First Bell http://wrkf.org en First Bell: In a Time of Racial Tension, Quarterback's Team Wasn't With Him http://wrkf.org/post/first-bell-time-racial-tension-quarterbacks-team-wasnt-him <p></p><p></p><p><strong><em>The&nbsp;</em>First Bell&nbsp;<em>series is a growing collection of stories from students, parents, and educators about pivotal experiences in education. To tell your story, email&nbsp;<a href="mailto:amy@wrkf.org?subject=First%20Bell">amy@wrkf.org</a>&nbsp;<strong>with "My First Bell" in the subject line&nbsp;</strong>or tweet with the hashtag&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23MyFirstBell&amp;src=hash" target="_blank">#MyFirstBell</a>.</em></strong></p><p>__________</p><p><br />Eric Reed was the first black quarterback at his elementary, middle, and high school when the Baton Rouge public schools were being integrated.</p><p>Epithets were used against him more than once.<br /><br />Reed’s junior year at predominantly white Istrouma High School, 1974, was a turning point. The night after a race riot at the school, the football team played the last game of the regular season against all-black McKinley.<br /><br />“Anytime Istrouma played McKinley, I happened to be the target of a lot of trash talk, because I’m the one who didn’t go to McKinley or Capitol, I chose to go to Istrouma, so I was -- the term they used back then -- the ‘oreo’, you know, I sold out.”<br /><br />Both teams needed the win to get to the playoffs, but Reed says he didn’t have the usual fire in his belly. Istrouma lost 7 to 6.</p><p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 07:54:54 +0000 Amy Jeffries 25466 at http://wrkf.org First Bell: In a Time of Racial Tension, Quarterback's Team Wasn't With Him First Bell: Twin Sisters, Separate Schools http://wrkf.org/post/first-bell-twin-sisters-separate-schools <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">The&nbsp;</em>First Bell&nbsp;<em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">series is a growing collection of stories from students, parents, and educators about pivotal experiences in education. To tell your story, email&nbsp;<a href="mailto:amy@wrkf.org?subject=First%20Bell" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(12, 76, 162);">amy@wrkf.org</a>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">with "My First Bell" in the subject line&nbsp;</strong>or tweet with the hashtag&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23MyFirstBell&amp;src=hash" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(12, 76, 162);" target="_blank">#MyFirstBell</a>.</em></strong></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">__________</p><div><p></p><p>Judging from the way that the fraternal twin sisters laugh and finish each other’s sentences, you might think Megan and Kendall Smith had never left each other’s side.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p></p><p>But, as Kendall told fellow LSU student Morgan Louviere, they started going to separate schools — and leading separate lives — in the third grade.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>Megan got into a private school and Kendall didn’t.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>Megan says they didn’t really get different “educations” as a result, but getting their education “differently” did make them who they are.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p></p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 08:34:41 +0000 Morgan Louviere 25157 at http://wrkf.org First Bell: Twin Sisters, Separate Schools First Bell: English Teacher Shatters Adolescent Conception of Masculinity http://wrkf.org/post/first-bell-english-teacher-shatters-adolescent-conception-masculinity <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span>The&nbsp;</em>First Bell&nbsp;<em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">series is a growing collection of stories from students, parents, and educators about pivotal experiences in education. To tell your story, email&nbsp;<a href="mailto:amy@wrkf.org?subject=First%20Bell" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(12, 76, 162);">amy@wrkf.org</a>&nbsp;<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">with "My First Bell" in the subject line&nbsp;</strong>or tweet with the hashtag&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23MyFirstBell&amp;src=hash" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(12, 76, 162);" target="_blank">#MyFirstBell</a>.</em></strong></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">__________</p><p></p><p>Parrish went to Istrouma High School in Baton Rouge during the mid ‘70s.</p><p></p><p></p><p>He was a jock with a lot of anger, caught up in the racial violence of the time.</p><p></p><p></p><p>And then he walked into Fred Shirley’s English class</p><p></p><p></p><p>Shirley was the teacher who would introduce Parrish to counter-cultural books like the <em>Great Gatsby</em> and <em>Slaughter House Five</em>.</p><p></p><p></p><p>And he showed Parrish there was a different way to be a man.&nbsp;</p><p></p><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div><p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 13:39:52 +0000 Frank Barnett 24828 at http://wrkf.org First Bell: English Teacher Shatters Adolescent Conception of Masculinity First Bell: For Her Youngest, Learning the ABCs Wasn't Easy as A-B-C http://wrkf.org/post/first-bell-her-youngest-learning-abcs-wasnt-easy-b-c <p></p><p></p><p><strong><em>The </em>First Bell <em>series is a growing collection of stories from students, parents, and educators about pivotal experiences in education. To tell your story, email <a href="mailto:amy@wrkf.org?subject=First%20Bell">amy@wrkf.org</a> <strong>with "My First Bell" in the subject line </strong>or tweet with the hashtag <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23MyFirstBell&amp;src=hash" target="_blank">#MyFirstBell</a>.</em></strong></p><p>__________</p><p>LaToya Johnson is the mother of three boys.<br /><br />Early on, in daycare and preschool, Johnson's older two learned their ABCs and how to write.</p><p>"So by the time I got to my youngest and he got to pre-k and he wasn’t able to recognize his alphabet, I was like, ok, something was wrong."&nbsp;</p><p>That turned out to be the start of a journey that ultimately led Johnson to enroll her son Micah in a private school — Hosanna Christian Academy in Baton Rouge — through the state voucher program.<br />&nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:18:00 +0000 Amy Jeffries 24498 at http://wrkf.org First Bell: For Her Youngest, Learning the ABCs Wasn't Easy as A-B-C First Bell: It Took a Hurricane to Get this Student Reading http://wrkf.org/post/first-bell-it-took-hurricane-get-student-reading <p></p><p></p><p><strong><em>The </em>First Bell <em>series is a growing collection of stories from students, parents, and educators about pivotal experiences in education. To tell your story, email <a href="mailto:amy@wrkf.org?subject=First%20Bell">amy@wrkf.org</a> <strong>with "My First Bell" in the subject line </strong>or tweet with the hashtag <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23MyFirstBell&amp;src=hash" target="_blank">#MyFirstBell</a>.</em></strong></p><p>__________</p><p>Vasser was not a good student in 2005.</p><p>When Hurricane Katrina forced him to move out of New Orleans and transfer to Catholic High in Baton Rouge, he had to turn it around.</p><p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 10:41:00 +0000 Alix Landriault 24130 at http://wrkf.org First Bell: It Took a Hurricane to Get this Student Reading First Bell: State Superintendent's Lunch Hour Lessons http://wrkf.org/post/first-bell-state-superintendents-lunch-hour-lessons <p></p><p><strong><em>The </em>First Bell <em>series is a growing collection of stories from students, parents, and educators about pivotal experiences in education. To tell your story, email <a href="mailto:amy@wrkf.org?subject=First%20Bell">amy@wrkf.org</a> <strong>with "My First Bell" in the subject line </strong>or tweet with the hashtag <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23MyFirstBell&amp;src=hash" target="_blank">#MyFirstBell</a>.</em></strong></p><p>__________&nbsp;</p><p>When state Superintendent John White was playing sports in high school, he says the poverty of the kids who lived a mile or two away from him came into view.<br /><br />"I think there was something always, in a way, powerful, about being in a low-income community’s home court. Because, when you come in with your nice uniforms and, you know, you practice everyday in a nice gym or on a nice field, and you play guys whose uniforms don’t quite look the way they should, or the gym’s in bad shape, and the field is also a soccer, also a baseball, also a something else field, you get a very material view of what inequity looks like."<br /><br />White found the disparity was something he couldn’t turn his back on.</p><p>He now oversees the education of Louisiana’s roughly 700,000 public school students. But he started his career teaching English in a high-poverty high school in Jersey City, NJ.<br /><br />He says he never considered a career in private education, even though he went to an elite all-boys school — St. Albans in Washington, D.C. — from elementary school all the way through 12th grade. And he loved it.</p><p> Mon, 17 Mar 2014 09:00:00 +0000 Amy Jeffries 23827 at http://wrkf.org First Bell: State Superintendent's Lunch Hour Lessons First Bell: Resounding Experiences in Education http://wrkf.org/post/first-bell-resounding-experiences-education <p>We have all had experiences in education that have shaped our ideas about teaching and learning, that have shaped who we are.</p><p>For state Superintendent John White, it was that moment when he came to appreciate that what happens during lunch hour is just as important as what happens during class time. For LaToya Johnson, it was the moment when she realized that learning the ABCs wasn't as easy as A-B-C for her youngest son. For Eric Reed, it was when he realized his teammates weren't cheering with the black students during a high school pep rally.</p> Mon, 17 Mar 2014 08:39:00 +0000 Amy Jeffries 23833 at http://wrkf.org First Bell: Resounding Experiences in Education