A MUST READ FOR ALL BOYS
Carolyn Boyland Ragland, Ed.D.
Adjunct instructor, Union University
Mr. Chipley and I have a commitment to education and the success of the urban child. We met at a private Christian school in the Binghampton community where I was the principal and he, a teacher. His dedication to his students was phenomenal. I could depend upon him to be prepared to teach his middle school students on a daily basis. He was not only prepared, but it was evident that he had a love and calling for the work that he did. Yes, I said calling, because I am a firm believer that a true teacher has to be called to impart knowledge because it is not an easy task.
Research has shown that with many urban male students reading is not a priority especially when it is in competition with sports. Basketball is usually the sport of choice with these students. If they have not been taught from an early age to appreciate and read books, the desire to do so will not be there. You see, reading is really not about ability, but it is what is cultivated in the home from infancy. The home link is what has been and continues to be the missing link in grooming the urban child for reading and academics. School has its place, but the home lays the foundation for a child’s focus in academics.
As an educator with experience that spans from elementary, middle, high school and college/university levels in working with students, I highly recommend the reading of Little A and The Purple Bus by all males, especially those in middle and high school. Mr. Chipley has done an excellent job of writing this book so as to challenge ones thinking as well as to emphasize the need for humanity in our dealings with each other. Little A depicts elements of home, school, community, and gang life that are tremendous. He also parallels time in a way that keeps the reader interested until the very end of the book. I encourage school, church, and community groups to use this book as a resource for reading and discussion with your male youth.