Crenshaw & Around highlights three educators who are making strides within the community. These three ladies are just some of the many, local Black teachers and educators that are making sure the youth are ready for the future.
Also contributing to this article:
Chelsea Battle, Sentinel Contributing Writer
& Shannen Hill, Sentinel Contributing Writer
A solid education is one of the major tenets of Black History Month. Black Americans struggled, fought and died for the right to learn how to read, write and get an education as well as establish themselves in society. We have come a long way and made many strides thanks to those who made sacrifices for generations to come. Daphne Bradford, Stacey Joy and Terri Norwood are three women who are educating our youth and taking them to the next level.
Daphne Bradford continues to take education to the next level. Her involvement with local schools such as Crenshaw High and Dorsey High, through her digital media and culinary programs, have inspired youth to pursue high profile futures.
Bradford’s endeavors have managed to get her students published, invited to the Democratic National Convention, volunteers in the Obama Campaign and a monumental visit to the White House. She’s currently working through her non-profit, Mother Of Many, with the “Let’s Move” initiative, “Change What You Eat, Change How You Feel!” to get her culinary students to the White House once again to meet the First Lady, Michelle Obama.
The Mothers of Many (MOM) CEO and Apple certified instructor has been recognized by Microsoft’s Innovative Educators. Through MOM, a non-profit organization, Bradford has provided educational programming to various schools including Crenshaw, Dorsey and Hamilton high schools and California State universities at Dominguez Hills, Northridge, Los Angeles and Santa Monica College.
photo by Troy Tieuel
Stacey Joy has been recognized by the Los Angeles County Office of Education as “Teacher of the Year.” The Baldwin Hills elementary school teacher has had a true desire for teaching since the age of six and pursue that dream to become one of the best.
Joy’s teaching methods allow her students to grow academically and socially. One of her methods includes having “middle school” days during the school year, in which her students learn from four different teachers in preparation for middle school.
Along with teaching children, Joy teaches adults. She has been a UCLA faculty advisor and instructor for the LEAD Teacher Certification Program. Joy’s responsibilities include supervising the student teachers sent to her school and teaching a seminar course. While it’s very time consuming to teach at an elementary school and supervise a teaching program for college students, Joy manages to do both jobs effectively.
Terri Norwood is bringing the spark back into reading and making it fun again. The Bright Stars Reading Club hopes to engage early elementary kids in reading and feed their burgeoning imaginations.
In 2004, the Compton native began Bright Stars Reading Club in a small room at Darby Park in Inglewood. She funded everything from the elaborate décor to the teaching materials from her own pockets, and every Saturday the reading club convened. As word got out and the program began to receive more public attention—most notably a Certificate of Special Recognition from Congresswoman Maxine Waters—the organization began receiving grants from franchises the likes of Target and Office Depot. Private donors also pitched in their share, enabling her to move and open up her own center on Manchester Blvd. It is in that space that the reading club has continued to develop and flourish.
The program also utilizes both high school and adult volunteers. Guest speakers have run the gamut— from doctors, police officers, authors, firefighters, and magicians to the Tooth Fairy—all of whom have made visits to speak to the starry eyed bright stars. Not only does the center serve as a hub for learning, but a place to engage families as well. Thus Norwood also hosts birthday parties, talent shows, and all types of gatherings where kids can learn and engage.
We salute or Black educators as they carry on the tradition of Black History Month by informing, educating and giving back to generation after generation.