The Invisible Ones

Power of Ten Update
In This Issue:
1. The Invisible Ones
2. Voting Rights Act Applies in East Ramapo
3. Parent & Youth Conference – December 9
4. Holiday Party!

1) The Invisible Ones

Over the past several years it has been reported many times that there are too many students not doing well in East Ramapo. We hear over and over again that 3 out of 4 students are not “proficient” in Reading and Math. Students who are not doing well are always presented as a statistic, whereas those who are excelling are recognized individually for their success. To some extent this is only natural, but is has the effect of rendering most of the student body invisible. We know what it looks like for a student to get a scholarship to Harvard, or be on the winning sports team. We don’t know what it is like for the child and family struggling with learning math, or a student who can’t recite his ABC in the third grade. These are The Invisible Ones.

It seems that every year there is a new outcry, a new plan, a new curriculum to address the unhappy statistic. It must be very frustrating for the staff, the parents, the children. It is as if the they are in a “Black Box“, a system which can be viewed solely in terms of its stimuli inputs and output reactions.

To see inside the box, to render the invisible visible, we need only to open our eyes. Many families in our diverse district suffer from horrific economic exploitation. We live in one of the wealthiest counties in the country, and yet working families are living in overcrowded, dilapidated housing, and relying on government support just to avoid starvation. Many children spend their earliest years in unsafe, unlicensed child care settings without any modern child development tools. The impact of poverty on children is wrapped into statistics about free lunch, but the children, and the reasons why they are in poverty, remain invisible.

2) Voting Rights Act Applies in East Ramapo

The NYCLU has taken action to protect rights of minority voters in East Ramapo under the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The New York Times: East Ramapo School Elections Violate Voting Rights, Suit Claims

The Journal News: East Ramapo parents’ lawsuit: Election system stacked vs. minorities

The Atlantic: A Heavy Blow to One of America’s Most Controversial School Boards

3) Parent & Youth Conference – December 9

Tender Steps of New York, Inc. (TSONY) will facilitate a parent & youth conference, “Step Into Your Destiny” empowering the power within at the Rockland County Community College in the Student Union Building, for youth ages 12-18, on Saturday, December 9, 2017, from 8:00 AM- 2 PM. The guest speakers will include Dr. Weldon McWilliams IV community advocate, Dr. Tammy Pate NYC Department of Education Administrator, Wanda Julien, retired Lieutenant of Detectives and other professional leaders from multiple fields who will facilitate workshops to promote the importance of developing coping skills, importance of social media etiquette, promote self-respect and to learn tools and strategies on how to deal with peer pressure to address ways to improve emotional health of youth in the community. The parenting workshops will promote helpful parenting skills to help guide while raising their youths.

4) Holiday Party!

Join Strong East Ramapo  to celebrate the progress we have made as a community, discuss the issues that plague us still and the plans we have to move forward. We only ask that everyone bring either a snack, dessert, or drink to share.

When: Monday, December 18 at 7 PM – 9 PM
Where: New Hillcrest Firehouse, 371 N. Main St. Spring Valley