- Created on 30 October 2012
College of Education Professor Julie Washington and Assistant Professor Nicole Patton-Terry have received a four-year, $2.6 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to develop one of four national Learning Disabilities Innovation Hubs – epicenters of research on learning disabilities.
Washington and Patton-Terry will focus on African American children in first through fifth grades, and conduct research in metro-Atlanta area school systems with large populations of African American students to differentiate between those children who have learning disabilities and those for whom language variation and socioeconomic status play a large role in their struggles to read and write.
"Our goal in applying for this grant was to address an issue that we knew people weren't really addressing in this population of students," Washington said. "They're not always identified as learning disabled. They're usually talked about as being 'struggling readers,' and we wanted to not only take on the learning disability issue, but another issue that people let color how they address this issue, and that's poverty. We want to figure out which issues are true poverty issues and which issues are true learning disability issues."
Washington and Patton-Terry will be teaming with co-principal investigator Mark Seidenberg, the Hilldale and Donald O. Hebb Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Wisconsin-Madison's Institute for Research on Poverty to identify different subgroups of students with reading problems and collect data on why these students struggle with different literacy skills.
This could lead to new intervention methods for struggling readers, more accurate diagnoses of students with learning disabilities and further research on middle and high school students' literacy skills. It also may provide valuable research for metro-Atlanta school systems and the other Learning Disabilities Innovation Hubs to use in examining how best to address issues such as poverty and cultural and linguistic diversity in diagnosing and treating learning disabilities.
"We want to link this research to what is happening in elementary schools around the corner and across the country, and translating that into what teachers and families can do to support students," Patton-Terry said. "This is the beginning of what we hope is a long-term partnership with the community and other researchers."
For more information on this grant, visit http://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=8458677&ic.
- Created on 30 October 2012
KIPP Metro Atlanta Collaborative and B.E.S.T. Academy Middle School at Benjamin S. Carson (the Academy), an all-boys' school within Atlanta Public Schools, have received a federal grant for $160,000 in order to partner to implement strategies for improving student achievement and to develop a positive school climate at the Academy.
"This effort will increase student support for higher expectations, improve student attendance and discipline, provide professional development for teachers, and allow the principal to complete the KIPP School Leadership Principal Prep Program." according to the schools' leaders.
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded seven Charter School Exemplary Collaboration grants totaling more than $1.2 million to support collaboration between public charter schools, traditional public schools and school districts. Funds will be used to deepen the collaborations and share lessons learned with the education field.
Held for the first time this year, the Charter School Exemplary Collaboration grants program encourages high-quality charter schools, traditional public schools and school districts to share resources and responsibilities, build trust and teamwork, boost academic excellence, and provide students and their parents with a range of effective educational options.
"By sharing best practices, schools can work together to solve persistent challenges in public education," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. "It is so important that we break down traditional barriers and all work together to ensure that every child gets the world-class education they deserve."
"I am eager to learn new strategies for increasing student achievement that will put the students at B.E.S.T. Academy middle school on the path to college," said Hajj Womack, principal of B.E.S.T. Academy Middle School.
"B.E.S.T. Academy Middle School, 100 Black Men of Atlanta, and KIPP Metro Atlanta all have a common goal of ensuring more students are prepared for college. I know that by working together we can reach this goal," said Greg Hawkins, chairman of 100 Black Men of Atlanta. The 100 are key supporters of the Academy.
The U.S. Department of Education's Charter Schools Program (CSP) has invested more than $255 million in charter schools this year. The purpose of the program is to increase financial support for the startup and expansion of these public schools, build a better national understanding of the public charter school model, and increase the number of high-quality public charter schools across the nation.
More information about the Charter Schools Program is available from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/charter/index.html
- Created on 19 October 2012
Special to the Daily World
Spelman College is among six Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Southeast to partner with Regions Financial to support supporting financial education, academics, athletics, and alumni engagement.
The Regions HBCU Partnership kicks off during the fall of 2012 at Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Florida A&M University, Jackson State University, Tennessee State University and Spelman. Most colleges may be added in the future.
"By preparing tomorrow's leaders to achieve personal and professional success, Historically Black Colleges and Universities contribute greatly to both the communities they call home and the students they serve," said John Owen, senior executive vice president and head of business lines for Regions Financial. "We look forward to strengthening our existing relationships with these outstanding institutions and supporting their efforts to advance people of all backgrounds."
Key components of the Regions HBCU Partnership include a financial education curriculum for students; mentoring and recruiting on campus; alumni engagement through homecoming and athletic sponsorships; establishment of a financial education student chapter; and an executive lecture series in collaboration with HBCU business schools.
Regions Financial has a long history of supporting higher education through philanthropy, athletic sponsorships, financial education, and scholarships. As one of the largest banks headquartered in the Southeast, Regions is uniquely positioned to engage with the HBCU community. Of the 105 HBCUs in the nation, 83 are located in the 16 states Regions serves.
The Regions HBCU Partnership builds on the company's existing relationships with a number of HBCUs and support for various events, including being the Official Bank of the Magic City Classic contested in Birmingham, Ala. Regions also partners with a number organizations including the United Negro College Fund, the National Urban League, INROADS, and the National Black MBA Association.
- Created on 22 October 2012
(StatePoint) Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly-contagious and vaccine-preventable disease that has made a startling comeback across the country. It is currently responsible for causing the worst epidemic the U.S. has seen in 50 years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including 13 deaths.
"Immunization is still the best way to help prevent the spread of pertussis", says Siobhan Dolan, MD, MPH, an obstetrician/gynecologist and medical advisor to March of Dimes. "It's important for both children and adults to be up-to-date with their pertussis immunization."
Researchers have found that immunity from childhood pertussis vaccinations wears off over time, so the pertussis shots that most adults received as children may no longer fully protect them. The adult Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis) booster vaccine is recommended for adults to help keep them healthy and help prevent them from spreading diseases to others, especially children. The CDC recently updated its immunization guidelines, which now state that all adults aged 19 years and older who have not yet received a dose of Tdap should receive a single dose.
"Research has shown that when the source of a baby's pertussis can be identified, it's traced back to family members in up to 80 percent of cases," Dr. Dolan explained. "So it's imperative for parents to know that everyone around their baby -- parents, friends, caregivers, grandparents -- needs to have an adult Tdap booster vaccine."
According to a survey conducted online in May 2012 by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Sounds of Pertussis Campaign, a joint initiative from Sanofi Pasteur and March of Dimes, more than 4 out of 5 parents with children ages 2 and younger (83 percent) believe adult vaccination is important to help protect against the spread of pertussis, but only 19 percent reported asking those in regular contact with their child to get a Tdap booster shot.
"The reason is probably because most parents -- 61 percent -- said they would feel awkward asking those in close contact with their infants to get an adult Tdap booster shot, according to the survey," said Dr. Dolan.
"Parents want to do all they can to keep their babies healthy and to protect them from danger," she added. "Speak to your friends and family about getting a pertussis booster. That simple 'ask' will help protect them and your baby from this potentially fatal disease."
More information about pertussis and the Sounds of Pertussis Campaign can be found online at www.SoundsofPertussis.com.
And remember, although whooping cough may be on the rise nationwide, there are simple steps you can take to help protect your family: get your booster shot now and encourage those around you to do the same.
- Created on 16 October 2012
The 27th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Reception held recently at the downtown Hyatt Regency attracted thousands as some 13 persons were inducted. The attendees and honorees all heard the importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and why alumni must support these schools.
Thomas W. Dortch, founder and chairman of the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc., said alumni should never forget the role HBCUs play in their lives and out of 235 HBCUs in the 30s, there are only 105 today. Dortch urged financial support for these schools and challenged parents "to send their children to these schools."
John Eaves, Chair of the Fulton County Commission and Willie A. Deese, executive Vice President & President of Merck Manufacturing Division, for Merck & Co., both challenged parents to educate young people to make a difference globally and thanked Dortch for his vision. Other sponsors were Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, Wells Fargo, where representatives agreed that the nearly full house was "proof that you support education and have a commitment to education."
Inductees were: Floyd Gordon, for the Arts, graduate of Chaflin University; T'Keyah Crystal Keymah,, for Entertainment, Florida A&M University; John Funny, for Business, Southern Carolina State University; Ralph D. Abernathy (posthumously) for Civil Rights, Alabama State University; Harry E. Johnson Sr., for Community Service, a graduate of Texas Southern University; Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, III, for Education, Hampton University; Rev. Dr. Frederick Haynes II, in Faith and Theology, Bishop College; the Hon. W. Troy Massey for Government and Law, Alabama A&M University; Kevin W. Williams, for Industry, Tennessee State University; Dr. Ophelia E. Garmon-Brown in Medicine, North Carolina Central University; Jesse E. Russell for Science, Tennessee University; Dr. Velma Speight-Buford, Lifetime Achievement, North Carolina AT State Univ., and Dr. Arthur E. Thomas, Lifetime Achievement, a graduate of Central State University.
The honorees all wanted HBCUs to thrive and become schools of excellence. They said they owed a lot to these schools, as they were all products of HBCUs. The occasion was held Friday, Sept. 28, at 6 p.m.
The occasion marked a weekend of events that raised money for the HBCUs.