Structure nurtures good grades
Sunday, March 17, 2019
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.” (Dr. Seuss) This timely quote reminds me of a conversation I had with a cousin of mine recently. He informed me that his daughter at Bertie High School, where I graduated in the top of my high school class, is a sophomore and has not earned a grade less than an “A” since she has been in school. Moreover, his son, who graduated in 2007, was salutatorian, though he believes he actually was valedictorian but did not receive the designation.
When I attended high school, very few black students had graduated No. 1 or No. 2 in their high school class. One could count such graduates on one hand and have fingers left over. Yet, more blacks around the country are graduating as valedictorians or salutatorians. My referenced cousin was quite an inspiration as he shared how he incentivized reading and learning at very early stages of his children’s upbringing. He sometimes gave each child $100 when they brought home all As. Further, he expected his children to be home at an early time of the evening and go to bed on time. This family structure should be replicated to the most practical extent possible.
Wouldn’t it be nice for someone in our area to set up a grooming and nurturing program to grow honor graduates and focus on diversifying the pool such that black students, at the very least, would become junior marshals and subsequently graduate with honors? Participating students might receive regular incentives to do well academically, and sponsors and academic coaches could make reading and the studying of other disciplines fun. Churches, for example, might help in this regard.
Keith W. Cooper