Discussion Aims To Compile A List Of Things Predominantly Black Churches Can Do To Help
June 1, 2007
What can predominantly black churches do to help bridge the educational achievement gap experienced by black students?
That will be the focus of a forum Saturday at the Bethel A.M.E. Church in Bloomfield.
The program will include a panel discussion featuring experts on education, prominent local figures and students. It is the first in a series titled "Bridging the Achievement Gap: The Role of the Church."
The aim of the three-hour forum is to compile a list of goals to reduce the achievement gap. The goals will be carried out in the coming months by members of the church community.
One example is to use local churches, which are largely unused on weekday afternoons, to host workshops for children, said Floyd Bagwell, the chairman of the forum. For more than 20 years, Bagwell was director of Eastern Connecticut State University's Learning Center, which provides academic assistance to students.
"This is not a venting session," Bagwell said. "We are asking people to come with ideas on how we can seriously engage the education community to help us achieve the goal of bridging the education gap."
Members of the 13-person panel will include Stanley F. Battle, the recently appointed chancellor of North Carolina A&T State University, George Coleman, the deputy commissioner of the state Department of Education, and state Rep. Douglas McCrory, D-7th District.
"We just have a responsibility as productive people to be able to bridge the gap and encourage our kids to achieve the same kinds of things that we've been able to achieve," Bagwell said.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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