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Author Archives: WSS News

Letter to the Editor: Transforming Lives Charter School

By Diana L. McKee

There are a few outstanding STEM Plus schools in America which has a near 10 years track record of success with their methods of implementing STEM + concepts within their curriculum.  Whether it be STEM+ entrepreneurship, STEM + internships or SSTEM + Project based learning, these schools have proven to be very effective when implemented and executed correctly.  Good examples can be seen by three schools in Ohio: ·  MC²STEM High School, Cleveland, Ohio, Linden-McKinley Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics High
School, Columbus, Ohio and Metro Early College High School, Columbus, Ohio

At MC2 they focus on project based learning.  Linden McKinley focuses on the latest technology with upwards of 1000 registrants in their school.  Metro Early focuses on real life science experiences with an emphasis on personalized growth and support.

To my knowledge no one has ever successfully argued that STEM subjects are not necessary subjects for college and ultimate scholastic success.  The true scholastic issue is how to weave in the other elements of education in order for the Students to develop the greatest potential for success.

By using models from successful schools, A charter school which is poised to be in Rialto this August is destined to be the next great charter school which successfully combines business, volunteerism and internships to create a 360 degree educational experience for all of their graduates.

Prior to completing their high school education they will have the benefit of experiencing all three of these additional elements to their STEM education.  Then name of the school is Transforming Lives Charter School.  The Location Rialto.  Status-Now registering 7th and 8th grade students.  Be a part of this school, and register your children now.

Letter to the Editor: Caring Teachers

By Diana L. McKee

Many of us can trace our fondest memories or greatest leaps of confidence back to one of our school teachers.  For some it was the second grade teacher who encouraged them to excel at mathematics.  For others it was their 4th grade teacher who comforted them and encouraged them to strive even though sometimes the world just wasn’t fair.  For others it was the counselor who encouraged them to be a strong man or woman and to work hard to achieve their goals because after all, we must strive to shoot for the moon.  If we miss at least we will still be among the stars.

Nowadays it is hard to find teachers who care enough about the students to take a personal interest in their personal and educational development above and beyond their duty of just teaching.  I am sure we can find at least one or two at each school in our Inland Empire Community.  Would it not be fantastic if the majority of the teachers had the same high level of enthusiasm to devote themselves to the success of our students?

Now one of the new charter schools, which will open in August of 2016 is making the act of caring for your students a requirement of being able to teach at the school and remain a teacher at the school. Transforming Lives Charter School literally demand for the teachers to serve as a homeroom type teacher to essentially be a mentor type figure for each student in their homeroom  class.

No other schools in this area has gone through such extraordinary measures to increase the benefits of student support at the level of 7th and 8th grade.

Similar to other STEM schools, I am sure the scholastic aptitude of the students will increased dramatically due to the implementation of the homeroom type style of education, this new charter school is poised to be a record breaker as far as how many of their graduates do well after high school whether they chose to go to the military, university or to immediately begin their career.

If you know of children who are starting the 7th or 8th grade in August 2016 I suggest you register in the school before the spaces are all taken.  The name of the school is Transforming Lives Charter School.

CSUSB student Chidera Okam part of network to help keep young African American men in college

Chidera Okam

Chidera Okam

By Jamal Eric Watson

If colleges and universities want to find out how to best retain young African-American males, they may want to consult Chidera Okam.

Okam, 20, a senior at California State University, San Bernardino has some concrete and simple ideas that he says can prove useful in keeping young Black men in college.

The upper-class Black men have to get to the first-year students before they drop out of school, says Okam, an economics major from Nigeria who has plans to go on to law school. We have to target these young brothers and educate them about what college is really like.

Seem simple? Perhaps, but experts say that these kinds of high-touch examples go a long way in strengthening ties between young Black and helping them to graduate at higher rates.

For the past four years, Okam has been a member of the Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) on his campus, an organization founded by Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe in 1990, that has been a forerunner to some of the more recent initiatives focused on African-American men, including President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative.

Since its inception, SAAB has expanded its national presence and now includes more than 200 chapters on college and university campuses and in middle and high schools across the nation.

Okam and about 300 other young men mostly African-American gathered in Dearborn, Michigan, over the weekend with their faculty advisers for the group’s annual national conference. Over two days, the young men networked and talked during fireside chats about a range of topics from mentoring to community building. They also heard from actors Lamman Rucker, Dondre Whitfield and Halle Berry. This year’s theme was, “Transforming the Mindset … Redefining the Narrative.”

They say that the conference is an opportunity to decompress and reunite with others who are committed to advancing the success of other young Black men.

“It’s been an eye-opening experience,” Okam says of his participation in SAAB. “I am really committed and eager to reach out and help others coming along.”

These men hug and embrace. They’re not afraid to use the word love. And they openly share their life’s challenge, as one young man did when he reflected on being suicidal a few years ago. Now, he says, he’s on a forward path and has no desire to return to those dark days.

That form of brotherhood has caught the attention of national funders such as the Lumina Foundation, which has been a sponsor of the organization headquartered at the University of Toledo.

Amadin Agho, a marketing and supply chain management major at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), is a junior and attended his second conference.

At IUPUI, there are about 30 students who are active in the SAAB chapter. They get together regularly to talk about personal and academic matters.

“It’s amazing to see so many young Black men who are driven,” says Agho. “It’s also good to see that the SAAB family is growing and that there are new faces joining the family. We are able to lean on each other for support and that’s a good thing.”


 

Jamal Eric Watson can be reached at jwatson1@diverseeducation.com. You can follow him on Twitter @jamalericwatson.