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 30, 2017

POWHERFUL Women and BROTHERHOOD of MEN

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POWHERFUL Women and BROTHERHOOD of MEN
Girl Version 

by William Jackson
Twitter @wmjackson
Blogging #MyQuestToTeach

The recent summits for teen and young adults in Jacksonville
shows that the community understands the need for engagement
with young ladies and young men of this city and Northeast
Florida.
To build leaders, strengthen community, encourage personal
self-esteem and the importance of applied educational knowledge
to help young ladies and young men build into leaders and
activists.
High schools; private, public and charter were represented
well by the participants that showed young people in Jacksonville
are among the best and brightest in the nation.
Both teen and young adult women and men need to understand the
value of applying their learning to potential careers and
future growth in economics, commerce, business, politics,
community services and as entrepreneurs that will run businesses
employing their peers.
Education is not just gained in school classrooms; networking
is a learned skill and having self-esteem, self-respect,
life goals and long term aspirations is vital.
The POWHERFUL and I CHOOSE BROTHERHOOD summits each empower
their unique audience of teens and young adults geared to
that audience. The diversity of attendance represents the
cultural diversity of Northeast Florida and that all cultures
are valuable and contibute to the success of our city.
Each summit had local and national influencers in a various
industries that draw local and national attention to issues
important to teens and young adults.
Summits like these touch on a broader audience and has
a ripple affect in teens and young adults becoming themselves
influencers and smart creatives in their community and schools.
The unique nature of each summit is that there were not gender
distractions. POWHERFUL was dedicated to young ladies and
I CHOOSE BROTHERHOOD dedicated to young men.
Jacksonville needs to continue to provide summits, workshops,
and conferences that focus on teens and young adult issues,
they cannot be ignored nor denied the constitutional rights
they are guaranteed of opportunities of speak and assembly.
Jacksonville is learning that issues are not settled by law
enforcement, laws, curfews or other legislative embargoes.
Children, youth, teens and young adults need interactive
engagement with the adults in their lives to talk about
the issues that are important to them.
As a parent, educator, mentor and community activist the best
results are gained by caring and showing that you do care about
young people by being engaged and active. Society can only be
best served when our children, teens and young adults know
that they can be seen and heard.

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Resources:
POWHERFUL – Instagram – Twitter – Facebook = @powherfulfdn
Soledad O’Brien, Starfish Foundation – Twitter @soledadobrien
Sheba Turk , News Anchor – Twitter @shebaturk
Akia Uwanda , Entertainer and Entrepreneur
FB – akiauwandaentertainer – Twitter – @akiauwanda

Videos:
Akia Uwanda how she started her career
https://youtu.be/eMLFq_Vs0AM
Blue Print for Success
https://youtu.be/lkI4TnMoy1Q
Financial Aid for Higher Education
https://youtu.be/rmDMpz0AGSU
First Step to get Money
https://youtu.be/JQIdQbKvbn8
Free Money for School
https://youtu.be/RMc0e2Mh2s8
Getting Loans for Higher Education
https://youtu.be/38Fjt7ITmas
How to Address Bullying In School
https://youtu.be/fr4NmN09WYM
Scholarships for Higher Education
https://youtu.be/sgyfi7cthtA
Starting A Music Career Akia Uwanda
https://youtu.be/gABGgFXpFKU
Starting Your Careers
https://youtu.be/cNI_lnSiXdY
The Stress of Bullying
https://youtu.be/PEfNaVqTzns

My Photos:
http://s1211.photobucket.com/user/williamdjackson/POWHERFUL%202017/story

 

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February 26, 2017

A Girls Journey Into Social Media

A Girls Journey Into Social Media
by William Jackson and Breyonna Fox
My Quest to Teach

JIW Group Photo.jpg

Journey Into Womanhood a wonderful collaboration of
young ladies from elementary age to high school held a
workshop  dedicated to teaching about Social Media
safety and responsibility, the prevention of Cyberbullying
and the problems Sexting causes in destroying a girls
reputation and potentially their future career choices.

Elexia Coleman the director and visionary of the program
provides educational,  intellectual, culturally bonding and
community experiences that help girls and young  ladies
grow and blossom in an environment that is encouraging
and engaging.

JIW is an opportunity for girls and young ladies to experience
presentations on multiple levels of activity; professionals like
William Jackson and his intern Breyonna Fox talked to the
ladies on serious subjects that potentially influence decisions
that can have social and career influences.

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Asya and Breyonna Fox

Ms. Fox spoke on her experiences on being bullied and how
Sexting can destroy lives and involve law enforcement.
Ms. Fox shared how girls in high school are under the false
ideas that Sexting is glamorous until their photos are shared
with others that where not intended to see them because of
breaking up with friends and trying to impress a boy or girl.

Boys are involved in Sexting as well and can suffer social and
criminal investigation. There are legal issues that could result
in charges of pornography and child endangerment that may
follow a boy or girl through their life. Ms. Fox shared that  each
girl present  should have personal self-confidence and
self-respect. “The unfortunate reality is that  girls and women
have committed suicide because of Bullying and Sexting.”
Breyonna Fox

william-jackson

William Jackson a teacher in the public school system and a
Professor at Edward Waters College shares with the young
ladies that there is nothing a boy or man can provide that is
more important than personal respect and pride. Through
education a young lady and woman can achieve great things
above and beyond the material things a person like a boy or
girl can give them.

The title of the workshop, “How to be Dope and Responsible
on Social Media,” is available to other organizations that work
with youth, teens and young  adults.  Mr. Jackson speaks at the
international conference Preventing Crime in the Black
Community on preventing bullying, cyberbullying, the power
of incorporating STEM in  education and many aspects of
Social Media.

Volunteers are key to the success of JIW program that will be
celebrating the end of another program year on
Sunday, April 9th  2017 at their annual banquet. JIW is a 501c3
program and accepts donations to provide services to the
participants that will have life-long influence to help the
young ladies grow into future leaders in business, finance,
commerce, education and other careers that fulfill dreams.

The rewarding results of JIW can be seen in the community
involvement of girls and young ladies like Taylor Richardson
#AstronautStarBright, she is working to become an astronaut
and travel to Mars and back,  Taylor and her mom are working
to help girls and women in Jacksonville to see the movie
“Hidden Figures.” They were both invited by the Obama
administration to the White House premiere. Sitting with
current and past NASA astronauts, the actors of Hidden
Figures, First Lady Michelle Obama and other dignitaries.

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Taylor along with other young ladies are doing extraordinary
things in the community and bringing awesome media and news
reports of the great contributions young ladies are providing in
Jacksonville, Florida.

Sponsorship’s and donations are welcomed by JIW to help
continue the works they do in the community that influence
positive directions and accomplishments.

 Resources:
Journey Into Womanhood – http://theconnectory.org/program/journey-into-womanhood-2
JIW Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/empowerment.resources/
The Program
http://www.empowermentresourcesinc.org/what-we-do/journey-into-womanhood-program/

Additional Photos from 2017 -2016 – 2015 Workshops on
STEAM – Cyberbullying – Social Media – Sexting – Education

February 6, 2017

My Hidden Figures Reflection

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Taylor and students from Venetia Elementary and Lee High School

My Hidden Figures Reflection
By: Breyonna Fox,
Blogging Intern with My Quest To Teach
Jacksonville, Florida
My first thought when I finished watching Hidden
Figures was, “Wow, they actually did all of those
things, like they accomplished their goals.” I thought
this was very inspirational, because back then it was
very hard for other races besides Caucasians, to do
the things they wanted and love. In the movie there
is a part when Mary Jackson’s husband even doubts
her accomplishing her dreams, showing how
un-motivated people were and how many dreams
were simply crushed and forgotten.

Then there was Dorothy Vaughn who wanted to be
a supervisor for her group of women who are highly
skilled with computers. She wanted to move on with
her dreams when she realized Katherine and Mary
was moving up with theirs. NASA wouldn’t make
her a supervisor though, she worked hard and even
acted like a supervisor to her group of woman. Then
one day she got a huge offer, but she would only do
it if her girls were with her as well. So they allowed it.
She finally became a supervisor. She is the first
African American woman to supervise a staff
at the West Area Computers Division. Another part
in the movie shows when she took her sons to the
library to get some books to help her out with work,
they ended up getting kicked out, just because
Dorothy needed the book, but the library was whites’
only.

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It was upsetting to see how she couldn’t check
out the book and then the security guard pushed
her sons out as well. Then when she got on the
bus she still had the book on her and when her
sons asked why and she said she pays taxes
and those taxes help the library out. I know
Dorothy is a very witty and strong person. She
stayed determined in what she believed in and
knew she could accomplish her goals, she didn’t
leave her girls and moved them up with her.

Mary Jackson, wanted to become an engineer,
in the beginning she had doubts about it. She
was talking about it with her co-worker and she
said how impossible it felt, her co-workers told
her she could do it, because they were already
doing the impossible. I thought about what she
said and how she had hope that Mary could
accomplish her goals. It showed me even when
things feel impossible, they aren’t. She even
went to court to fight for what she wanted and
got night classes at University, an all-white
school! That was amazing. I really loved that part,
because that filled so much hope in Mary and
made her believe more in herself that she could
accomplish a lot more things after that, Mary
Jackson became the first female African
American NASA engineer. Mary is a sassy, brave
and determined for what she fights for.
Last, but not least was Katherine Goble,
she was strongly skilled in mathematics and
had an analytical mind. She got a new assignment
by Al Harrison, so she had to move to a new
part of the company.

When she was getting escorted, the woman told her,
“you will be the first black person here. Don’t make
me regret choosing you. Most people only last a few
days, so don’t get used to it.” Then when Katherine
entered everyone stared at her. Her co-workers were
rude towards her as well. She went to grab some
coffee and everyone was staring at her. She
immediately felt uncomfortable and sat down and
sipped her coffee slowly. After that incident they
got a second coffee maker and it said “colored”,
she went to use it, it was empty, sending a message.

This showed me how even though Katherine
accomplished her goals, there will always be people
trying to bring her down. Then she got upset and
explained to Harrison how rude everyone was acting
towards her and how she never got pearls and how
no one wants to use the same coffee maker as her,
since earlier she was always in the bathroom and he
would ask where she went. Then the next day he
tore down the “whites only” bathroom and the
“colored” signs and he said, “no whites or colored,
we’re all the same here.” That showed me how
Al Harrison really cared about Katherine as an
employee and he didn’t care about skin color.

Then when Katherine got engaged, her co-workers
got her a pearl necklace, which was Harrison’s ideas
too, which she wore to her wedding. Then later on in
the movie, when John Glenn was going to orbit
around earth, he said he only trusted Katherine with
her calculations and with his safety, he knew she
was brilliant and he only trusted her not the computer
machine. He was right too, he had trouble up in space,
but he got back safe.

Katherine played a huge roll in John Glenn’s journey
and Apollo space program landing a man on the moon.
In 2015, Katherine received National Medal of Freedom
from President Obama.

breyonna-fox
Breyonna Fox, blogger

This movie showed me that anything you set your mind
to you can accomplish. You just have to stay determined
and full of courage. This movie is very inspiring and
does prove to other women and girls they can do things
even when they feel it’s out of their reach.
Edited by Prof. William Jackson  #MyQuestToTeach

Resources dedicated to women
TEDxFSCJ Salon: Lift as We Climb:
Women Race and Politics
Thursday, February 16, 2017
6:00pm – 8:00pm
FSCJ – Downton Campus
Auditorium A-1068
http://www.tedxfscj.com/events/

Real Talk Real Change
We Are Women Hear Us More..
Thursday, February 16, 2017
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Riverside North – 2711 Edison Avenue
Jacksonville, Florida
rtrc20viii20-20fb20cover20-20320sponsors_0

January 27, 2017

What’s Next for Hidden Figures In The Future

What’s Next for Hidden Figures In  The Future
by William Jackson

taylor-and-mom

Congratulations to Latanya Richardson and her daughter
Taylor Richardson for the success of showing Hidden
Figures in Jacksonville, Florida to over 200 girls.
The awesome story of how African American women
helped NASA to put astronauts into space and bring
them back to earth.
Girls and women from around Jacksonville, Florida
attended representing groups and schools from
around the city. As a teacher I had the honor to bring
several students from Venetia Elementary School a
Medical Magnet STEM that teaches grade K to 5th 
and
a Lee High School student. My only regret is
that I could not bring more.

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The emotional and psychological inspiration of
this movie demands to ask what is next to keep
the seriousness and the historical value of this
movie moving forward. STEM and STEAM that
are being applied in the educational cultures of
schools is seen as not only career necessary, but
has scientific, business and commerce influences
in this country and on a global scale.
The movie brilliantly showed not just the struggles
of women in the NASA Space Program, but showed
the value and application of their education.
The reason why educational degrees are important,
the value of visiting the library to learn new things
and applying them to real world situations, and the
personal responsibility to prepare for the future.

book-hf

There were many scenes where the women were called
“computers” as their analytical abilities where recognized,
but only later were they respected after showing and
demanding equality through leadership opportunities and
promotions that were withheld only because of their color.
Working with many types of math and integrating
mathematical equations that sometimes had to be created.
This shows that girls and women have the skill sets and
analytical abilities to function in complex and STEAM
areas that demand creativity and innovation.

Hidden Figures addressed several civil rights issues in the
areas of political and educational equality that in some cases
are still being addressed for Black
s, Hispanics and others of
color,
the struggle still continues and there
have been many successes.

group-picture

Girls and women will take away many lessons from the
movie and see how history was changed not just by
protests, by going to school to earn advanced degrees,
learning the laws of the nation, how to speak properly
without using profanity, the importance of family unity
and support and setting goals that everyone works towards.

Another important key is to carry or act like there is
self-pride, cultural respect and intelligence.
 A key lesson
shared is that children  
learned early that education is
the ticket to a better life even when there are
struggles
and
challenges to be overcome.

Even seeing the implementation of “new” technologies
at the time when early computers where not as easy to
use, but there was continued learning in programming
languages that demanded studying and forward thinking.
The movement to gaining educational parity and equality
is a great value for boys and girls of color, this movie is
worth seeing again and applied to the learning initiatives
in all schools to allow students to see the why they
need to be serious about their education and the vision
for their dreams of success.

ibm

Seeing the new IBM computers being used, but it
took a woman to learn the programming language to
make it work sends a message that women are as smart
and intelligent as men, even if those men are Black
or white.
There are no barriers than can stop girls and women
from gaining l
eadership skill-sets and applying the
intelligence to make positive and historical changes.
Parents, mothers, fathers, and grandparents if you
have not seen Hidden Figures take your children and
other children if possible to see this movie that not
only shows the historical application of education
and cultural  pride and respect, that gender is not
a liability
, color is not a curse, there is a blending of
historical successes and  global influence.

movie-relaxing

Hidden Figures opens the mind’s eye that anything is
possible, t
hat dreams can be achieved, and intelligence
is Dope and Lit.
What is next is up to parents, schools, churches and
communities to support children, youth and teens.
Time will tell, graduations rates from high school
and college will tell and the growing number of girls
and boys of co
lor in  STEM careers will tell.

 

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