Acclaimed educator Steve Perry to share ideas about public school system at Moton Gala
BY BRAVETTA HASSELL World Scene Writer
Saturday, February 16, 2013
2/16/13 at 4:39 AM
Acclaimed Connecticut educator Steve Perry wants you to think.
Think about what it takes to improve the quality of education offered by American's public school systems. Think about what that improvement would mean for the nation's children, its communities and its future. Then think about the realities confronting some young people heading to poor-performing schools each day.
Students - especially black, Hispanic and often the poor - come to Perry's mind as frequently being behind in grade level competencies.
"They're leaving high school with an eighth-grade education. ... It's disgusting, and they didn't do anything wrong," Perry said.
That type of realization is what has Perry working to transform his community. And for Perry, an education contributor for CNN and MSNBC, that transformation goes hand-in-hand with a quality education, which he said is "the only way out."
"You can give somebody money, but you can't make them rich. You can give somebody an education, they can take care of themselves and others for the rest of their lives," said Perry, founder and principal of Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Conn., which, every year since its opening, has sent 100 percent of its high school graduates to four-year colleges.
Perry, a columnist for Essence magazine, best-selling author and host of the TVONE docudrama "Save My Son," will be the speaker at the 2013 Robert Russa Moton Gala on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Marriott Hotel Southern Hills, 1902 E. 71st St.
Victoria Bartlett is this year's honorary chair at the gala, where Perry will deliver a message on how access to an education and quality health care can position a person for greater opportunities. It is a message to which Perry's own life is a testament, having been born into generational poverty to a teenage mother.
Perry said that transforming America's schools requires communities saying "enough is enough," and the decision that helping one student to success is not sufficient.
"So until such time we understand that it's not about what I can do for my child but what I can do for children," said Perry ahead of the event, "until we get that through our heads, none of our children will be safe, blood's going to continue to run through the streets of uneducated people who have no values to their own life, who have no problem taking your child's life."
Performances by Full Flava Kings, Salsabor Salsa Band and Soul Element featuring Brandi Hamilton will be the evening's entertainment.
For more information or for tickets, visit tulsaworld.com/motongala
Original Print Headline: Educator to share concerns at gala
Bravetta Hassell 918-581-8316