Monday, November 25, 2013

EDPowerment with Denise Joseph on Parents and PGCPS eRadio

Hello Engaged Parents and Dedicated Educators,
Below is the link to this week's EDPowerment with Denise Joseph.  You can be heard EDPowerment with Denise Joseph weekly on Parents and PGCPS eRadio.
Parents and PGCPS eRadio

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Be B.O.L.D Against Bullying in Jacksonville by William Jackson, M.Edu.

Best of BOLD Parents is a part of the B.O.L.D. Project Afterschool Program at S.P.Livingston and Eugene Butler Middle Schools and is a program that belongs to the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida.  The Best of B.O.L.D program at Eugene Butler Middle School and S. P. Livingston Elementary School is designed to be a unique collaboration with War on Poverty and the parents of Butler Middle and Livingston Elementary School.

Community collaboration is important to create positive change in the lives of children and families. Through the guidance of Jewel Flornoy (War On Poverty) and B.O.L.D Parent Organizer, Ms. Marcia Ellison PTA President of S.P. Livingston, the leadership of Principals and administration of both schools, activities are centered on creating learning opportunities that involve meeting the needs of parents not just in the school house, but in the communities. Building a strong PTA that supports and encourages parental participation is important for schools academic and community strength. The Best of B.O.L.D is a growing model for other schools across the nation.

The STOP BULLYING NOW – STAND UP – SPEAK OUT event provided the B.O.L.D Spirit Team a chance to fire up over 100 students attending from Pre K to Fifth Grade. The program was Emceed by Ms. Roberta Goode, presentations were provided by Ms. Marcia Ellison, Ms. Latrece Humphrys and the students of B.O.L.D at S.P Livingston.

Bullying is a ongoing issue in schools nationwide, on buses and in communities,  there should be continued efforts to prevent Bullying and provide services to educate, empower and encourage youth from Pre-K to fifth grade and educating parents that Bullying should be reported so actions can be taken to stop Bullying.

Several tragic events in Florida and across this nation have shown that young lives are being taken away because of Bullying and Cyberbullying. Instead of just watching the statistics grow schools and school districts need to have professional development for students and parents. Bullying and Cyberbullying is a reality for many children in schools across this nation. It will take more than laws; it will take more than speeches, it will take the collective efforts like War On Poverty, B.O.L.D, PTA organizations and individuals like William Jackson an educator, blogger, and community activist to make a difference. The opportunities of Cyberbullying can happen where children and teens have unmonitored access to Social Media that allows the behaviors of Cyberbullying to happen on Social Media platforms.  

No parent ever wants to consider their child as a Bully, but the reality is children, kids, teens and young adults are Bullying and Cyberbullying with dangerous results.  Parents need to monitor their children’s actions in school, online, on buses and in classrooms. Parents must be proactive and communicate with their children high expectations of good behaviors; parents should observe behaviors, mannerisms, changes in eating habits, mood swings and  importantly communicate with teachers and administrators. Signs that parents need to observe and question are in changing behaviors. The Best of B.O.L.D is just one organization that is involved in schools, there needs to be more and additional support in the community, from educators, administrators, guidance counselors and importantly parents.

B.O.L.D has conducted several Bullying trainings for parents provided by William Jackson; he has a passion for preventing Bullying, Cyberbullying, harassment, and other forms where children feel threatened and fearful. STOP Bullying Now efforts should grow with the help of attending organizations like Jacksonville Public Education Fund, Boys and Girls Clubs, War On Poverty, Habitat for Humanity and New Town Success Zone, organizations working to raise the learning levels of students, provide parents more opportunities to be involved.

B.O.L.D has worked with parents and students to continue to send a message through the building of a mural made from tiles, each tile was designed to send a positive message that will resonate throughout the school as it hangs honorably at S. P. Livingston. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Dr Mike Robinson at Western Kentucky University Panel Discussion on Fathers

P.G. Schools CEO Maxwell to Represent Md. in National Superintendent Competition: by Courtney Jacobs AFRO Staff Writers

Prince George’s County Schools CEO Kevin M. Maxwell has been named Maryland Superintendent of the Year for 2014 by the Public School Superintendents’ Association of Maryland (PSSAM) for his work as chief of Anne Arundel County’s schools.

Maxwell, hired in June to turn around the Prince George’s school system, was applauded for narrowing the achievement gap in Anne Arundel and for forging strong ties with the Anne Arundel community.
He will represent the state in February at the National Conference on Education in Nashville, Tenn., at which a national superintendent of the year is to be named.

News of Maxwell’s award to represent the state came during the annual Maryland Negotiating Service Awards Banquet in Ocean City Nov. 1.

“This is one of the highest honors I have received during my 35-year career in education,” Maxwell said in a press release. “When you are selected by your peers for such recognition, it is both a thrilling and humbling experience. I extend my sincerest thanks to my colleagues for their nomination.”

“This award is well deserved and speaks volumes of Dr. Maxwell’s accomplishments and his on-going contributions to the field of education,” Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III said in a news release. “He brings the type of innovation and creativity to the job that we were looking for in our new Chief Executive Officer and our school system is fortunate to have him as our leader.”
In June, Baker appointed Maxwell as CEO for Prince George’s County.

To read more of  Courtney Jacobs article click here.

Addison By Dr. Elwood L. Robinson

My encounter with an 8-year African American male last Sunday left me with a range of emotions. I met him during a stop to get some very expensive gas in Clinton, North Carolina. He appeared to have been traveling with his family who had also stopped for gas. He was outside the family vehicle roaming around having a conversation with anyone who would listen. He approached my car and asked me if I knew several people who he called by name. In each case I replied that I did not know the person. Following my response he would tell me who the person was and point them out to me. These people were members of his traveling party and apparently his family. “Do you know Shirley Thompson,” he would say. “That’s my aunt,” and he would point to the person in the SUV. He then repeated the names and asked me if I knew the person. I responded “I do now.” He seemed pleased that I now knew the persons that he has just introduced to me. I reminded him that while he has introduced me to several people, he had not told me his name. “My name is Addison” he replied in a strong voice that denoted a sense of confidence. I told him that I thought Addison was a great name. He seemed pleased. I was next in line to pump gas and pulled my car forward to begin the process. As I began pumping gas, I was again approached by Addison who said” hello, I see you again.” The conversation shifted to an area that troubled me, especially coming from an 8-year old.

Addison is a small African American male. He communicates well and speaks in a voice that suggests confidence, strength and poise. Dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, he is the prototype of someone his age in this country. He comes across as very intelligent with a pleasant and pleasing personality. His communicative style was engaging but not overbearing. It has a maturity which suggests his conversational partners may primarily be adults. I can imagine that he is quite a handful at school and home. His energy and inquisitive nature can sometime be difficulty for parents and teachers to handle. He needs and seems to demand attention. I was impressed with his ability to listen.

He asked if I knew that this father had died. He said “my father got shot last night and we went to his funeral just now.” “Last night!” I responded in a voice that denoted surprise and compassion. Addison’s presentation of his father’s death and funeral was void of sadness or emotional connection. He then asked if I wanted to see a picture of his father in the casket. I nodded in the affirmative and he approached his mother who was standing outside of the vehicle on the passenger side. She appeared disinterested in him or our conversation. She reached into her back pocket, removed a cell phone, apparently turned to the photo section and handed the phone to Addison. Addison in turn gave me the phone to view the picture. It was a young, maybe mid-thirties, African American male lying in a coffin who had died as a result of gunshot. This is an all too common story in many part of these United States. I was sad and viewing this picture and talking to Addison about it gave me a strange feeling.

How does an 8-year old deal with losing his father and the graphic representation of his death on a cell phone. Is the gravity of this event, death, minimized or exacerbated by the picture. His face did not suggest sadness. His eyes were bright with a softness of caring. He could not express it but his eyes could not lie. There was something missing and something tells me it was not just the loss of his father. It was as if his soul had been scarred and the manifestation was emotional detachment. The coping strategy is probably age-appropriate; reduce the death to a game or photograph on a cell phone.

 “This is my daddy,” as he spoke with a sense of pride. Or at least he used to be, he left when I was two.” This time he spoke without pride but with a slight sense of anger and disappointment. “He still is” blurted his mother. These were the only words uttered during my brief encounter with Addison. Maybe that explains what I saw in his eyes. Will that memory become a permanent albatross or a source of motivation? Only time will tell.

There was one last conversation to have with Addison. “Where are you going,” he asked. Durham, I replied. “That’s a long ways,” he said. I said “yes it is.” Then Addison with all the sincerity and maturity that defied his youth said “you be careful.” I want desperately to believe that based upon that statement and the manner in which it was delivered, that Addison will be alright.

I immediately began thinking about Addison and his future. What are the consequences of seeing your father as an 8-year old in a casket after being shot. What message does this event send to Addison. How much of this does he really understand. I pray that Addison will grow up to be a strong black man with the courage and conviction to make the world a better place. I hope he achieves greatness. His spirit is strong and pure. Thank you for allowing me to see the kindred spirit that binds us all together. And I say to you as you said to me as I drove off on that beautiful Sunday afternoon. BE CAREFUL.

Photos of the 2010 Parental Engagement Conference

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The Middle School Years

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