September 22, 2014

Thank You.... Da Book Joint

     With budgets super tight, I've braced myself for the inevitable:  Zero dollars for a book budget.   I took a deep breath and said to myself this is going to have to be a creative year.....encouraging students to read without new books. 
     Well I received a HUGE blessing today. Verlean Singletary, owner of the online bookstore Da Book Joint donated all of these books today. I was was screaming when I opened the boxes.   Paul Langan's Bluford Series, Ni-Ni Simone, Reshonda Tate Billingsley and many many more books by teen authors were donated.  Please check out to purchase African-American teen and adult books.

September 21, 2014

The Better the School Library, The Higher the Reading Scores

I just love Stephen Krashen.

Dr. Krashen is the Professor Emeritus of University of Southern California, and world renowned language acquisition expert.  Krashen is a champion for school libraries.  Earlier this year, he spoke passionately about the need for school librarians and school libraries at the Los Angeles Unified School District's school board meeting.    He argued that investing in libraries offers a path to literacy for economically disadvantaged children.  Below is the full speech he gave along with some key points for further reading.   This speech is based on his studies on school libraries that he has conducted along with Dr. Keith Curry Lance.
Geoffrey Canada

 1.  "Poverty Counts, lack of health care, lack of access to books, home, neighborhood, schools, the hungry, ill all have nothing to read on their own."

2.  "The more people read for pleasure, the higher their literacy scores." 

Free voluntary reading access to books makes a difference."
'Reading for pleasure did it for him'
Geoffrey Canada, President of the Harlem Children's Zone
Liz Murray
'It was books that made the difference'
Liz Murray, Harvard Graduate and motivational speaker.

Dr. Keith Curry Lance
3.  "The better the school library, the high the reading scores"
Dr. Keith Curry Lance, Founding Director of the Library Research Service at the Colorado State Library
founding Director of the Library Research Service at the Colorado State Library - See more at:
founding Director of the Library Research Service at the Colorado State Library - See more at:
founding Director of the Library Research Service at the Colorado State Library - See more at:
"Impact of access to books all over the world,  scoring on the Pearls Examination - international test,
Access to a library of a collection of 500 books or more,
balances the effect of poverty.  Poor children don't read well because they do not have access to books.  When kids have access, they read more."

His strongest statements:
  1. "Poverty counts, students that live in poverty has minimal access to books"
  2. "The more school librarians per child, the higher the reading scores."
  3. "The Better the School Library, The Higher the Reading Scores"
  4. "More studies need to be conducted to see if funding technology in K-12 education will work."
  5. "The use of technology for online testing for Common Core standards, means that this is the biggest expense in the history of education."
  6. "Access to books and libraries really does help"
Stephen Krashen needs to come to librarians in this state need him now more than ever before.

September 16, 2014

Do Your Students Know How to Cite Social Media?

Repost -

Do Your Students Know How to Cite Social Media?

I'm signing up for the EasyBib Social Media Citation Series.  It's free, informative and will definitely help me help my students this year as they write research papers for class.  

Register here:

Their free Infographics are great!

September 13, 2014

Four Angels Resting In Heaven

God woke me up this morning at 2:00am, I couldn't sleep.  It took me a couple of hours to get my head together to write this post;  It's one that no teacher should have to write.

The Phillips High School family has lost four angels.  My student Carliysia, her siblings Carlvon, Shamarion and Eriana passed away on Monday as a result of a house fire.   While the investigation continues, a family is grieving the loss of children.  Their father, Carl is my co-worker and a devoted father not only to his children but all children he comes in contact with.   His oldest daughter Carliysia was a sweet child, an honor roll student, athlete and enjoyed life.  Their passing hurts so much.

Below are two poems dedicated to Carl's children and a tribute song, 'Jesus Is Love'.   A memorial fund has been established to help finance a proper service for four angels.  If you would like to contribute, please click the link below and you will be redirected to a GoFundMe Memorial page.

Clark Memorial Fund -

Teenager In Heaven 

by Ron Tranmer

Death is not just for the old.
Sometimes the young die too.
You were only in your teens
When angels came for you.

It’s very hard to understand
Why you died so young.
You had so much to live for
And was loved by everyone.

But we know God has a purpose
And a plan for each of us.
We know He loves His children,
And in Him we put all trust.

Although our hearts are broken,
We know you’re in His care.
Your memory will remain alive
Until we join you there

A Peek Into Heaven
by Callie Sanders Thornton

Just one little peek into heaven,
Is all I'm asking for today.
I just want to know how they are doing,
And heaven seems so far away.

Are they playing on the clouds with angels?
Are they laughing and running today?
Do they miss us?
I guess only they know.
Oh why does heaven seem so far away?

If you just let me look for a moment,
To catch a glimpse of their sweet smiling faces,
I promise I won't try to take them,
I know, they are in a better place.

Just one little peek into heaven,
Is all I'm asking for today.
I just want to know how they are doing,
And heaven seems so far away...

September 7, 2014

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Sunday morning is my weekly reflection time.  I think about what was good, what was a challenge and how I can improve on my practice.  I admit, I'm bold, outspoken and a hothead.  I may rub people the wrong way but my intentions all always heartfelt.    I'm sharing some 'Boyd Family Secrets to Success' with you this morning.  Hey, my parents raised three dynamic kids during the 70's and they need to be commended!

Be Yourself!  Everybody else is already taken! - from my late father
Be Who You Are! - from my mother

This video is dedicated to my late father.....he was a big Lionel Richie fan.

September 6, 2014

Pinterest & College Readiness

     Phillips has a new Pinterest board.  The College Readiness board was created last week as an additional resource for Phillips students.  Articles, videos, memes will be posted weekly for student review.  Also, the members of the Phillips counseling team will also contribute pins to this board.  These boards will serve as a tool for collaboration and I'm really excited about this opportunity. 

    One of the main highlights of the board will be to provide  suggestions on to how to finance college.  Looking back, members of the Class of 2014 were really on the ball.  Throughout the school year, the students submitted several scholarship applications/letters to organizations and businesses across the country.  As a class, they were awarded 2.3 million dollars in scholarship dollars.  The teachers and staff are so proud of these students.  Several of my students who were admitted into multiple schools, just did not have the financial means for school.  The money earned through these scholarships assisted them in making college a reality.   As a staff, our goal is the raise the bar and support the Class of 2015 in raising more money than their predecessors did. 

I debuted the College Readiness board to a group of seniors yesterday and they generally enjoyed the articles.   Check back with us from time to time to see how we are progressing.

September 1, 2014

One of My Favorite Quotes

'Reading is the gateway skill that makes all learning possible' - President Barack Obama #tlchat #libchat #Ilovelibraries