27 February 2014

America Reads 2013-2014 Blog Post #5

Attn: America Reads Tutors

Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Tell how this pertains to your education. Then blog about how this quote pertains to what you do as an America Reads tutor and to the children that you tutor in the Title I Elementary Literacy Room.


45 comments:

  1. Two words really stick out to me in this quote, powerful and change, relating to education. Hahah this is interesting, definitely the most dynamic and contextual blog prompt I have ever gotten yet. I am going to attempt to respond simply yet with completeness to convey my thoughts and feelings on the question. This pretty much greatly pertains to my education even if I am just realizing it, although I don't know if it need be wielded as a weapon lest not a weapon of not love. And let not school only be the institution of learning but also let it come aspects of living. I can see how education is indeed a powerful way in which to lead, or change the world. This quote also speaks to me personally alongside my experiences tutoring and studying at S.L.C.C because I have grown in so many ways but particularly as an agent of social change through education. That's all I a have for now, I'll return when I think of more, pretty sure I could write pages on this one.
    LH

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    1. I felt the same way! How do you respond to this in just a short paragraph?!?! When I look around and see how many of the kids that I go to school with engage in volunteerism and giving I am just blown away. This absolutely is proof that education is more than just books and studying, these kids are giving of themselves in so many ways. The emphasis that is placed on volunteerism in so many groups at SLCC makes me so proud to be a part of this school.

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    2. I feel that when we go to school, we are always taught that education very important. This is obvious fact. The people with more education can tell the people with less education what to do. Education makes people independent and more powerful. This is the fact. I seem that you guy have a lot of thought on this topic, I hope you will do well in your classes too.
      Quynh

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    3. Education is one thing you can never have too much of. :)

      A Stuart

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    4. When you learn, the entire dynamic of your life changes. When an organization (or person) is affected by information and knowledge, the system and thought process will be forever changed, for good or bad.
      Jeslicania

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  2. Great thought provoking post Lynne! Wow, the words of Nelson Mandela are absolutely true, knowledge is power. Just in my experience being in school I feel like I have grown so much. I look at things differently having learned from others ideas and points of view, being able to make an informed decision based on a compilation of all the things I have learned in my classes. This knowledge is also passed onto my children as we engage in conversation I try to get them to think about different aspects of each story or idea they see or hear. I hope they too will be caring and sensitive human beings. As for being a tutor, I know that the children we are helping will benefit immensely. I try to keep them focused on their schooling and how important it is, because it will change their future and it can make a difference. Us as tutors have a very important job, we are working with kids who would otherwise fall through the cracks of our education system, we never know what these kids will grow up to be but they are full of potential and we cannot let them not succeed.

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    1. True. Education can grant perspective and strike away barriers and prejudices.

      A Stuart

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    2. Anna, your response here is very inspiring. I am thrilled to know that you have found knowledge and caring through your education and that it will benefit not only you but your family and all of the people that you encounter.
      L.H.

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    3. Ann I love that you engage your children in depth and encourage them to reflect on what they are learning. Not often enough are parents this involved in thier childs life and all to often we see the detached child. I feel like this job is the ability to show these kids critical thinking and how important it is to our community and ever changing world.

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    4. I am going to school to be a successful, but I am also attending, so that I can enhance my character. School is so much more than school. We can truely "find ourselves" if we we take the different opportunities life throws at us.

      H.K.

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    5. Oh my goodness, thank you so much to those who responded. Thank you for the kind words. I cannot say how blessed I am to have been part of America Reads. I just wrote in one of my reflections the interactions I've had with you all, being introduced to the TED talks series and the encouragement to attend all of our school activities have really made a big impact. I wish you all success! I hope to be back next Fall, but it will be my last semester. I am sad but excited for what the future brings. It's been a joy being a part of AR with you all!

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  3. If we want to change something, we have to understand it by learning about it. So it's true when Nelson Mandela said "education is the most powerful weapon to change the world." To me, education change the way I think and the way I behavior. Knowledge is acquired through education. With different level of education from high school diploma to professional degrees, people work in different level of occupation. For example, we need a bit knowledge to win a small argument with our peer or to persuade others. The one who has education can hire people can work for them. Some people work in government surely have a significant influence toward many people and that is because they are educated well. Education is no limited. Education is powerful and it's gonna affect our lives whether we realize this or not. If kids love school since young age, their learning progress will be good years after. That's why the tutoring is important job; we need to be careful and responsible for our behavior in front of kids. If we are not appreciate education, how we are going to tell kids the value of what they are learning.
    Quynh Pham

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    1. Exactly. There's not much use in trying to change something when you don't understand what parts of the problem can be remedied in which ways.

      A Stuart

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    2. Quynh, what you say about being a positive and encouraging role model is absolutely true.Education has already changed the world in many ways and it is through an appreciation and curiosity for learning and knowledge that we can grow and be in new ways as a human species.
      L.H.

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    3. I agree, being a good rolemodel is the first step. How I act and enteract with my community will reflect to children the possibilities available to them. Being an AR tutor shows these children that people care about thier success. The interaction shows them they are worth something and should feel very valuable.

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    4. Quynh, I like how you talk about being a role model! Having a good influence to look up to, really does make a difference.
      H.P.

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  4. I agree that education can be an agent for change. Education allows you to gain perspective and understanding of people and the reasons they do or feel what they do. The more you learn, the less it seems you know. Education can strike away arrogance and replace it with understanding.

    A Stuart

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    1. It is definitely a dynamic thing to have education and knowledge especially since all knowledge is not the same and everyone's education is not equal. We should be careful what we use as a weapon so while I like that education can be used to create change it is wise for everyone to be very careful how they are trying to change things. I am so grateful that we have the opportunities for learning that we do in this country.
      L.H.

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    2. I really like how you say;"education allows you to gain perspective..", that is a great way to put it, and struck a cord with me.
      H.P.

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    3. NAMI is organizing an fundraising event for youth who struggle with mental health issues. One of their main goals at this event is to "Strike-Out Stigma." It is awesome when we "educate" ourselves on other people, societies, and cultures/customs, and actually take a step in their shoes. I am with you that by gaining this experience and education we can actually bring down barriers of ignorance and fear!! Thanks for your comment!!

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  5. The gift of learning should be an even playing field. All humans should be able to have access to enriching their lives. Sadly in America and all over the globe, not everyone has the equal opportunity to learn or experience the best education their life has to offer. To earn an education is to build an empire within you. There is no other material thing in life as priceless as education. The ability to read and write opens up many doors otherwise closed. America Reads is a perfect tool to bridge the gap of education, by giving children the power to read we are empowering them to invest in their education. Without America Reads many children would fall through the widening gap in the floor. This program allows us to reach into the lives of people who have no power and plant a seed of hope. That hope begins to grow the instant that child starts to read. The reality is that every day we fight for our position in our communities. We engage the community around us, either being placed or taking our place we feel we deserve. Education allows us to better defend our positions, jobs, homes, and social status in our communities. As an America Reads tutor I am sharing the gift of empowerment changing the future one child at a time.

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    1. I agree with you, that the opportunity to learn should be available to everyone. It is sad that it isn't available in some places.
      H.P.

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    2. The AR vision statement says that if students are not caught up with their peers by the end of the 3rd grade their chance of falling further behind increases exponentially. That is why we focus on the early grades, with a few exceptions in later grades. Writing about my own education story for a class writing project made me aware of my own difficulties. Basically I dropped out of school mentally in the early years. I sat in class but was one of the slowest students. I cheated to get Ds in high school. Amazing eh. Needless to repeat; I AM TOTALLY IN TO CATCHING THE SLOW LEARNERS!

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  6. I feel that education is very important! I think as a country, sometimes we are not as educated as we think we are in certain aspects, and to other countries we seem less intelligent. I have noticed since going back to school and trying to accomplish something with my life, I have learned more about different things that I thought I knew quite a lot about. I am glad to have the ability to gain more knowledge through education. This learning includes what we do as tutors. I know that I have learned from the students that we help, probably just as they learn from us. I am grateful to be apart of their learning experience, and witness first hand that they are learning and growing.
    H.P.

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    1. You are really right on our American presumption. We seem mixed with some people highly valuing education and others neglecting it. And other countries with little resources will compensate by trying extra hard. Many of the immigrant students I know really excel here at SLCC even when English is not their 1st language.

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    2. Yes, unfortunately this is very true. As far mathematics go I know that we are rated one of the worse in the world, which is sad, because there really is no excuse for that. On the bright side we are helping combat these sad statistics through us getting an education, and through tutoring our younger generation.

      H.K.

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    3. One of my favorite professors at SLCC is not only great at presenting the material, he is also understanding of life and has charm and charisma. There is a concept called "emotional intelligence" that we often miss in Western cultures. And I also think that we can always go deeper into the specifics that we find interesting. The hard part for me is when a student is so distracted and tired. I try to not only teach but make it an enjoyable (as much as possible) experience for them. It seems to be working out well for everybody.

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  7. I agree with his statement but with a reservation; knowledge like many forms of power needs to be tempered with character. I think character is actually more important. All forms of power have the capacity to be used in positive or negative ways. The power of science can be used to create weapons of mass destruction or to heal the sick. Power without good character is dangerous. Mandela is refering to knowledge as power in a positive sense.

    My education is very important to me for two reasons; 1st our society is one that education is often the ticket to a good job, and 2nd I really love learning. Recently I've had the mid term blues and wondering if my classes are really worth it. Sometimes my classes seem useless. I am wondering if I should continue on for a bachelor degree. Will I be like so many people who have degrees and don't work in the area of their degree? That is my own dilemma.

    For my students, as a mentor I really think that the character qualities that we impart (non-verbally), are very important. I have one student who has real bad problems at home and she gets in trouble at school. I have never inquired about her home life she just starts telling me stuff because she somehow trusts me. My heart breaks for her because I imagine her future as one with some significant problems as she enters her teens. Education will help her but only if she gets help for her angry little heart. (hey maybe I should go into social work! :)
    Mark

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    1. I agree that one's character is very important, but I think that getting an education can actually further bring out the good in someone. Hang in there, it will all pay off eventually!

      H.K.

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    2. Hey Maaark! Your comment reminds of a C.S. Lewis quote: "Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil." Thanks for your comments. I agree 100% that How we teach is just as important as What we teach. An ounce of appreciation and respect go a long way with these wonderful young people that we tutor.

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  8. I have always been taught that getting an education is the only way to be successful. Although there are a some people who become successful without an education this is rare. This quote pretty much sums up my view on life. I am getting an education, so that I can change the world, and myself. I believe that America Reads tutors are giving this quote life, through there service to their local elementary schools. Many of these children are very low income, so by teaching them how to read properly, they are gaining weapons to combat there poverty. Education really is the only way to escape certain life situations we find ourselves in. I am glad that I am able to have a part in helping them fight illiteracy.

    H.K.

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    1. This is beautiful! I love your response that you are getting an education to change the world and yourself. You put the world first, I can see that you are doing this for something other than selfish reasons. I read somewhere that reading is the first indication of a student's success. It is secondary to math in the beginning because without the knowledge of reading and understanding it makes almost everything else difficult. We are such an important part of their success!

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    2. Amazing, I love how you put this. I feel the same, and it is a beautiful cause to fight for.
      Jeslicania

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  9. I am the first person in my family to go to college, so Nelson Mandela's quote really hits home for me. I think that a lot of crime and stupid decisions would be alleviated with some basic education. And not only would there be less bad decision making, I believe that people would act more civil and make more money and be more of a benefit to their community etc..
    I've said this before and I'll say it again: I cannot think of anything more important for a person's life than reading. It literally brings our minds out of darkness and into Light. I love helping my kids feel that confidence.
    - Levi

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    1. I am in total agreement with you Levi. I noticed the more I learn the more I become aware of my impact on others. Yes, we are just one person in this vast universe but you can touch so many lives every day. We have the choice to make that a good interaction or a bad one. Congratulations on you being the first to go to college in your family, I hope it sets a trend for future generations! Love your take on reading! Amazing!

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    2. That's such a great end paragraph you wrote, I agree. And like Anna said congrtulations on being the first to go to college! Sometimes when you don't have examples of someone in your family who has pursued a higher education it's hard to think that obtaining a higher education is important so Great job!
      S.C.

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  10. Yep! I totally agree with you that reading brings our minds our of darkness and into Light. With knowledge, we can make our life go smoother, it just like I want to look at the map and know the road before I actually go out.
    Quynh

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  11. Yep! I actually agree with you that readings brings our minds out of darkness and into Light. With knowledge make, our lives will go smoother, it's just like you want to know the map and the road before you actually went out side.
    Quynh

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    1. I like your analogy of light and darkness. America Reads and my school has been facilitating my learning, forcing me to go outside. It's scary and difficult, but I know it will get easier with time.
      Jeslicania

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  12. My life has always been a battle, and the more knowledge I acquire, the better "weapons" I have. I use these to defend the underdogs and my family and friends. My education is monumentally important to me, and being able to facilitate this learning in my kids, (the ones I tutor and also my daughter) touches me on the deepest level. Tutoring and education is fulfilling to me in ways that can't be explained.
    Jeslicania

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  13. When I was growing up and all through high school, college was assumed. Getting all the catalogs in the mail and searching through the pictures of the dorms and the various majors and programs. And then searching for scholarships and financial aid. It was thrilling. Then my life changed completely, and college was no longer a reasonable option. All of a sudden I was struggling with a severe mental illness, that nearly killed me. I got a full time job eventually at a grocery store and have been there for almost 5 years. I know this is not completely relevant to this posting. My point is that I took education, and the possibility of college for granted.
    Starting this work-study job and meeting these kids, and not fully knowing what is going on in their lives, I can tell that a lot of them won't be presented with unlimited options for college. Yes, 3 of the 4 I work with are in 2nd or 3rd grade, all of this starts so young. I suppose that is why we are in the elementary schools and not the high schools. Because there is a possibility of change for these kids.

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  14. I strongly agree that education is the most powerful weapon when it comes to changing the world. I feel like I am a great example. Growing up having parents who never finish high school, we were strongly encouraged to take this opportunity of education that was presented to us here in America. My parents worked tirelessly to make sure they could do what they could to make it easier to succeed at school because they knew that if we took advantage of our education, we could change the world. Not only would we be able to change our the economic status, but we could help others do the same. While I saw many of my cousins who did not take advantage of their education fall into things like poverty, drugs, and other problems, my sister and I prospered and continued to seek knowledge and ways to help our community. And I'm sure we aren't the only ones that grew up this way. Looking around I see kids just like me and I'm glad that those from the Thayne Center and the students of America Reads are helping them take advantage of their educations so that they can better their lives and the lives of those around them.

    -Brenda L Gaytan
    Media Specialist III

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  15. To think we have the abilities to make a change in the world if we really desire to and if we put in the effort of hard work we really can make a difference and education can help get us there. In relationship of the power to change the world being a tutor to children who have a hard time reading when you give them the necessary tools to help them read it opens up a whole new world for them.
    S.C.

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  16. Education is the most important possession a person must have. Education is beneficial in many aspect of life especially, personal and social it is the only thing that cannot be taken away from you. It will also give us a better view in life. I definitely agree with this quote of Mandela, so that as America reads tutor I put an effort to make sure that I have contributed to this world by helping students to learn and improve themselves.

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  17. Nelson Mandela was a wise man. I admired his strength and admiration for his people. Education was important in my home life. My mother sent me and my siblings away to school, for she wanted us to have a better education then she did. So, I stress that to my daughter and grandchildren. Education is powerful tool, and with the right direction in a job career and to your community, you can make a big difference in decision making.

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