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


April 30, 2017




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
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
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.

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

Akia Uwanda how she started her career
Blue Print for Success
Financial Aid for Higher Education
First Step to get Money
Free Money for School
Getting Loans for Higher Education
How to Address Bullying In School
Scholarships for Higher Education
Starting A Music Career Akia Uwanda
Starting Your Careers
The Stress of Bullying

My Photos:



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.

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 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.


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.

Journey Into Womanhood –
JIW Facebook –
The Program

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

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