Here’s how an African-American culture class aims to keep black kids in school


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A african american culture class that has helped change the lives of young people in schools in the city of Roanoke, Va., is now available to the public.

The organization Total Action for Progress (TAP) first introduced the class, African American Culture and Contemporary Issues (AACCI), in 2008 to prevent young black men from high school dropoutaccording Roanoke time.

TAP’s head of youth services and education, Lateefah Trent, told the newspaper that students usually drop out of school because they are not optimistic about the future.

“They don’t feel like they’re really going to live past 21 or 25, or that they’re not going to be worth anything, so ‘what’s the point?'” Trent said.

But, Trent says the AACCI class teaches young black people that their lives and the lives of others are valuable. “The culture has gone through society so much saying, ‘You’re not worth it,'” she said.

“You are worthy. You are important. Everyone has a purpose, and everyone has gifts. How do you want to use yours and contribute to your community to improve your life and become your best self? C That’s a lot of what the class offers.

Approximately 25 students enrolled in the AACCI course in January 2019 at At William Fleming High School. Enrollment increased as word spread about the beneficial effects of the talks and lessons on black male students.

The current promotion has about 75 registered students. According to The Roanoke Times, there was such demand for the course that it was made available to both male and female students for the 2021-2022 academic year.

When TAP received a grant from the Roanoke Gun Violence Prevention Commission in May, it made the decision to use some of the money to expand course selection to include community members and parents, aged 15 and over. On September 17, the new free public course began at the Roanoke Higher Education Center (RHEC).

“We had several parents and people in the community who said, ‘Hey, I heard about my child or grandchild in this class. It looks very interesting. Is there something like that to go? “Trent explained. “That’s how we came in with the community that we have on Saturdays,” she added.

“The biggest thing we love about it is that it allows different ages, from all walks of life, to come together and learn about African American culture and its history as a group. , as a team, to build community awareness,” she said. added.

According to the TAP website, the new public class will cover topics such as community building, leadership development, and developing critical thinking skills.

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