Monday, November 26, 2007

NBC News Series looks at gender, race, education


New York, N.Y. -- Throughout the week of November 26, "NBC News With Brian Williams" will take a look at the issues facing African-American women across our nation in a new series "African-American Women: Where They Stand." The series will cover a wide-range of issues from their role in the *08 Presidential race, to the increased health-risks that they need to be concerned about.

Monday's installment will discuss African-American women*s progress in the education field. Nearly two-thirds of African-American undergraduates are women. At black colleges, the ratio of women to men is 7 to 1. And that is leading to a disparity in the number of African-American women who go on to own their own businesses. Rehema Ellis will talk to educators, students and businesswomen about why this disparity exists.

Tuesday-Relationships and Education
Tuesday, Ellis will look at relationships within the African-American female community. Many agree the gender disparity in education and business among African-Americans is having an effect on relationships that African American women have. Some even say the implications could redefine "Black America*s family and social structure." In the past fifty years, the percentage of African-American women between 25-54 who have never been married has doubled from 20% to 40%. (Compared to just 16% of white women who have never been married today). Ellis sits down with the members of a Chicago book club and talk about this difference and how it impacts them.

Dr. Nancy Snyderman will discuss the increases risks for breast cancer for African-American women on Wednesday. Mortality rates for African-American women are higher than any other racial or ethnic group for nearly every major cause of death, including breast cancer. Black women with breast cancer are nearly 30% more likely to die from it than white women.

Premenopausal black women are more than twice as likely to get a more aggressive form of the disease. And, not only are African-American women more likely to die from breast cancer, but they*re less likely to get life-saving treatments. Dr. Snyderman will profile one of the only oncologists in the world who specializes in the treatment of African-American women with breast cancer.

Thursday- Politics
On Thursday, Ron Allen will take viewers to South Carolina -- the first southern primary state -- and ask the question: Will race trump gender or gender trump race? In South Carolina, black women made up nearly 30 percent of all democratic primary voters in 2004. This year, polls show a significant number are undecided, torn between choosing the first African-American or first female Presidential candidate. Allen talks with the undecided, as well the state directors for the Clinton and Obama campaigns, who happen to be African-American women.

Friday- Miscellaneous
To close the series on Friday, Dr. Snyderman will raise the frightening statistic that African-American women are 85% more likely to get diabetes, a major complication for heart disease. And, like breast cancer, more black women die from heart disease than white women. Dr. Snyderman will profile a leading expert and a unique church-based outreach program in South Carolina that seeks to spread the word about heart disease risks to black women congregants.

Mara Schiavocampo, Digital Correspondent for "Nightly News," will address two hot topics in the African - American community: interracial dating and the impact of hip hop music on black women. Interracial dating is a growing trend in the African - American community. An poll found that 81% of participants approved of black women dating non- black men. According to a U.S. Census Bureau report in 2000, 95,000 black women were married to white men. In 2005, that number increased to 134,000. Schiavocampo will talk to experts about the trend and discuss how this defines the "Black family" of the future.

Schiavocampo will convene a panel of leading black men and women from the hip-hop industry for an engaging discussion on whether hip hop lyrics and videos positively or negatively affect black women. The roundtable also will address how these portrayals are affecting relationships between black women and black men.

Comment: Many of these issues have been brought up and discussed before in the media. It will be interesting to see if there are any new perspectives to these issues. With statistics, it makes one wonder if they are disaggregated by income, geographical location and class, or are African-American women treated as a monolithic entity? Maybe there will be some "positive news" too.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Free Grade 6-12 Lesson Plans

The New York Times provides free Grade 6-12 Lesson Plans on this website

The plans are interdisciplinary and are keyed to different New York Times articles and resources.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Folklore Program at the Weiss Center-December 3rd

“ La Cucaracha Martina: The Evolution of a Beloved Character in Spanish Children's Literature”, Monday, December 3, 2007, 4:30-6:00 pm.

Dr. Grisel Lopez-Diaz, professor of Modern Languages at New Jersey City University will explore the evolution of La Cucharacha Martina in this portion of the Weiss Center’s Fall 2007 Author/Literature Series.

La Cucaracha Martina is a popular character in Spanish children’s literature. The stories originated in Spanish oral traditions and later moved to a written literary form throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

Dr. Lopez-Diaz will also cover the romance of Cucaracha Martina with Ratón Pérez, another famous character of Spanish traditional folklore since the 19th century. The cultural, social, and historical influences that are present in the numerous variations of this folktale will be covered. This presentation will be in English with examples in Spanish.

Dr. Lopez-Diaz will speak about the educational aspects of the folktale for bilingual, world languages, and elementary teachers. The event will take place in Grossnickle Auditorium (G-144) on the New Jersey City University campus at 2039 Kennedy Boulevard. Parking is available in the university lots on Culver and on West Side Avenue.
Educators desiring Continuing Education credit may contact the Center (201-200-2220, and pay a fee of $15.00. The event is free but there is a suggested donation of $5.00 (per Individual /per Family group) for all center events


The Senate education committee will not take up reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act until early next year, the Associated Press reported on Nov. 2. Committee chairman Sen.Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and ranking minority member Sen. Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.) said that more time was needed to prepare a Senate bill. The news agency reported that the House also might delay consideration of a bill; so far, the House Education and Labor Committee has released a draft discussion of reauthorization but no bill has been introduced.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Online nursery rhyme coloring mini-books

The State Library of Louisiana has produced a series of 24 one-page Printable Nursery Rhyme Mini Books for children to color and keep.

Each mini book requires one sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper and just 2 folds.
Please print them out and give them to children, parents, and teachers in after-school programs.

All 24 mini books can be found as a PDF on the State Library's web site here:
(It is a very big file!)

Mini books by individual title are here:

Please see the State Library of Louisiana's other nursery rhyme resources at:

There's an index to nursery rhyme related activities in resource books, a nursery rhyme product directory and web sites with nursery rhyme activities.

The early childhood home page is at: