Thursday, January 23, 2014

: Black Parents - Do You Want A Revolution?; Teaching Mindfulness andCalming Techniques to Children: Community Banking


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Making Progress; Moving Forward!
Black Parents--Do You Want A Revolution?
Teaching Mindfulness
Community Banking with Monroe Foundation
Africa Night and Generations 4 Progress
North Chicago High School Works to Improve Academics
1 Church, 1 Job, 1 Young Black Man Working
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Black Parents United  
The Black Star Community PTA 
 Do You Want a Parent Revolution?
Thursday, January 23, 2014 
6:30 pm to 8:00 pm 
3509 South King Drive, Suite 2B 
Chicago, Illinois
With 92% of Black male teens in Chicago being unemployed and 91% of Black male teens in Chicago not being able to read at a proficient level, does anyone see a pattern developing?
Parents have no right to complain about schools destroying their children if they are not willing to strike the first blow to save and to educate their children.  
Black parents must take control of the education of Black students.  Nothing short of a full-blown Black parent movement can save Black children!
Do You Want a Revolution??? or more of the same?  Join us on Thursday at The Black Star Project.  Call 773.285.9600 for more information. 
This meeting is made possible with generous support from The Field Foundation of Illinois and the Woods Fund of Chicago.

Low-Income Schools See Big Benefits in Teaching Mindfulness

January 17, 2014

On his first day teaching at Coronado Elementary School in Richmond, Calif., students threw rocks at Jean-Gabrielle Larochette, pretending he was a police officer. He spent fifteen minutes of every class calming down a handful of kids in this low-income-neighborhood public school who wouldn't follow directions or behave.

Larochette began practicing meditation and mindfulness to cope with his own stresses of teaching and supporting traumatized kids. He believed the breathing techniques that helped calm his fears might work for his students too, so he founded the Mindful Life Project.

"Before we can teach a kid how to academically excel in school, we need to teach him how to have stillness, pay attention, stay on task, regulate, make good choices," said Larochette. "We tell kids be quiet, calm yourself down, be still. We tell them all these things they need in the classroom, but we're not teaching them how to do that."

"When we look at low performing schools it's not that these children are unable to learn, it's that very often they are unavailable to learn."

"My hour of lost teaching time because of behavior problems went down to about 15 minutes a day -that meant almost a whole other day of teaching," Larochette said. "I had to figure out what I could do to bring this to the rest of the schools in our area."

Studies of mindfulness programs in schools have found that regular practice - even just a few minutes per day - improves student self-control and increases their classroom participation, respect for others, happiness, optimism, and self-acceptance levels. It can help reduce absenteeism and suspensions too. A mindfulness practice helps reduce activity in the amygdala, the brain's emotional center responsible for fear and stress reactions.

Click Here to Read Full Story  

The Black Star Project Encourages Community Banking and Youth Bank Accounts with the Monroe Foundation

The Black Star Project Supports 
African Night and Young People Organizing for Progress on 

Saturday, February 1, 2014
6:00 pm to 11:00 pm
K.L.E.O. Center - 119 East Garfield
Chicago, Illinois

North Chicago High School 
works to boost achievement

By Judy Masterson
January 17, 2014

North Chicago High School 
Principal Krystal Thomas
The Chicago-based Black Star Project arrived last fall at North Chicago High School, where it is working to improve academic achievement among the school's largely low-income, minority student body.

While the non-profit operates in 90 schools in Chicago and the south and west suburbs, NCHS represents its first partnership with a school in Lake County. Black Star recently drew more than 100 adults to a Parent University event.

"Getting parents to be more constructively engaged with their children's education − that's the real work," said Phillip Jackson, Black Star founder and executive director. "That's the magic that's really going to transform education in any community."

Black Star, which is also offering a restorative justice program and a Saturday University, in addition to daily mentoring and tutoring, is just one of a number of efforts being put in place by the school to boost achievement and increase a graduation rate that currently stands at 63 percent.

A Freshman Academy, which will open next school year, according to Principal Krystal Thomas, will place freshman, now scattered throughout the 750-student building, in the same wing, with the same teachers.

"Students in poverty sometimes don't have aspirations," Thomas said. "Success often scares them more than failure. I'm super passionate about creating pathways for our students."

Click Here for full story 


Michael Holzman 
January 21, 2014 

New York City's Chancellor of Education Carmen Farina
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's new chancellor, Carmen Fariña, has gone on record saying that she would prefer retirement to leading the nation's largest traditional district. But she has accepted responsibility for running the institution that, along with the criminal justice system and the economic system, one of the Big Apple's three pillars of inequality. And she has a lot to do.

There isn't much debate to be had about how de Blasio's predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, and his chancellors, improved achievement for the city's fourth-graders. Graduation rates have also improved. But the real measure of district and school success lies in how well children are doing by eighth-grade. 

Eighth grade achievement also matters because the teaching, curricula, and academic services districts provide can (and should) have mitigated any effects that come from as a result of families and socioeconomic background. Children who graduate from high school reading below grade level aren't likely to succeed after leaving school.

So how well is New York City doing with its eighth-graders, especially for its black and Latino students? Based on data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the federal exam of student achievement, not well.

Nearly 90 percent of young black men in eighth grade attending New York City's schools are reading at or below Basic levels of proficiency; in short, just 10 percent of young black men are reading at or above grade level. This is a situation that has not significantly improved within the past decade.

Click Here to Read Full Article

1 Church, 1 Job,
1 Young Black Man Working
In Your Community 
Churches Across America Should 
Provide Jobs for Young Black Men. 
You cannot fix the problems of young Black men if they don't have constructive employment.  
Churches can change this...

In times of economic strain, our whole community suffers from the complications of unemployment. In an effort to develop a new model of community outreach and economic sustainability, The Black Star Project is launching the 1 Church, 1 Job, 1 Young Black Man Working program.  

These are the employment facts for young Black men in America:
  • Young Black men have the highest unemployment rate of any group in the country.
  • Unofficially, some academics believe that only 8 out of 100 young Black men have jobs.
  • White adult felons are more likely to have jobs than young Black men without criminal records.
  • Upper-middle class Black youth are less likely to have jobs than low-income White youth.
The Black Star Project is offering the opportunity for your church or faith organization to participate in this program.

Each church or faith organization can:
  1. Take up a special collection of $100.00 per week
  2. Hired a young, African American male to work in the church, temple synagogue or mosque for 10 hours per week, or
  3. Refer the young man to a local not-for-profit or business to work 
  4. Pay the young man minimum wage to $10.00 per hour for 10 hours per week 
  5. Ensure that each young man gains valuable work experience
  6. Ensure that each young man has valuable mentoring experience

To get your church involved in 1 Church, 1 Job, 1 Young Black Man Working or for more information about this program, please call 773.285.9600.

Please Click Here for more information.

Daughters Grab Your Fathers for 
The 5th Annual Valentines Day 
2014 Daddy Daughter Dance
Saturday, February 8, 2014
1:00 pm to 3:30 pm
The Black Star Ballroom
3509 South King Drive
Chicago, Illinois
Young women 4- to 14-years old are invited to dress up and show their fathers a good time at The Black Star Project's 5th Annual Daddy Daughter Dance.  Cost $30.00 per couple and $5.00 per extra young lady.  Please call 773.285.9600 to register your couple or to get a free organizing kit to bring the Daddy Daughter Dance to your city.  This event is sponsored by The Black Star Project's Million Fathers Club.  Attire: Dress To Impress
Music - Dancing - Food - Fun - Crafts - Pictures!!!

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