Only a small percent of African American students met or exceeded standards in English Language Arts and many have a low performance in mathematics.
As we embark upon this new millennium, illiteracy is our greatest challenge among African American adults and children. We are moving into a highly technical era, being driven by computer technology. We are moving away from face-to-face conversations and moving toward more letter writing, faxes, texting, and e-mails. We must combat illiteracy among our children as well as adults.
As we embark upon the technology era, the above deficiencies do not lend itself toward a good future for African American students and adults. As the nation focuses on the education of STEM, it does not take a rocket scientist to know that literacy is the foundation that prepares the students for STEM programs.
Research proves that African American students lag significantly in literacy and mathematics, and there is no plan in place to correct these deficiencies. The question is: Why is it acceptable for African American students to be left behind and are they included in the slogan, “No child left behind?” Did we not learn from the 9/11 attack, that when one hurts, we all hurt? African American students should be inclusive, and if not, then, why not, and if not now, then when?
Through Black Writers On Tour, we will raise awareness of the human cost of illiteracy, explore programs on the many ways we may all fight against illiteracy, and encourage young people to explore the joy of reading and writing at an early age.
Black Writers on Tour is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization with a twenty-five-year history that primarily focuses on literacy. We do not exclude any group; however, our main focus is African Americans, as it’s a proven fact that when it comes to English, mathematics, and technology, they are behind the curve, which means they do not possess the skills needed to survive, thrive, and obtain livable wage jobs to provide for their family. When we combat the illiteracy challenges for Black Americans, we increase their economic status, and that, in turn, helps them to compete globally in the economy.
Many African American students withdraw from college classes early because of their reading pace and feeling overwhelmed by the curriculum and therefore, do not give themselves a fair chance.
Together we stand strong and divided we fall weakly.
[Dr. Rosie Milligan, President and Founder of Black Writer On Tour and Founder of BWOT Global Learning Academy. Bwotgloballearningacademy.com, 1425 W. Manchester Avenue Ste. B, Los Angeles, California 90047, 323-750-3592 firstname.lastname@example.org.]