Friday, November 23, 2012

Richard Wright Public Charter School and the Maryland Foster Youth Resource Center

Dr. Mike Robinson, host of Parent Talk Live highlighted two community based organizations parents and community stakeholders need to know. In part three of a three part series on Organizations you need to know.

The first guest of the evening, Dr. Marco Clark, CEO and Head of School, Richard Wright Public Charter School located in Washington, DC. Dr. Clark is a young visionary leader on the rise with an urgent message to deliver about the state of urban education/youth. Currently, he serves as Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts in Washington, DC.

His second guest, Ms. Shalita O’Neale, Founder and CEO of Maryland Foster Youth Resource Center, located in Baltimore, Maryland. Shalita O’Neale is a former foster youth from Baltimore, Maryland where she spent 19 years collectively in kinship and foster care. She initially entered kinship care at 2 years old and bounced back and forth between family members before officially entering foster care at the age of 13. She graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park with a B.A. in criminology in 2004 and is currently seeking her Master of Social Work at the University of Maryland Baltimore.

Hite hires his CFO from Prince George's County

Superintendent William Hite has hired Matthew E. Stanski as chief financial officer for the School District. Stanski worked in that position in the Prince George's County school district when Hite was head of the schools there.
Stanski, 34, left Prince George's under controversial circumstances. Persons close to the situation indicated that it was the product of turmoil resulting from Hite's own hastened departure and did not reflect on Stanski's skills or fitness for the job here.
The controversy, reported in the Washington Post, focuses on Stanski's cutting of a severance check for another departing official that was not authorized by the Board of Education. 
In an interview, Hite said that Stanski has "a good bit of technical knowledge and the right disposition" for the job. Among other things, Hite said, Stanski helped Prince George's eliminate a $300 million deficit and turned in budgets that received clean audits after years of problematic ones.
Hite said that Stanski also has his trust, and that is important, given the District's history of poor communication between former Superintendent Arlene Ackerman and former CFO Michael Masch.
"Part of it was a level of comfort, and I wasn't the only one who felt like he has the type of skills that we needed," Hite said.
School Reform Commission member Feather Houstoun said that Stanski was "head and shoulders above the other candidates that we met." Chief Recovery Officer Thomas Knudsen, who has already been working with Stanski, said in a statement that Stanski "has the full confidence of Dr. Hite. I cannot emphasize how important that is."
Houstoun said she was looking for a CFO who could assemble a good team, had been part of a high-performing organization, and could "translate and bring to understandable terms the complexity of what we are dealing with." 
She said that Stanski met those criteria.
"I was aware of the controversy in Prince George's County before I met him," Houstoun said. "We talked about it ... and it did not, to me, rise to be a disabling thing. I think he will be a real asset to the District."
Prince George's school board member Donna Hathaway also spoke highly of Stanski and said his departure took place in a "politicized environment."
"In my years working with Matt, I had the utmost respect for him, his abilities, the way he presented budgets and his knowledge," Hathaway said.
According to those with knowledge of the controversy, the Prince George's general counsel told Stanski to write a lump-sum severance check to former human resources director Synthia J. Shilling instead of paying out her severance in biweekly increments -- and he did so. Shilling left the district in August when she was facing trial for leaving the scene of an accident.
Stanski and the general counsel were dismissed. Stanski appealed the dismissal and was allowed to resign, according to persons with knowledge of the situation.
Stanski is the second Prince George's official Hite has brought with him to high-level positions. The other is Karyn Lynch, who is chief of student services.
He starts Monday, according to District spokesman Fernando Gallard.

When Daddy Dances Daughters Smile

“Nothing I've ever done has given me more joys and rewards than being a father to my children.” Bill Cosby

The importance of fathers can never be disputed in a child’s life. There are many committees, organizations, groups, and clubs that support the growth and development of girls and young women locally and nationally. My personal association with Girls Inc. is participating in the Daddy Daughter Dance. I was fortunate to accompany two of my TEAMUP students to this great event. They had never participated in this type of dance and I was honored and humbled that their mother, a single parent raising her two girls allowed me to take them.

As you can imagine they were excited beyond words. As an educator in public education and working with TEAMUP through The Bridge at my school enables me to teach and encourage young girls and boys to be the best they can be and to teach them to always strive for the stars in academics, to guide social behaviors and motivate students to learn. It amazes me that so many people criticize teacher’s, we do our collective and individual bests to help students in and out of the classroom. As a father and educator it is important to support all children with an anointing of encouragement, wisdom to help them overcome obstacles that they may face in life and model the value of education. This is the responsibility of a father, to be supportive, encouraging, wise of the dangers of the world, use loving discipline and have high expectations to guide their daughters to success and just as importantly sons also.

I encourage fathers, even divorced fathers to be involved in their daughters, stepdaughters, granddaughters, and Goddaughters life. It does make a profound difference in how daughters develop emotionally, mentally and even spiritually. There are too many detrimental influences in society through media outlets; radio, TV, social media and other avenues that do not support positive and healthy lifestyles for girls and women. Statistics do show the positive influences of fathers that are involved, but it goes beyond statistics. It affects the very fiber of societal influences and economic directions for girls as they mature into women. Involvement by father’s means: honest and open communication, sharing of behavioral expectations, visiting schools and talking with teachers and administrators, volunteering in schools, family outings, emotional support, follow through on promises, keeping your word and owning up or “Man Up” to mistakes.

“A dad is someone who is a daughter's first love will be there for you no matter how bad of a mistake you've made will stand up for you when you need him; will give you their hugs and shoulders to cry on promises you that you will always be his little girl loves you so much and will sacrifice whatever it is to make you happy again A father is supposed to be the one man who will never give up on you ” Unknown No father is perfect, striving to be the best father/dad for your children is more important than how much money is in your pockets or trying to impress people. “A dedicated father is someone who carries pictures in his wallet where his money used to be.” William Jackson, from personal experiences Girls Inc.’s Daddy Daughter Dance provides daddies of all ages, cultures, and races to come together in support of their children and supporting the mission and vision of Girls Inc.

As stated on their web site; Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through life-changing programs and experiences that help girls navigate gender, economic, and potential social barriers. These words have importance, when girls grow into strong, intelligent, educated and empowered women she can accomplish great things in the world and be a role model for girls and women all around her. Fathers support your daughters; encourage their talents and abilities to grow into productive and successful women. Fathering / Parenting is not easy, in the grand scheme of life girls need their fathers. You have to be involved (connected) to be a positive and beneficial influence in your girl’s life.

My Daddy Daughter Pictures William Jackson, M.Ed. My Quest To Teach

Thursday, October 11, 2012

An Exclusive Interview with Dr. Jonathan Cohen: Cofounder and President National School Climate Center (formerly the Center for Social and Emotional Education)

 By: Staff, Living Education eMagazine


LEeM: What is school climate? Is it really something one can see and touch?

Dr. Cohen: The National School Climate Council suggests that school climate refers to the quality and character of school life. School climate is based on patterns of students and also parents and teacher’s experiences. It really reflects the norms, what are our goals we have when we come into school everyday. What are our values? How do we listen and treat each other? How are we as teachers and learners and all the other things that go into making us feel safe and supported and engaged and challenged or not.

LEeM: Is it really something one can see and touch?

Dr. Cohen: What is amazing about school climate today is, we can measure it. In a very simple way with a survey. We can get a read on how the kids and or how the parents, guardians, teachers, and even how the community members feel about what is working or not in our schools.  That data can be like a flash light. It can point us in a direction of where we need to go to make things even better in our schools. That is really neat.

LEeM: It has been stated there is no one size fits all method for creating a positive school climate, but in your opinion are there a few core factors when present enhances the likelihood of a positive school climate?

Dr. Cohen: I agree with the assertion of your question. There is no one way that works for all schools. Every single school has its own unique history, experiences, and unique community strengths, needs and goals. However, it is important to note, that any meaningful school reform honors that and in a basic way. Exactly as you are saying, it is really grounded in the uniqueness of each school community, but there are I think a number of organizing principal that are really helpful for every community

To Read More Click Here

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Kimberly K. Parker: "MONEY MOTIVATES"

          As a mother of four with a child in college, a child in high school, a child in middle school, and a child in elementary school, my wheels are reinvented quite regularly.  With such a diverse group of children, I am consistently strategizing on how to achieve desired results, particularly with my three younger children.  Recently, I learned a very important fact: money motivates.

           My high school son just does not like rolling out the bed.  On average, he gets a solid eight hours of sleep unless he is reading leisurely before turning out the lights.  In spite of this, he still finds it a bit challenging to rise.  On an occasion or two, his delay caused me to take him to school.  I was not a happy camper.  I lectured him a bit, but began getting tired of hearing myself.  I decided I had to try a different strategy and immediately thought, “Money!”

          My son is both an entrepreneur and an employee.  He tutors young children in French and math as well as puts in few hours on the weekend at a small business in the community.  Considering his savings has grown, I decided to forego lecturing.  Instead, he is required to give me $20 every Monday morning.  If by Friday he has gotten up and out of the house on time, he will get his $20 back.  For each day he does not, I charge him $4.  Since employing this motivational tool, I’ve not had to take him to school.

           My middle school son, on the other hand, pops up bright and early regularly.  However, he has the tendency to lose items I typically have to replace.  He is super famous for misplacing his lunch bag.  Last year, after loosing two within two weeks, I resorted to sending his lunch in recycled, plastic supermarket bags. 

          When school began this year, he ascended his soapbox with his, “I’m older and more responsible” speech in hopes of dishing the plastic.  Not willing to take any chances, I charged him $10 to carry one of several real lunch bags I own.  If he is able to keep up with it the entire school year, he’ll get back his $10.  If not, the money is mine and he’ll have to pay me $10 more to rent another lunch bag.  So far, so good.

          My elementary school daughter enjoys a trip to Toy’s R Us now and again.  She, too, is a great saver.  This past month, she put aside close to $50 given her from family and friends for reasons too numerous to name.  She knows that in order to spend some of her money on an item she likes, she has to bring home a great report from school and do her chores.  Let’s just say her visits are few and far between.  She just can’t seem to get a handle on that bedroom of hers, but she is making progress.

           My quest to discontinue ranting and raving about my expectations are far from over at this time.  What would motherhood be without a sermon or two?  However, just as my daughter, I’m making progress.


Kimberly K. Parker is the President and CEO of Writing Momma Publishing, LLC ( To date, she has helped over 23 children release five books in less than 13 months.  Kimberly offers online writing classes and workshops on this often dismissed subject.  Kimberly is a publisher, author, and blogger living in Maryland with her husband and three children.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pr. George's County Board of Education fires 2 high-level staffers

Thursday - 9/27/2012, 10:43pm ET
Recently fired Roger Thomas (in the center) and Matthew Stanski (far right)
WASHINGTON - The Prince George's County Board of Education called an emergency meeting Thursday afternoon and, hours later, two high-level staffers were gone.

Sources tell WTOP two Prince Georges' County School System staffers were fired: Matthew Stanski, the Chief Financial Officer, and Roger Thomas, Chief Legal Counsel were terminated. One source says as the Board of Education members filed in to the central offices in Upper Marlboro for their emergency meeting, Stanski, carrying boxes, was on his way out.  The same sources say the firings came after Board members learned Stanski and Thomas arranged for a six-figure check to be issued to Synthia Shilling, the school system's former Human Resources Officer.

Shilling resigned in August. At the time, she faced charges of leaving the scene of an accident.Shilling had been with the school system since 2006.

Attempts to reach both Stanski and Thomas were unsuccessful. By 3:30 pm the school email accounts for both men had been disabled.  The school board declined to offer any details on the firings, citing that it was a personnel matter.

Briant Coleman, spokesman for the Prince George's County School system, sent the following statement to WTOP:

Last week, an allegation was brought to the attention of the Board of Education and the interim Superintendent that specific Board directives issued in July and again in August regarding severance packages for members of the executive cabinet who resigned from employment were not properly followed. The Board immediately directed the interim Superintendent to investigate the allegation and take personnel action if he determined it appropriate to do so. Certain personnel actions have been taken. However, because information relating to personnel investigations and actions are confidential, no additional information will be provided at this time. This matter continues to be under review. The Board is taking this matter very seriously. Any abuse in complying with the Board's directives, policies and procedures will not be tolerated.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

PGCPS District 4 Board of Education Candidate Discussion

Dr. Mike Robinson, host of Parent Talk Live will facilitate a discussion on September 15, 2012 from 9am-10am with District 4 candidates for the Prince George’s County Public Schools’ Board of Education: Patricia Eubanks and Micah Watson their views and visions for the county’s educational system. This is not a debate, but a discussion on the important challenges, opportunities and trends impacting education in our County and across the United States. For one hour these candidates will answer questions, outline their goals and share their will answer questions, outline their goals and share their assessment of educational strengths and weakness of Prince George’s County Schools. These discussions are designed to help the community to fully understand the platform of those seeking to guide the 2nd largest school district in Maryland and the 18th largest in the United States.

Topic: The Future of PGCPS
Guest: Patricia Eubanks and Micah Watson
Date: Saturday, September 15, 2012
Time: 9am-10am
To call in dial: (914) 338-0344
Listen Online:

Patricia Eubanks

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


It’s 7:30pm on Saturday, August 11, 2012 and you’re probably wondering, “Why is Kimberly giving us time and date information?”  You see, I usually write in the wee hours of morning.  My creative juices tend to flow much better before the cock crows.  However, the exception today is nothing short of a crisis!

I just walked in the house from attending Rev. Jay Cameron’s Debt Free College Degree: The Seminar held at The Life Center.  The goal of the event was to show how to earn a top-quality college education…DEBT FREE.  Mission accomplished.  Due to so much jaw-dropping information shared, my mouth is still out on Route 301.  On a more serious note, Rev. Cameron dispensed tough medicine on the state of student loan debt that left me floored.  It is with his expressed consent that I will share...just a little.

Let’s start with the facts.  According to

  1. Student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt in America and is expected to surpass $1,000,000,000,000 (that’s one trillion dollars) in 2012. 
  2. The average undergraduate degree takes 5.58 years to complete.
  3. More than $150,000,000,000 (that’s one hundred fifty billion dollars) in financial aid is awarded annually.  Only 3% is in the form of scholarships.

These statistics go on and on.  See for yourself.

Rev. Cameron made it clear that, in large part, College Recruiters are professional sales people forced to make a quota.  Skeptical?  Check out the lies levied by these two for-profit universities and how one woman quit because her conscience, finally, became her guide.  Wait!  There’s more.  Rev. Cameron weaved in another video clip that really drove home his message on our crisis like this video on Looming Student Loans.  Thereto, he strongly encouraged us to watch this documentary called College Conspiracy.  Brace yourself.

Again, this is nothing short of a crisis that is impacting our country in a horrendous manner. Alas, Rev. Cameron offered much hope if we’re willing to change our lethal financial management habits, sacrifice to the bone, where necessary, and develop a plan…NOW! 

Here’s just a snippet:

  1. Take a real honest look at your debt and assess your financial picture.  No more running and hiding from those five to six figures.  You can’t “just pray it away.”  There must be deliberate action.  Faith without works is oh so dead!
  2. Don’t take on more debt.  Period.
  3. Develop a college education plan that will not add to your existing debt.  It’s quite possible to attend college without loans.

I could have sat there all day just ingesting the priceless information shared.  Now, I’m a bit more equipped to map out my children’s college education.  I merely scratched the surface of the seminar in this blog.  Please plan to attend and yourself as well as his stage play College Fever: The Stage Play.  Trust me: your life will forever be changed.

Kimberly K. Parker is the President and CEO of Writing Momma Publishing, LLC ( On September 8, 2012, the 2012 Write On! Writing Program participants will release their book entitled Young Voices.  Wise Words: Poems, Essays, and Short Stories at the Spaulding Library.  For more information visit Book Release Celebration.  Kimberly is a publisher, author, and blogger living in Maryland with her husband and three children.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

National Men Make A Difference Day For Academic Success

National Men Make A Difference Day For Academic Success

Research has shown that a father’s involvement in the academic lives of their children will last beyond their childhood; in fact their influence will expand well into the child’s early adult lives (Rosenberg & Bradford, 2006).  The benefits of an involved father or significant male role model are not limited to the homes of children’s where the fathers live. Studies have indicated children with fathers living outside the home but who remain involved benefit from having an engaged father. According to Fogarty and Evans (n.d.) children in homes with absent as defined in their study as nonresidential fathers, but who nevertheless engaged fathers benefit in a variety of ways: (1) stronger relationship with their dads as they enter adulthood; (2) better social skills in many cases than children whose nonresidential father is not engaged; (3) less behavioral problems; and (4) better grades. These are just a few of the benefits to having an engaged father who may not live in the home with the child.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Prince George's County Board of Education Names Interim Superintendent

UPPER MARLBORO, MD—The Prince George’s County Board of Education has selected Dr.Alvin Crawley, a senior-level administrator in the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), to serve as Interim Superintendent of Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) for the 2012-13 school year. A 32-year education veteran, Dr. Crawley currently serves as deputy chief of programming in the DCPS Office of Special Education and has held top roles inthe Arlington, Chicago and Boston public school systems. He will start Tuesday,Sept. 4. “Dr.Crawley will help to provide stability for our staff, students and families aswe search for our next Superintendent of Schools,” said Verjeana M. Jacobs, Board Chair. “We are confident that his leadership, experience with business operations and policy development, and commitment to narrowing the achievement gap will serve the Prince George’s County Public Schools community exceptionally well." “I am excitedto lead Prince George’s County Public Schools at this critical time,” said Dr.Crawley. “The school system has made significant academic strides in recent years and I look forward to helping students and teachers continue on that path. I will work with the Board of Education over the next few weeks to address immediate challenges and enhance successful programs and services.” Dr.Crawley is a co-author of Gaining on the Gap: Changing Hearts Minds andPractice, which details efforts by parents and staff in Arlington PublicSchools to eliminate the achievement gap between low-income students, students of color and their peers. He received his bachelor’s degree in communication disorders/education from Hampton University, master’s degree in speech and language pathology from Northeastern University, and doctorate in education with a focus on instructional leadership and administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr.Crawley will assist the Board of Education in assessing the school system’s five priority areas: high student achievement, highly-effective teaching, safe and supportive schools, strong community partnerships and effective and efficient operations. Dr. Crawley will work closely with Superintendent William R. Hite in the weeks before he leaves to take the helm of the School District of Philadelphia. Dr.Duane Arbogast will work alongside the Interim Superintendent as Acting Deputy Superintendent. Dr. Arbogast was tapped to serve as Acting Deputy Superintendent of Academics earlier this summer after spending three years asthe county schools’ Chief Academics Officer. He has been an educator for more than three decades with experience as an elementary teacher, assistant principal and principal. “Iam very pleased that the Board has selected me to serve the school system inthis wonderful new capacity,” said Dr. Arbogast. “I will use my strengths in academics affairs to keep our schools on the path of high achievement.” The Board of Education also named Monica Goldson as Acting Chief Operating Officer. Goldson previously served as the school system’s Assistant Superintendent of the High School Consortium, where she supervised 22 high schools and more than 140 administrators. The Board of Education is holding county wide forums about the Superintendent SearchProcess. The “Moving Forward Forums” will be held on the following dates: · Aug. 21 – Bowie High School, 15200 Annapolis Road, Bowie · Aug. 30 – Northwestern High School, 7000 Adelphi Road,Hyattsville Both forums will start at 6:30 p.m. The first forum was held Thursday at Central High School. “Now that we have completed the first steps of this search process, my colleagues on the Board and I look forward to discussing the next steps with the community,”said Jacobs. More information about the Superintendent Search Process can be found on line at -- Briant K. Coleman, M.A. Communications Officer Office of Communications Prince George's County Public Schools 14201 School Lane Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772 ▪ (301) 952-6375

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back To School Million Father March

Take your child to school on the first day and keep participating throughout the school year. I’m a divorced father, educators in public education over 20 years, instructor in higher education and community activist. I understand the importance of fathers in their children’s lives and see the devastating effects if fathers are not involved and the encouraging growth of children with involved and active fathers. Mothers are important in schools, but fathers can create a paradigm shift in the educational atmosphere that leads to higher graduation rates, lower dropout rates, decreased pregnancies and decrease in school violence. One of the responsibilities fathers are tasked with, the education of children. Traditionally it is not the woman’s job to educate; her job is to nurture and show the emotional aspect of growing up. Because of this understanding and the work to diminish school violence, the largest back to school enterprise in United States’ history will happen as school starts. The Million Father March will invite fathers, grandfathers, foster fathers, stepfathers, uncles, cousins, big brothers, significant male caregivers and family friends to take children to school on the first day of school. On Million Father March Day, Tuesday, September 4, 2012 or before when respective schools start in August and September. "To educate a man (and woman) in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society." (Theodore Roosevelt)

Fatherhood is a responsibility of unending change and humbling experiences. Fathers go through adaptation as their children mature and pull away from the closeness and security of home. The evolution of the family shows that there are more fathers that are stepfathers, surrogate fathers, adopted fathers and "oops" fathers. This shows that fatherhood is changing in designation, but  fathers are important to children and influence behaviors and attitudes. This school year more than ever fathers are going to have to; "Man-up, Step-up, Own-up, and Fess-up" to their responsibilities and participate more in schools. It is not enough to attend athletic events, provide peep talks, promise material rewards or even setting almost unachievable goals. Fathers must be visible and involved in schools to stop growing academic failures and work to stop increasing school violence.

Being a father includes making decisions not just for themselves, but for the child or children in their lives, sacrificing for their families and building their communities. Children are born into the world that requires fathers to review their accountabilities and responsibilities. Child rearing is never an easy thing in life, fathers must understand that the world is changing and their children need them to be active and involved. It can be seen in our schools which are a representation of society; fathers cannot be selfish in their actions and choices because they are models to their children and children that see them as idols.  

A father must provide guidance in wisdom, by sharing how important education is, that there is value in learning. Fathers need to show up at the school house and speak with teachers, administrators, coaches and tutors to make sure their child or children are learning and not being a disruption to the learning in classrooms. A father cannot do this once, he must be diligent, involved and importantly consistent. The Bible says in Hosea 4:6 (NKV), "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge."

This can be extended to children unsupported, unguided and lead astray. Fathers must show good judgment openly to their children; it is up to fathers to show that life does not have to be violent, thuggish, angry or lonely. Fathers do not let entertainment icons, rappers, musicians, and television athletes raise your children. As Charles Barkley once said parents should be their children’s role models not television athletes.
How different would children's lives be if fathers were as strong with children as the enthusiasm for sports teams or other recreational outlets? It is interesting that advertisements are rampant for fathers to buy football tickets so there won't be blackouts of football games, drink assortments of beers, but few commercials encouraging fathers to be more involved in the schools where future athletes and scholars will come from.
Men love to model behavior for their children; true behavior comes in the relationships with children. How many men display the same amount of dedication and devotion in relationships with their child that they are responsible for that they show for their sports teams? How much of a difference would it make in children respecting their mothers, being successful in school and contributing to society if fathers are actively modeling.
Proverbs 22:6 (NKJ), "Train a child in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not turn from it." The unfortunate reality is too many children are being lead into the juvenile justice system where they loose their identities and treated like human capital with more value on their imprisonment and less on t heir enlightenment with education. There should be no schools struggling or failing because fathers need to be involved, show more interest, more accountable for their child or children's academic involvement.

This is a defining moment in schools, young men particularly in today's society need to hear words of love, acceptance and dedication from their fathers. There are two institutions that desire children; Educational and Correctional. It is up to fathers to guide their children to the correct institution of educational growth which leads to a life of independence and productivity. The
Million Father March, fathers must realize the responsibility of their place in a child's life regardless if they are in the home or not, regardless of the distance between father and child through divorce or separation. This new school year should be more than just anointing heads with oil and prayers, more parents especially fathers involved in the schools to make sure children are successful.
Malcolm X stated, "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." If children are not prepared then parents are to blame if they are not involved as they should be. It is inexcusable for fathers not taking time to eat lunch with their child, or visit their child's school; fathers should know who their child's teacher is, what grade the child is in and the name of their child's school. They should attend PTA meetings, Schools Advisory Council meetings, School Board Meetings and Parent / Teacher Conferences.

Fathering is a stability of prayer, discipline, love, negotiation, trust and communication; fathering  does not come easy. Look in jails; look at the dropout rates to see the failures of non involved or non caring fathers. It will take the interaction of fathers to step up and become involved in their children’s life to guide them in the direction that builds character, a thirst for knowledge, value of hard work for success, educational attainment and building of communities. Fathers be involved, be committed and be encouraging.

Back To School Million Father March needs fathers involved and dedicated to the schools their children are enrolled in. Contact your child’s school to complete volunteer applications, chaperone applications, learn about their lunch hours and special events.

William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College
and Duval County Public Schools

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mrs. Kimberly K. Parker, discusses ALMOST BACK TO SCHOOL

There are exactly three weeks left before school resumes. Calculating the time remaining caused my stomach to drop a bit.  If I may confess, I’m not quite ready for my children to leave my four walls and return to those of their respective schools.  There’s much transition taking place with my older son going off to high school and my “Baby Boy” preparing to walk through middle school doors.  I wonder if I’m ready for all it will bring. 

For the time I have left, I will engross them in as much summer time fun as I possibly can.  Now that my writing camp has concluded and their summer camp ushered in wonderful grand finales, it’s our turn to spend time with each other.  Libraries, museums, swimming pools, and a loaded minivan heading up the East coast…here we come!

What do you plan to do with the three weeks you have left?  Perhaps your child is still attending a summer camp.  If not, here are a few suggestions on how to make the most of the time remaining:

  1. Start with a schedule. There is nothing more frustrating to both you and your child than planning on the fly.  Grab a calendar, map out your plan, and just do it!
  2. Visit your local museum. Just as I stated before, in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, the Smithsonian museums are plentiful. Also, the Newseum is offering free admission for children with a paid adult. Visit and for more information.
  3. Incorporate curriculum enrichment. Did you know in Prince George’s County Maryland a summer break work packet was available?  Check it out at Summer Break Packets.   Also, don’t be afraid to get a jump start on those science fair projects.  Schools tend to distribute information packets around the first of October, if not before.
  4. Hang out at the local library. If you have the time, check out the Positive Vibrations Steel Drum Band on July 31, 2012 at 10am hosted by the Bladensburg Library on Annapolis Road.  It’s going to be a great show. For details, call 301-927-4916.
  5. Make the Community News section of your local newspaper the “go to” resource for other free events. You’d really be surprised at what you will find.

There you have it! I sure hope this will help you to enjoy the last few weeks of the summer with your children!

Kimberly K. Parker is the President and CEO of Writing Momma Publishing, LLC ( On September 8, 2012, the 2012 Write On! Writing Program participants will release their book entitled Young Voices.  Wise Words: Poems, Essays, and Short Stories at the Spaulding Library.  For more information visit Book Release Celebration.  Kimberly is a ghostwriter, author and blogger living in Maryland with her husband and three children.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Divorced Fathers Use Tech To Connect

William Jackson, Contributor Living Education eMagazine

Fathering is a balance of love, negotiation, trust, setting high expectations and communication.What better way to stay connected than to text with your children. Fathers must be hyped to use technology to stay connected to their children with the integration of technology in their lives.

I’m a divorced father over 15 years; it has not been an easy journey. Communication is the key to keeping a relationship close from the challenges of divorce and separation. Military families have embraced technology because of long deployments and long distances by parents in the service of their country. So the use to texting and other Social Media tools is important. I was not always able to drive to see my kids that live over an hour away once their mother and I divorced.

My intent was to live as close as possible, but the responsibilities and realities of employment, finances and my personal / professional growth required me to move further away.

Travels and Distances

At one time I lived in Kingsland, Georgia before moving back to Jacksonville, so I would drive after work on Fridays over an hour to pick my kids up that live in Palatka, Florida and drive almost two (2) hours to bring them home with me. Sunday after church to take them home it was another two hours then back for me. The travel distance was a time for catching up and reflection on the weeks that passed between us. Allowing us the time to adjust to each other again. This travel time was sometimes tense because as many fathers know we have to wean through some of the drama of Baby Mama Drama. To dissolve the negative energy that may come with divorce. Talking is important when you have the F2F – Face Fathers must take advantage of all resources available to keep the lines of communication open and consistent.

In this age of many types of technology, communication should not stop. It can grow because of Texting, Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media tools right through wireless devices like cell phones.

Tech Using Daddy: Connect via Text

Children and Teens have cell phones for safety, there is a connection that can be used. I purchased
my kids first cell phones when they were in Middle School. I got them pre-paid to teach them responsibility and time management using them. This also was not a financial burden to me and
taught us how to manage time, minutes and importantly money. Their mother at first did not agree
to them having a cell phone, but once I pointed out that it was for their safety and our mental stability
and not for me to spy on her, she was more agreeable. Especially when several kids were almost kidnapped in Palatka. What saved them was the fact that they called 911 for help and were not hurt.

Statistics and Data

Statistics show that 75% of teenagers prefer texting to actual voice. Speaking to my kids they agree.
They would rather text so they can multi-task and not let their friends know they are talking to their father. It was not keeping me secrete, but teens have a sense of pride and privacy even with their
friends. Ironically that is true, I have more conversations hrough texting than voice. We share pictures through Instagram, share where we are on Foursquare and interact on Facebook. This is a
win-win situation because we can “see” what each is doing. If I do not approve of their content I
can exert fatherly advice, not in a demeaning way, as guidance and reinforcement.

Cell Phones and Accidents

The power of cell phones did pay off when my son was in a car accident and he texted to ask what
he had to do. Overcoming my brief panic I texted was he ok and with a positive reply I called and
we went through what he should do. This interaction allowed him to contact law enforcement, take pictures for insurance purposes, and keep in contact with me as I drove to him. The ironic aspect to this is that he could not contact his mother by voice, since she was at work and did not text. Even though I was at work texting kept us connected. Children may not admit it, but when you tell them ”have a  great day,” “good luck on your tests,” ”buckle up when you drive” and even the occasional “I love you” they receive that better than hearing you tell them. The beauty is that texting is always there for them to see and reflect on later.

A New Language

Fathers, learn to “speak the language” of your children. The new language today is digital. If you
notice the dialogue is short, direct and to the point. Texting is a great opportunity to span distances
and keep lines of communication open. Allows for more intimate tool when sharing your personal expectations for behaviors of your children. Fathers should be involved and have their children
“teach” them how to use it as a better way to connect, provide advice and not allow distances and
time keep a separation between father and children. At the recent SSTESOL Sunshine State Teachers
of English Speakers of other Languages conference that Ipresented, our discussion on Social Media,
this conference supported teachers that teach foreign language students English.

Even foreign students use technology to span distances and communicate with their parents and friends. The Youtube video “Digital Natives” shows that youth have made the transition from Face to Face (F2F) communication to totally virtual. Fathers embrace the use of technology and don’t be scared to ask your kids to teach you how to use it and take advantage of all the capabilities, this allows for more bonding, personal and digital connections.

Don’t allow divorce, separation or other life challenges keeping you from communicating with your children. There is always a way, but he will has to be there to. Take it from my experience and integrate technology whenever you can to communicate with your children. It will payoff
as they mature. Dad will always be there even if it is just a Text, Facebook,
Tweet or Instagram away.

William Jackson
@wmjackson Twitter

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Message From: President of Prince George's County Branch of the NAACP Mr. Bob Ross

Former Prince George's County Student Board Member Exposes The Truth About Our School Board

On Thursday June 28th student board member Faith Jackson courageously
spoke out against the ineffective Board of Education members in her
final address as student member of the board. In her speech she makes
clear that the Board of Education's priorities have gone far away from
helping to educate students.

Join the #SavePGCPS campaign a campaign to elect Edward Burroughs, Raaheela Ahmed, David Murray, and Micah Watson to the Board of
Education. Get involved by texting takenextstep to 41411 or go to


Prince George's County NAACP Servicing the Community Since 1935

Bob Ross, President

Saturday, July 7, 2012

When looking for the best qualities for a superintendent

Dr. Anna Bucy

When looking for the best qualities for a superintendent, a board need look no further than the superintendent evaluation instruments and handbook available from the Ohio School Boards Association and other well-researched sources. Generally speaking, a school superintendent should be an educator with clear systems-thinking skills. Gone are the days when a district administrator only needed to focus on balls, beans, and buses. District leaders for the 21st century must have a firm grasp on the global marketplace in which the district competes, the myriad stakeholders in the community the district serves, the curricular challenges of the district, and the effective (if not creative) management of the balls, beans, and buses.

Modern superintendents must have a proven track record of academic achievement, which is measured by far more than any standardized test scores. What is the candidate’s history with creating innovative programs for students, professional development for teachers and staff, and with seeking financial support? If the district has specific needs, as Greenon Local does, with respect to funding building projects and operations, the search committee needs to examine the candidate’s history along those lines and whether the candidate has ideas to bring to the district. In short, has the candidate done his/her homework?

Having non-educators evaluating whether a candidate for superintendent has all the necessary skills to be successful is a difficult endeavor. A key issue is that the board looks not at what they as individuals want in the superintendent, but what the district needs—what the students need—to be successful in the changing world.

While it is true that the school board, as representatives of the entire community, sets the mission and vision of the district, the superintendent must be able to implement that mission and vision in every decision he or she makes. A district’s current strategic plan should serve as the guide for any superintendent candidate looking to apply for work, and for boards evaluating candidates. Greenon Local has not publicly evaluated or updated its strategic plan in two years.

Hiring a superintendent means looking for someone to lead into the future—someone with clear leadership skills, a record of goal setting and accomplishing, and a focus on personal lifelong learning. Successful boards look for a superintendent that respects tradition, but is not bound by the way things have always been done when those methods may not move a district forward. This means, of course, that boards must also respect the path that brought the district where it is, but realize that business as usual may not take a district where it needs to go.

Superintendent candidates must also evaluate the board and district to which they are applying for work. A candidate must determine whether the board members work together well, whether there is much conflict within the board or district, what positive and negative information is available about the district, and whether the board seems to be actively addressing district needs. Any candidate that does not ask questions of the board or other search committee and does not appear to have researched the district is not a serious candidate.

In a small community like Greenon Local, the superintendent must be a working superintendent—no time to just delegate and dismiss. A superintendent must be skilled at building bridges within the community with stakeholder groups and within the schools with staff and faculty. Being a superintendent is a very difficult job that requires copious, open communication, respect of self and others, collaboration skills, and the ability to align and articulate mission, vision and goals across all areas of the district.

Friday, July 6, 2012


Hosted by:
Dr. Mike Robinson
Join Dr. Mike Robinson for a very special Parent Talk Live Saturday, July 7th from 9am-11am.
 Dr. Mike Robinson will discuss the future of Prince George's County Public Schools. After the recent departures of Deputy Superintendent Dr. Bonita Coleman Potter and Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite, Jr. how will the educational landscape of our County change?
There are many questions:
  • What will be the impact on the educational landscape in Prince George’s County given the shake-up of the system’s leadership?
  • Who will serve on an interim basis?
  • What role will County Executive Rushern Baker’s Education Commission consisting of some the best minds in the K-12, post-secondary, policy development, research analysis and leadership in the field of education both locally and nationally have in shaping the future of education in the county?
  • How does the specter of a changing Board of Education impact the search process?
  • What role will the community have in the selections process?
Whatever the answers, it is clear the educational system in Prince George’s County is primed for some real changes.
Join the discussion, our guest will included You and many others:
Dr. Anna Bucy, a nationally recognized expert in Board of Education Professional Development and a former member of her local board of education.
Mrs. Zabrina Epps, current candidate for the Prince George's County Board of Education District 1.
Mrs. Jennifer Harris, Political Commentator and national Blogger.
Mr. Micah Watson current candidate for the Prince George's County Board of Education District 4.
Ms Carletta Fellows current candidate for the Prince George's County Board of Education District 7.
Special Parent Talk Live
Subject: The future of Prince George's County Public Schools: What is the impact of the recent departures of Deputy Superintendent Dr. Bonita Coleman Potter and Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite, Jr.?
Date: Saturday, July 7, 2012
Time: 9am-11am
Call-in number: (347) 838-8303

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Kimberly Parker Talks About: Learning Differences Girls and Boys


I am dedicated to endless learning. Daily, I suss for what I call “brain gems.” Brain gems are derived from random insight into the world around me. I will gladly arrest the attention of my children at a moments notice so, together, we can dissect various topics.

“Okay, children. Time for critical thinking! What message do you believe is sent throughout the world when one names an R&B boy’s group ‘Mindless Behavior’?”

Yes. My critical thinking moments are that serious because the fate of our children demands such.

Recently, I chose to dive head first into a book that expounds upon the brain based learning differences between boys and girls. The Boys and Girls Learn Differently Action Guide for Teachers by Michael Gurian and Arlette C. Ballew is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. I have not been able to peel myself away!

In his introduction, Mr. Gurian states,

“Schools and educators in the United States are struggling to teach all that they need to teach, maintain discipline, build character, and provide for the safety of the children in their care…More and more decisions about education are being made by politicians, rather than educators, and few policy makers understand the differences between how boys’ and girls’ brains work, how they differ, and what they need in order to learn.”

What I’ve gleaned has changed my perspective on the staggering discipline statistics targeted at boys. What’s more, it has challenged the notion that children are so out of control whereby they need to ingest behavior modification drugs like Ritalin and Concerta. Page after heart wrenching page, I was left with this pervasive thought: Poor children. Poor teachers. Poor society.

Here is a bit of what I’ve learned:

• One of the best tools an educator can have is knowledge of the behavioral differences between girls and boys.
• Knowledge of brain based differences fosters the ultimate classroom experience, helps each child optimize natural learning abilities, reduces discipline problems, and removes labels (“Bad”, “ADHD/ADD”, etc.).
• Most female brains mature earlier/more quickly than males.
• Girls acquire complex verbal skills about a year earlier than boys.
• Girls take in more sensory/auditory/visual data than boys.
• Boys have a greater advantage if seated at the head of the class

The more I learn about children and their growing needs, the more equipped I am to assist them throughout their formative years. This book is one of many that can serve as a platform for educational reform in our country. While I do not claim to have all the answers, I strongly suggest that you become a committee, do your research, and implement change. At the very least, change can begin inside the four walls of your home and then spread abroad

  Kimberly K. Parker is the President and CEO of Writing Momma Publishing, LLC ( To date, she has written three books and has helped 12 children between the ages of nine and nineteen write and publish books of their own. This summer, she is offering “The Ultimate Writing Experience!” For more information visit and click on Writing Programs. Kimberly is a professional writer, author, publisher, and blogger living in Maryland with her husband and three children.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dr. William R. Hite named a finalist for superintendent School District of Philadelphia

Message from the Dr. William R. Hite

Dear PGCPS Community:

Earlier today, the School Reform Commission (SRC) for the School District of Philadelphia announced that I have been named a finalist for superintendent. This announcement comes after weeks of discussions with the SRC. While I have not sought out other professional opportunities, I have been approached on numerous occasions and have turned them down. However, my wife Deirdre and I believe this is an opportunity that we must explore.

Despite significant fiscal challenges, our school system has made significant progress and I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished over the last three years with the support of our school board members. As the search process continues, I will try to keep you informed.

As always, thank you for your support.


William R. Hite, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


Message from the Prince George's County Board of Education

The Prince George's County Board of Education released the following statement regarding Dr. Hite's selection as a finalist for superintendent for the School District of Philadelphia: 
"Dr. Hite is a talented superintendent and this announcement serves as validation of the progress we are making in our school district. If Dr. Hite were to leave, we would be sorry to see him go. However, we remain committed to continuing our efforts to improve the quality of education of our students and will continue to guide the school district as we prepare for the 2012-13 school year."

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Three Great Interviews on Parent Talk Live You Have to Hear

Parent Talk Live
Hosted By: Dr. Mike Robinson 
New Season Starts August 19, 2012

Here are three Great Interviews on Parent Talk Live you have to hear.


Barbara Fisher                                                                       William E. Rogers
2012 JoAnne L. Carter Memorial Award                                      2010 Publishing Mama, LLC
Recognition for her Parental Engagement                                    Father of the Year

Mrs. Nikki Guy-Dixon
Former PGCPS Educator
Current Home Schooler

Dr. William R. Hite, Jr.
Prince George’s County Public Schools

Photos of the 2010 Parental Engagement Conference

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

The Middle School Years

Visits From Engaged Parents and Dedicated Educators