Archive > June 2012

Janiceia Adams
June 29, 2012

My mom and I graduated from the same high school—Northwestern Senior High School in Baltimore City. She graduated in 1980. At the time, the school gym had nice paneling and the fields were immaculate with fresh grass, which bolstered school pride. The school also had new textbooks and classroom materials for  students to use to get a strong, competitive education. But 23 years later, at my own graduation in 2003, there were cracks throughout the gym floor, textbooks from the 1960s-80s, and muddy grass for a field.

Janiceia and mom at Janiceia's graduation. Photo courtsey of Janiceia Adams.

How did this decay happen? Was it solely due to a lack of funding for upgrades, or was it due to the belief that kids going to school in low-income communities do not need good facilities to learn?

Will Nash
June 28, 2012

Will Nash is the executive director of Teach For America • Appalachia and lives in Hazard with his wife Katti. 

I sat in the back of the room at Lynn Camp High School in Corbin, Kentucky, and listened.

“People focus on what’s wrong with Appalachia—I’d ask you to focus on what’s right in our communities. We love each other; we want a great future for our kids…we’re no different than most towns, small or large, across the country.”

The 2012 Appalachia corps members. Photo courtesy of Crystal Kinser.

Principal Amy Bays, assistant principal Anthony Pennington, two teachers, a community member, and two students spoke eloquently to a room full of our 2012 corps members. This is a part of Teach For America’s induction in our region—the initial, in-region development for new teachers.

Erin Teater
June 25, 2012

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. To commemorate it, President Obama screened the film at the White House, USA played the movie with limited commercial interruption, and most importantly, I tattooed a mockingbird on my wrist to remind myself of the social injustice we are still fighting, all these years later.

Photo courtsey of Erin Teater.

Last week I went to Alabama on a Teach For America leadership journey. On our second day, we visited the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, which provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair and just treatment in the legal system. In otherwords, these are the real life Atticus Finches.

Anne Mahle
June 22, 2012

Anne Mahle lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two daughters, the oldest of whom is already an avid US Women’s Soccer team fan at the age of 3

This week we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title IX. As a woman who will turn 42 later this year and who grew up wearing pins on my overalls in elementary school that said “ERA YES!” or “59¢” (because at that time a woman earned 59¢ for every dollar a man earned; today it’s 77¢ for every dollar a man earns), I probably took Title IX for granted, all while reaping many of its benefits throughout my educational journey.

Photo by Dakota County Technical College (via WikiCommons).

As Title IX hits the 40-year mark, it feels right to reflect on what it did for women’s equality and the role it still must play in ensuring equal access. When Congress passed the massive 1972 omnibus education bill and President Nixon signed it into law, I think that few recognized the importance of these 37 words nestled within the bill’s many provisions:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Bex Young
June 22, 2012

Hi, I'm @BexwithanX (Bex Young) and I manage social media at Teach For America. Every summer, thousands of new Teach For America corps members descend on cities across the U.S. For 5 weeks, they live, eat, and breathe teaching. They also laugh, bond (trust falls, anyone?), and chug gallons of coffee as they go through a grueling but rewarding training process. This might be the moment where you ask: What is Teach For America? and/or, why do these individuals give up their summer and the sleep!? Well, Teach For America takes our most promising future leaders and asks them to teach in high-need schools for at least two years. Our teachers have the incredible opportunity to take on one of our countries most challenging jobs and help kids learn, grow, and become future leaders themselves. It wont be easy, but it will be worthwhile.

TFA Legal Team
June 1, 2012

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