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Summer Research Seminar 2002
UCLA/IDEA
My World by Emma Street
Photo: Mary Johnson & Valerie Munoz
Come into my world, and let me tell you a story. In the beginning of my time you will see is where my experience began. My mother only went to the third grade in school. She was my first teacher...

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My World

To write my memoir I will recount a portion of my educational experience from home. Come into my world, and let me tell you a story. In the beginning of my time you will see is where my experience began. My mother only went to the third grade in school. She was my first teacher. She would have all of her children sit down on the floor, and she began to teach us about life. Recapturing some of the things she taught about the tree, how they have life. The flower how they blossom, all about the animal, milk come from cow also goat. As a matter of fact we had hogs, pigs, chicken, pigeons, and rabbits. I learned also about other living creature, fowl and fish. How you can dig deep down into the ground until you hit sand, and underneath is water. My mother calls the land crust because all underneath is water. My mother would read to us and tell us a story, for instance, about the Titanic, how they build a ship to live at sea. The ship was supposed to be unsinkable, but it hit an iceberg, and the ship begins to sink. While it was sinking the people were singing "Near Oh My God To Thee." My mother was also a Christian she taught us how to pray. She had a lot of heart and love for people; she was a caring person with wisdom knowledge, and understanding.

I started in school in the first grade. I was not allowed to start in the kindergarten, because I was too big for my age. Being ill growing up and going to school, there were restrictions for me through school. I felt left out because the common word for me was "no" and "don’t." But, yet, I love school. In elementary I had one teacher that I didn’t like because she accused me of lying. She never apologized to me after learning the truth from my mother. Such things as this can affect ones life, that’s why parent involvement should be more active in the school. To bridge the gap between student and teacher by way of communication and having positive attitudes toward school. My mother always told us that we have more advantages for education and to learn all you can. To not forget my father, we had a small neighborhood grocery store, he told all of us that we need to learn how to count, so at the age nine I learn how to work a cash register, read the scale, weigh meat, do stock, and take inventory.

To me going to school was all right. We learned to deal with each situation that came along at school or in the community. It was a challenge in life as a child growing up to become a teenager. During my school years beginning in the fifth grade looking back over my life, I would say we had more quality teachers. They were more caring and concerned teachers, in spite of our background. The teachers have they own method and style of teaching. When I was going to school, we were taught etiquette, moral principle, and self-respect. We had to learn to prepare our self for high school, because when we get to high school we must prepare our self for college and young adult life into society. Oh, what happened to our children's lunch? We did not have soda vendor on our campus. We had real lunch and a good cafeteria. We speak of quality education, but what about quality lunch? Our children need quality balance diet. Then children test scores may improve.

Are you still with me in my world? In my eighth grade English class I was selected to sit on the graduation panel and be able to answer five questions. I felt honored knowing that I have been through some of the fundamentals which is the basic, addition and subtraction of arithmetic, a word you don’t hear of too much any more. I went on to graduation and become a freshman in high school. My illness set in and I had to have open-heart surgery. I recovered and back at school I took a class in home making, and I made my first dress and skirt. Some schools have done away with this, also cooking class. I hear talk about eliminating band from school. I began to experience more racism, mostly among administration in high school, counselor, deans, and Vice Principal. There were no blacks in the administration, only American Caucasian, the school was predominant white when I went though school, it has changed for the worse, but not for the good. Now I am here in your world as a mother, grandmother and a great grandmother at college participating in history making decisions. Hoping to leave this legacy behind for the future generation. There needs to be some changes made. I am here to help to make some of the changes, as a parent advocate and leader, parents can make a difference. Brown (1990) states that "parent participation in their children’s schooling frequently: enhances children’s self-esteem; improves children’s academic achievement: improves parent-child relationship; helps parents develop positive attitudes towards school." We need to empower parents and train them all about the Curriculum, State Standard and Assessment, Sat 9 A- G, Special education, and School Policy.

I personally believe that education is the responsibility of the home and the schools are here to help. Getting involved and taking an interest in a child’s education represents an investment for the future generation of all children.

Emma Street
Parent U-Turn

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