Letter from Ed: Dasha Shaw

It is with great excitement that I give you a glimpse of my life with Ed. I am from Greensboro, NC although I have lived all over because I come from a military family. I went to school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I am a Tar Heel through and through! It was at UNC that I really found my passion for education.

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Ed Alumni: Aspen Gorman

Aspen Gorman is a Freshman and a Business major with a concentration in Supply Management at Tennessee State University. Aspen graduated from A.H. Parker High School in 2017, and got her start working with the Ed Foundation as a student in the Academy of Urban Educators at A.H. Parker. At Tennessee State, Aspen is a Supply Chain Ambassador and a member of the Pep Club, and even after attending college out-of-state, Aspen continues to participate with Ed by being one of the Ed Alumni Group founders.

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Letters from Ed: CeCe Lacey

Student, parent, educator, community partner, teammate, or friend:

It is with gratitude and pride that I write to you today to share a tiny glimpse into my life at the Birmingham Education Foundation. The beauty of this opportunity is that it reiterates how much this team truly values bringing all voices to the table. Just as much as we want to share our stories, thoughts, and ideas with you, we want to hear yours even more. This is a journey we are taking together and it would not be able to be successful any other way. Continue reading

Educate Local: Building Skills with BCS Seniors

On Friday, October 13, seniors from all seven high schools in Birmingham City Schools met at the Harbert Center for the skill-building conference on public speaking. Participating students had worked with volunteer presenters, Ed staff, and their teachers to produce personal commentaries, which they wrote, practiced, and perfected through in-school sessions, before giving presentations to volunteers from Rotary Club of Birmingham.

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Partner Post: GEAR UP Birmingham

GEAR UP Birmingham Prepares Birmingham City Schools 9th and 10th Grade Students for Collegiate Success

GEAR UP Birmingham (GUB) is a federally funded initiative, currently serving a cohort of 9th and 10th grade students attending Birmingham City Schools. The initiative began in 2014, when the current cohort of students were just entering 6th and 7th grades.

“The grant was written with longevity and sustainability in mind”, said Dr. Kisha Tolbert Simmons, NBCT, Project Director, GEAR UP Birmingham. “It offers cohort students opportunities to participate in college awareness and preparation services throughout their middle and high school years, in an effort to promote and support postsecondary education attainment”, she said.

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A Letter from Ed

This Letter from Ed comes from Strategy Director Victoria Hollis. To learn more about Victoria, visit our Staff page here. To learn more about her role as Strategy Director, go here.

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Ask me why I do what I do and I’ll hand you a list like a phonebook. 25,000 names of kids in Birmingham City Schools and I am not lying when I tell you I do it for every single one.

I met Triniti and Josselyn when they were in the tenth grade. Continue reading

Educator Spotlight: Lindsey Bloodworth, English Teacher, Ramsay High School

The material that Lindsey Bloodworth teaches in her 9th– and 10th– grade English classes at Ramsay High School can be difficult to get students excited about, so she uses some unconventional methods. When teaching Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 19th-century classic, The Scarlett Letter, a notoriously arduous staple of high-school English syllabi, Ms. Bloodworth imitated character Hester Prynne’s famous stand on the scaffold in town square. “I stood on my desk the whole day to read that opening scene,” she said. After that, the kids were hooked. On a later date, they wanted to keep reading even after the bell. “At the end of the class, when we were getting close to the bell and I told the kids we needed to stop for the day, they all simultaneously yelled ‘No!’ And this was about The Scarlett Letter.” Even Ms. Bloodworth, a devotee of American literature, had not anticipated the emotional reaction from her students: “I thought that would never happen, but it did.” Continue reading

Program Spotlight: The SAIL Collaborative helps summer learning blast off in Birmingham

Entering a Birmingham elementary school in June, one might expect to hear nothing but silence; but on a Tuesday morning last month, Oliver Elementary in Crestwood was just as busy as ever. In a computer lab on the second floor, Henry Thornton, an intern for the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA), was quietly conducting a room full of whisper-reading, finger-counting Kindergarten and first-grade students through two 34-question tests—one in reading and one in math. While the tests were being administered over desktop computers, Tamarah Burney—Birmingham City Schools teacher and Camp Director for Summer Advantage—walked around the room to assist the students and give praise for good behavior. “Let me see if I can catch anyone else doing what they’re supposed to be doing!” she said, as she punched a hole in a smiling first-grader’s index card. He’d get to redeem that punch in a gift shop on a field trip the next week, along with his fellow classmates who got punches in their cards. Continue reading

Educator Spotlight: Erik Batson, Academy Coordinator, Jackson-Olin High School

Despite the impressive list of places where he has taught—from the Bronx, to Austin, Texas, to the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina—you’d be hard-pressed to
find a teacher anywhere that has as much enthusiasm for their system as Erik Batson has for Birmingham City Schools.

Sitting at a table at Starbucks in Five Points South, wearing cycling clothes complete with a “Brooklyn”-emblazoned cycling cap, he professed, “I love my job. I love working for Jackson-Olin, and I love working for Birmingham City Schools—much better than other places I have been.” Continue reading