It is with great excitement and anticipation that we debut our new website. It will bring important information to students, families, schools and communities nationwide. As we continue to start Club 20xx's in Loudoun County Virginia,
with anticipation of reaching out to service Maryland and Washington, D.C, we have been given an opportunity to work with Linden Charter Academy in my hometown of Flint, Michigan. It is a K-8 school with 750+ kids. It is our belief that the principles that work for our current numerous cohorts will also work for a school that has different demographics. The reason being is that I have not met one parent who did not want the best for their child(ren). The question always remains of how do I help my child(ren)?
Excellent Options can show parents how to partner with their school administration and community to greatly increase the probability that students will "graduate in excellence and with options." However, the first step is for parents to commit to being involved and visible in their education.
And along the way the academic achievement gap that exists among students of color may one day be busted by the pillars on which we advocate: Positive Peer Pressure, High Expectations and of course Parent Involvement.
The most influential and effective person in a child's life in the education realm is the teacher. Administrators, counselors, and central office personnel can only recommend, train, educate or discipline. Teachers have the power to transform lives; it is called unconditional acceptance and high expectations. Many of our minority students cry out for these two issues. It appears to be the central theme in most of my conversations with minority students, particularly, African American males.
Therefore, it is crucial that we make the impact where we can. It is in the school environment. Our teachers, administrators and others must be educated on the issues surrounding diversity and differentiate their teaching styles. A style that works for one student may not be conducive for another. It is not up to them to "get it." It is up to us to "give it."
- Gabrielle Carpenter, President