Living with History

I am aware of being caught up in history every now and again. A week ago Friday was my last day at the office and Saturday and Sunday were spent taking care of social distancing supplies and a car that needs a new engine mount. Much of our life is still going on, but we are wrapped up in history that is changing daily. How am I living with that?

Working for Our Students

Living with history for me means to carry on with what is tangible, and what I can get done for our students. I woke up this Monday morning and started to edit the whitepaper for a new afterschool program. In this paper we are proposing to build an afterschool that makes a difference in our very poor neighborhood. Intergenerational poverty is partially linked to reading proficiency and since we can make a big difference in literacy through creativity and the arts, we are proposing a quality afterschool program that improves literacy proficiency, improves social-emotional well being and gives our neighborhood kids some hope in these troubled times.

Reading Proficiency is the Need

The most recent Program for International Student Assessment (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2019) and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2020) reports confirm that about two thirds of children in the United States are not proficient readers and that schools cannot fix the problem without community support. In many large school districts, reading proficiency and poverty are directly related.  

Improve Reading, Improve Poverty

For me in this time of crisis, continuing to support our students in reading proficiency through creativity and the arts is still the mission. Reading lifts people out of poverty because if they can read and understand, they can make better decisions, make more money and live a better life. Reading proficiency does not always lead to success, but it is foundational to the success that comes from understanding how to transform our schools and directly improve student learning.


Dr. Robert A. Southworth, Jr.

Dr. Robert A. Southworth, Jr.

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