Some newsworthy and noteworthy info for GCP parents:

“American Promise” Airing on PBS on February 3: At long last, the acclaimed documentary “American Promise”, which chronicles the journey of two African-American boys from kindergarten through high school graduation, will be aired on PBS on Feburary 3rd at 10pm. Please check your local listings to find your PBS station and confirm what time it is airing in your town. Settle in to watch it next Monday, or be sure to record it so you can watch it at another time. This is a fascinating and compelling film which you should make an effort to see and which you will want to talk about with other parents.

Intensive Small-Group Tutoring and Counseling Helps Struggling Students: An article in today’s New York Times highlights the impressive work being done in Chicago to help close the achievement gap in math that affects an alarming number of African American eighth grade boys. As described in the article found here, the University of Chicago Urban Education Lab provided a program of intense tutoring and group behavioral counseling to a group of low-income ninth and tenth-grade African-American boys with weak math skills and track records of absences or disciplinary problems.

Tutors were assigned pairs of students and worked with them on concepts during their math class. The tutored students showed impressive progress. As the article noted “Those students learned in an eight-month period the equivalent of what the average American high school student learns in math over three years of school, as measured by standardized test scores, over and above what a similar group of students who did not receive the tutoring or counseling did.” These impressive results, which stem from an increased focus on individual needs, encourage educators to move away from the notion that if you don’t reach academically disadvantaged boys by an early age it is too late to help them catch up.

Moreover, these results should encourage all parents to focus on how tutoring can help all of our sons identify academic weaknesses and strengthen them. While tutoring can be an expensive proposition, it need not always be, as there are organizations which offer reduced fee or free tutoring. Look for an upcoming GCP article on this subject.

ISDN Upcoming events: The Independent School Diversity Network, a New York City based alliance of parents and educators dedicated to developing and supporting diversity, equity and inclusion in educational communities, is hosting a series of interesting and informative events in the New York City area in February. They include:

Saturday 2/1 1:30-4:30pm– “Me & My Grown-Ups Workshop” for students of color in grade K-4 and their parents at the Nightingale-Bamford School. Advance Registration required. You will find additional including workshop fees here.

Wednesday 2/5 6-8pm– Race and Privilege: Anti Racist Parenting Group. A free monthly meeting for adults. Networking, discussion, guest speakers, workshop activities. Find more information and RSVP here.

Monday 2/24 6-8pm– ISDN’s Annual Spring Forum for Parents and Educators at the Nightingale-Bamford School. This year will feature a discussion of “American Promise Revisited: What can we do about Black Male Student Achievement”?
Find more information and RSVP here.

17 Things Boys Need from their Moms: Finally, a sweet take on the special relationship between mothers and their sons can be found here. How many of these things do you give to your son on a regular basis?