AAREA® Newsletter January – February 2014

AAREA® Newsletter January – February 2014
January/February 2014

American Promise
A night at the movies

In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, AAREA hosted the screening of the movie American Promise at Century Theatres in Hayward. The event sold out twice leading to a packed house of 130 participants. Following the movie was a rich discussion about the educational achievement gap for African Americans in the Bay Area and what can we do about it. Participants passionately expressed their views and concerns. Some of the key themes coming out of the discussion were:

As an organization, AAREA should:

  • Remain unapologetic about our target audience – African American students, their families and the educators who serve them

  • Continue to be a catalyst for bringing important Afam issues to the forefront

  • Bring more opportunities, and events like this to our communities; more people should have been aware of this movie and had the opportunity to see it

As a community, we must:

  • Be upfront and honest with ourselves and our peers about the educational circumstances of our children

  • Be advocates for ourselves and our children; confront the issues at the schools in a united manner and hold District leadership accountable

  • Care and advocate not just for our own child but for all of our children

If you did not get a chance to join us at the American Promise screening, be sure to check it out at any of the following:

  • February 3rd: Viewing of American Promise on PBS 7pm (check local listings)

  • Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Success in School and in Life – the book by American Promise filmmakers Dr. Joel Brewster and Michelle Stephenson – now available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com

  • Host an American Promise premier in your community or learn how you can get involved: visit: www.americanpromise.org

10th Annual African American Student Achievement and Excellence Awards: April 19th

Save the Dates:

  • February 1st: Applications Available

  • March 14th: Nominations Due

  • April 19th: Awards Ceremony

The time is almost here! Applications for the 10th Annual African American Student Achievement and Excellence Awards will be released on February 1st at the 5th Annual Professional Development Breakfast. Nominations will be due by 6pm on March 14, 2014. The Awards ceremony and celebration will take place at Chabot College on April 19, 2014.

Last year’s event was a huge success with over 500 students acknowledged and 1500 people in attendance. We are looking to make sure ALL Alameda County school districts have representation this year. Get ready to nominate your students in the following categories:

  • Academic Excellence (3.5+ cumulative GPA or above/advanced proficiency level)

  • Academic Potential and Success

  • Cultural Leadership and Civic Involvement

  • Resilience and Spiritual Consciousness

  • Visual, Graphics, and Performing Arts

Who can nominate students? Any person observing students in an educational, professional, or community service capacity can submit nominations. This includes teachers, counselors, after school providers, churches, and community service entities. Request an application packet to get specific information on criteria for each award category.

This year, AAREA has partnered with Choose College Educational Foundation, Inc. to host the SuperSATurday College and Community Resources Fair immediately following the awards celebration. This family affair will be open to the public and will feature music, entertainment, food, children’s activities, and a resource fair featuring college, educational, health, and community resources and services. We hope you and your family can join us.

For more information, to request a nomination packet, or to inquire about vendor or sponsor opportunities or to bring a group of students/families or to the fair, please contact us at (510) 614-3000 or [email protected]

AAREA Reaches out to Local Superintendents

The December 2013 report, The State of Blacks in Higher Education in California: The Persistent Opportunity Gap (www.collegecampaign.org) , along with the realization of the local data on the Bay Area African American students’ dismal college eligibility rates, catapulted the AAREA leadership to reach out to local Superintendents to offer their support, resources, and develop action plans to stop the hemorrhaging and reverse this current state of affairs. To date, AAREA has met with nine local Superintendents and plans to meet with as many Bay Area Superintendents that accept the invitation. AAREA is encouraged by Superintendents’ willingness to discuss their data and commitment to work with AAREA to seek solutions. AAREA looks forward to providing progress reports on District action plans in future newsletters.


Black College Expo

Saturday, January 25th 9am-5pm

Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607

AAREA 5th Annual Professional Development Breakfast

Saturday, February 1st 8:00-1:30pm

[email protected], 520 3rd Street, Suite 109, Oakland, CA 94607

Alpha Kappa Alpha 24th Annual Black College Awareness Fair

Saturday, February 22nd 10am-2pm

Stanford University, Tresidder Memorial Union, 459 Lagunita Drive, Palo Alto, CA 94305

Facing History and Ourselves: Martin & Music – Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Words and Music

Tuesday, February, 25th 7-9pm

Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak Street, Oakland, CA

AAREA 10th Annual African American Student Achievement and Excellence Awards

Saturday, April 19th 11am-3pm

Chabot Community College, Performing Arts Center, 25555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward, CA 94545

Choose College SuperSATurday College and Community Resources Fair

Saturday, April 19th 3-6pm

Chabot Community College, Ampitheatre, 25555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward, CA 94545

In This Issue

Cutting to the CORE – How Are You Preparing African American Students for the Common Core State Standards?
Saturday, February 1st

To address the PERSISTENT OPPORTUNITY GAP for African American students, AAREA invites and encourages all to attend the 5th Annual Professional Development Breakfast on February 1, 2014 8:00-1:30pm at [email protected] London Park in downtown Oakland. We are going to unlock the mystery of the Common Core State Standards by bringing local SCHOLARS to speak on Cutting To the Core – Linking Compelling Common Core Instructional Practices to the Achievement of African American Students. This conference will feature Dr. Ruth Cossey and Dr. Jamal Cooks as well as workshop sessions led by experts in the field. You don’t want to miss the special presentation from Young, Gifted, and Black, a Bay Area youth organization of elementary, middle, and high school students that will enlighten and motivate us with a spoken word performance during the opening session. This inspirational event will also feature a soul food breakfast, networking, and a resources fair.

Rounding out the day will be a celebration and acknowledgement of local Educators of Excellence. This year’s honorees include: Dr. Ammar Saheli from San Lorenzo Unified School District; I’Asha Warfield from Oakland Unified School District; and Aisha Knowles, ACOE Board Member and Public Information Officer for Alameda County Fire Fighters.

Register today at [email protected] or call (510) 614-3000. Ticket prices are $150. Discounts given to entities registering 3 or more people.

Vendor booths are also available. Contact Monique August at (510) 614-3000 or email [email protected] for more information and application materials.

District Spotlight:
San Lorenzo USD

San Lorenzo Unified School District has partnered with AAREA to ensure that ALL parents have a better understanding of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) through the parent workshop series: Common Core Corner for Parents. Workshops take place during District Advisory Council Meetings and feature interactive activities designed to:

  1. inform parents of what the new Common Core standards are;
  2. provide parents a first hand account of what their child can expect from the new Smarter Balance assessments; and
  3. give parents practical ways to support their children.

Robyn Fisher, session facilitator, notes “Parents are their student’s first teachers and best advocates. The CCSS shift will significantly impact their children and they need to be equipped with the tools to support them as well as to hold teachers and administrators accountable.”

Ms. Fisher advises parents to:

  • Not get overwhelmed. The core content is essentially the same. However, HOW the content will be taught and WHAT content will be emphasized is the core difference. The emphasis is on teaching and learning fewer standards but going deeper into those standards encouraging higher order, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

  • Continue to focus on supporting their student with building Math and English skills. Ask students to explain HOW and WHY they got their answers.

  • Stay informed. Stay involved. When there is a FREE informational forum…ATTEND!

In addition, Ms. Fisher cautions educators from making assumptions about what parents know. Explain what is being done and why to both students and parents. Learning is a two way street and parents and educators must work together to support and motivate students.

Parents attending the December 16th session on ELA and January 13th session on Math were excited and energized by the information presented. They will serve as advocates in recruiting parents for the March 17 session on Technology and the April 21st session on Summer Planning. To learn more about Common Core Corners for Parents or to request a series for your parent group, please contact us at (510) 614-3000 or email [email protected]


The Code Switch

Authors: Yvetta Franklin and Ramona Thomas Nickens

The Code Switch is a realistic fictional story developed from the personal and professional ex periences of local authors Yvetta Franklin and Ramona Thomas Nickens. The importance of this resource lies in the cultural and historical emphasis code switching has had on African Americans. It is a tool for demonstrating how students struggle with adapting and communicating in their various worlds. Students and parents can relate to it and use it to initiate discussions on when code switching is appropriate. Educators can use it to deepen their own understanding as well as interactive reading, discussions, and activities in their English or Humanities courses.

This resource will be featured at the Ashay By the Bay vendor booth at the Professional Development Breakfast on February 1, 2014.

College Bound Hayward in HUSD

College Bound Hayward (CBH), a joint partnership between Hayward Unified School District and Concerned Parents Alliance, is in direct response to the district’s African American Student Achievement Initiative. It targets African American 8-10th grade students attending HUSD schools and their parents/guardians. Educational workshops will be held once a month, every 1st Saturday of the month, with the exception of January, from 9am – 12 Noon at Tennyson High School. Students will learn interactive information that will ensure they have the choice of attending college. Parents will learn how to successfully navigate the educational system while taking back control of their households. CBH focuses on academic excellence, black history, financial literacy, career exploration, leadership development, community service, mentorship, customized college tours, public speaking and self esteem building. The initiative will serve only 120 families.

For more information or to register, visit http://www.husd.k12.ca.us/AASAI, email Dr. Keisha Green at [email protected] or call (510) 784-2600 ext. 72650.

Facing History and Ourselves

Join us in partnership with Facing History and Ourselves and The Allstate Foundation for a spoken word and musical performance honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The performance Martin & Music: Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Words and Music will take place Tuesday, February 25th 7-9pm at the Oakland Museum of California (1000 Oak Street, Oakland, CA). This special event features renowned Broadway singer and actor Charles Holt alongside Gerald Rivers, accomplished actor, voiceover artist, and teacher. Their extraordinary talent immerses audiences in the history of the civil rights era and important themes of justice, participation, and legacy. The evening will inspire audience members to think about how they might become upstanders to fight for justice and equality in their own community.

Seating is limited and RSVP is required. Register today at facinghistory.org/communityconversations or call 510.786.2500 x226.

As part of Facing Historys national Community Conversations series, this event is FREE and open to the public.

African American Regional Educational Alliances
520 3rd Street, Suite 109, Oakland, CA 94607
Visit us at www.theaarea.org or follow us on Facebook.