Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Claudette Colvin, Civil Rights Heroine visits Newark 3/28/13

Claudette Colvin
in Newark NJ
Thursday, March 28, 2013
6:30 PM
Abyssinian Baptist Church
224 West Kinney Street
Newark, NJ

On Thursday, March 28th, the People’s Organization for Progress will host a special women’s history month discussion with special guest Claudette Colvin, an unsung heroine of the Montgomery Bus Boycott!
This special gathering will take place at the Abyssinian Baptist Church, 224 West Kinney Street, Newark. Doors open at 6:30pm.

While the December 1, 1955 arrest of Rosa Parks is world renown, several months earlier on March 2nd,Colvin, only a 15 year old student and member of the NAACP Youth Council in Montgomery at the time, similarly refused to give up her seat to a white woman and faced arrest.

Because her action was more spontaneous and because her personal profile was not as “reputable,” Colvin’s action did not get the attention that Parks would later. Unlike Parks, Colvin also endured a terrible beating when she was arrested. Colvin and her family were not deterred, however. Later on, lawyers on her behalf, and on behalf of three other young women, Aurelia Browder, Susie McDonald and Mary Louise Smith, who also dared to faced arrest protesting Montgomery’s segregated busing, filed a case in federal court that would ultimately be the case that would be used to ban segregated busing in Alabama. The case is known as Browder v Gayle. It was on June 5, 1956 that federal judges ruled that segregated busing was unconstitutional citing the historic Brown v. Bd. of Education case of 1954. Knowing that the city and the bus company would appeal the ruling, Dr. King vowed to continue the boycott until the ruling was put into action. That would not come until December 20, 1956 when the Supreme Court upheld the earlier decision.

Ms. Colvin’s moving story was also captured in the book, Twice Towards Justice, by Phillp Hosse, a recipient of the National Book Award.“We are honored beyond words to have this brave and heroic freedom fighter in our midst,” said a humbled but impassioned Lawrence Hamm, the organization’s chairman.

“The People’s Organization for Progress will proudly aid every effort to see to it that Ms. Colvin gets the proper official recognition she is most certainly due.”The People’s Organization for Progress meets every Thursday at Abyssinian Baptist Church at 6:30pm.

For more information, please call 973 801 0001

Monday, March 25, 2013

Two new documentaries on American high schools

Watch Preview on PBS. See more from 180 Days.
180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School premieres Monday, March 25, 2013 on PBS stations. Following the day-to-day stories of students, parents, teachers and staff at the Washington Metropolitan High School (also known as DC Met), 180 Days: Inside An American High School, is an intimate portrait of a public school that attempts to make a difference in the lives of students each and every day.

A Tale of Two Schools: Race and Education on Long Island. ERASE Racism’s documentary, A TALE OF TWO SCHOOLS: Race and Education on Long Island, follows David and Owen, two African American teenagers during their senior year of high school. Even though the students have a lot in common, they go to very different schools. A TALE OF TWO SCHOOLS spotlights these differences and the results of educational disparities. The film also focuses on the benefits that diversity provides for all students.

Both documentaries give interesting perspectives on American education today.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Grade 1-4 students vote now for the Black Awards or Cook Prize

Calling First to Fourth Grade elementary school students (and their teachers and librarians).
Time to vote for the Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award and the Cook Prize!
Deadline April 15, 2013.

The Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children's Literature (Irma Black Award) goes to an outstanding book for young children - a book in which text and illustrations are inseparable, each enhancing and enlarging on the other to produce a singular whole. The Irma Black Award is unusual in that children are the final judges of the winning book.

The award is presented each May at a breakfast ceremony held at Bank Street College.

How to participate in next year's award

First and second grade readers will be choosing their favorite picture book after careful thought, deliberations, discussions, and dialogue! We hope you and your classes have fun while learning about the joy of reading! Fill out the Registration form .
Voting link will be emailed after you submit your registration
Go to
or email for more information.

2013 Finalists
Big Mean Mike
by Michelle Knudsen, illustrated by Scott Magoon

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs
by Mo Willems
Harper Collins

The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?
by Mo Willems

This is Not My Hat
by Jon Klassen

The Cook Prize honors the best science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) picture book published for children aged eight to ten. It is the only national children's choice award honoring a STEM book.
Cook Prize finalists are chosen from a list of sixteen STEM books included in the Children's Book Committee Best Books of the Year.
A panel of judges comprised of two math/science faculty from the Graduate School of Education, two teachers from the School for Children and two distinguished Bank Street alumni will narrow the field of sixteen to four.
Following the same format as the Irma Black Award, third and fourth grade teachers and librarians are invited to read aloud, discuss and encourage students to vote for their favorite STEM book of the finalists.

How to participate
Your third and fourth grade readers will be choosing their favorite STEM picture book of the year. These 5 books were carefully chosen by educators, scientists, and librarians who wish to promote nonfiction picture books as a wonderful and joyful resource for young people. We hope you and your classes have fun while engaging in the joy of reading!
VOTES ARE DUE ON APRIL 15TH.Submit a Registration form  and a voting link will be emailed after you submit your registration.
Go to
or email for more information
2013 Finalists

Busy Builders
by Roxie Munro
Marshall Cavendish

How Many Jelly Beans?
by Andrea Menotti, illustrated by Yancey Labat

Infinity and Me
by Kate Hosford, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska

Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas
by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm

Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed Our Lives
by Gene Barretta