Education and Youth Development News

Education and Youth Development News

Volume 1, Issue 2 - Athletic Energy to Academic Synergy = Infrastructure for Child Greatness

  • by HAUL
  • Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A parent’s dream for their child’s greatness depends on working together, parents and child, to build the infrastructure that influences their collective dream, or should I say one parent or the other’s dream for that child’s greatness. We all know parents who have taken a ball or ballet shoes to the hospital on their child’s birth date and placed them in the crib, instead of a book. We also know that when a child can’t catch up academically, it’s largely in part to the fact that they are struggling readers and can’t catch on.

If families, fathers first and mothers, work together to provide the same energy at home to develop their child’s early reading skills that they provide around athletics, the holistic greatness they seek for their child, becomes a reality. Ann Cunningham explained that reading is a “very rich, complex, and cognitive act” (2003) that offers an immense opportunity to exercise our intelligence in ways we lose if we don’t read. Steven Krashen (2011), after studying Edison’s years of research, suggest that reading not only builds our brain, but also exercises our intelligence. We all know that daily, intentional exercise of our children’s physical skills around athletics; gives them a chance at greatness.

Every child deserves to read and rise to greatness. The problem is that parents don’t have a minor league to practice before the exercises begin. Getting them ready for that first million dollar contract must be accompanied with the skills to read, comprehend, and critically think about how they use it to make their second million. That requires parent leadership, not buying Air Jordan and LeBron James’ basketball sneakers, but buying books. Children in families living among the books are prepared for a lifetime of school, work, and life greatness.

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The mission of the Houston Area Urban League is to enable African Americans and other minorities to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights.

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