilities, “language
is the way to memory.”
Prof. Wm Jackson #MyQuestToTeach
Do not allow others to tell your stories as was done
during the centuries of slavery, oppression and
colonization.
In the spirit of Chinua Achebe share your stories and
let the world hear you. Chinua Achebe the “Father of
African Literature” has stated many times that the
minds of the people were influenced by the
colonization of Europeans.
That African writers need to be activist in their
writing, to challenge the thinking of Africans, to
encourage intellectualism and activism even still
today.
The thinking and the writing of Africans are
challenging the “emperors” way of thinking,
“because the storyteller has a different agenda”
than the emperor, “Conversation with
Chinua Achebe 2012.”

shutterstock_128237849-620x350

In many ways Africans have a responsibility to
share their stories and share their voices, what
better way to tell truth to life what Europeans have
tried to deny for decades. There was a denial
of building of thought leaders and intellectuals in
Africa during colonial rule. The independence of
Ghana in 1957 and subsequently other African
countries allowed for the potential of building new
intellectuals that in turn will teach others. Sharing
the value of their voices just as Achebe, Soyinka
and others have done, storytelling is a powerful
tool to build cultural pride and dignity.
The 20th and 21st century have opened new ways
for Africans to soar, to embrace the winds of
change that allow for the chains of colonialism to
dissipate. Achebe shares that Africans have the
right to share their expressions. No matter the
medium, the tools, or the platform.
The encouragement of children is important because
as Achebe says that “children can fly,” and should
be encouraged to.
Achebe states that he writes because he likes to
write, I feel the same passion. To share not just
stories, but information to encourage people to think,
contemplate, dream, consider the possibilities to grow
beyond the limited imaginations of those that
do not respect the diversity and the heritage of African
nations or the diaspora.
Africans must tell their stories, share their voices and
build a new dynamic identity for the 21st century.
Africans are more than a people to be colonized and ruled.
They are a people that have passions, expectations, and
dreams, this should be shared with the world.
African voices can influence geopolitical decisions that
will take Africa into the 22nd century and beyond.
Africans as a collective can influence the gaps in education,
in commerce, in the innovation of technology and the
opportunities to achieve more to the benefits of Africa and
African people, not just people from other countries.
54 countries united to solve their own problems can
achieve great things if they unite and speak united. Africa
united as a strong united force to make positive and
transformative change.
These powerful words from stated that, “no foreigners
have ever developed a country, the nationals have developed
their own country.”
Africans can save Africa: Arnold Ekpe at TEDxEuston
https://youtu.be/D70ZybuB-rE

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Resources:
Bridging the Diaspora Divide – Teresa H. Clarke at TEDxEuston
https://youtu.be/sg6F-M6v1iM

South African Bloggers
http://weblogforlove.com/

Africans can save Africa: Arnold Ekpe at TEDxEuston
https://youtu.be/D70ZybuB-rE

African on the Blog
http://www.africaontheblog.com

 

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