Springfield, Ohio — Wittenberg University's Institute for Education Innovation is sponsoring a pair of presentations on timely educational subjects. A speech by author and New York Times Magazine editor Paul Tough is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, at Springfield High School, and a speech by professor and author Diane Levin is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, at Wittenberg's Joseph C. Shouvlin Center for Lifelong Learning.
Both events are open to the public and free of charge. Tough's presentation is co-sponsored by Springfield City Schools, which is providing the venue, located at 701 E. Home Road, without requirement of a fee.
Tough, the author of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest To Change Harlem And America, will make a presentation titled "Building a Culture that Supports Student Achievement for Students Who Come from Poverty: Lessons Learned from the Harlem Children's Zone." He will discuss how the student's ability to achieve is affected by persistent, generational poverty and how parents, teachers and schools working together have succeeded to address the root causes of the achievement gap – not simply for a few kids but for whole populations and communities.
"Springfield City Schools is happy to co-sponsor Mr. Tough's presentation," said David Estrop, superintendent of the district. "We look forward to this as an opportunity to explore ways to increase student performance."
Tough's presentation will provide illustrations of how cities and schools are organizing to use the lessons learned Harlem in their own communities.
"Canada's work is one of the most significant educational attempts to address poverty in decades," said Bob Welker, director of the Institute of Education Innovation. "It brings together social service and education agencies in a coordinated effort and has produced such stunning results that the Obama administration will be funding similar projects nationwide. Tough can help us see how this might apply to Springfield and Clark County."
[Diane Levin Book Cover]
Levin, professor of education at Wheelock College in Boston, Mass., has a message for teachers and parents that is critically important. As she documents in her book, So Sexy, So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do To Protect Their Kids, the media teaches children about sexual expectations, roles and opportunities. All too frequently the media uses sex to sell products even as it promotes sexual intimacy, availability and attractiveness at increasingly younger ages.
Levin describes the impact of this onslaught on the social and emotional well being of both girls and boys. Just as importantly, she describes the actions parents and educators can take to help youth critically examine the role media plays in defining sexuality. As Levin explains in her book, "…no child growing up today can fully escape today's sexualized environment." Yet, parents and educators can take steps to reduce the problem and to stay connected with children even as the stakes get higher during adolescence and later years.
Wittenberg sponsors of Tough's presentation include the Faculty Endowment Fund Board, the Departments of Education, English and Communication and the Center for Civic and Urban Engagement. Partner sponsors include the Clark County Family and Children First Council, Springfield Area Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, Aspire P-16 Consortium, Springfield and Clark County Schools and Wittenberg's Upward Bound Program.
Levin's program is sponsored by the Institute for Education Innovation through a United States Department of Education grant to Wittenberg's Department of Education.
Written by: Ryan Maurer