The importance of math and science studies will be stressed.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
CHAMPION -- A Kent State University-Trumbull group wants to devise a plan to instill the importance of education in young people.
That's one of the aims of Families Fighting Back, a workshop from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday in the student union at the university. The event is sponsored by the Independent Black Minority Coalition and the Marcus Garvey Institute of Awareness and involves other area groups.
"We want to put our heads together and come up with a starting point of how we can do that," said Abdu Awolowo, chairman of the university's Pan-African Studies Department.
The event will feature film clips and discussions about the teachings of Malcolm X, a leader in the black movement of the 1960s, who was shot to death in February 1965. Discussions then will shift to the importance of education and ways to reinforce that importance in young people.
"We're working with kids in elementary and junior high schools to prepare them for college so when they graduate they'll be more likely to go to college, to graduate from college and maybe go on and get a master's degree or a Ph.D.," said Awolowo, who also is chairman of the board of directors of the Marcus Garvey Institute of Awareness.
Particular importance should be placed on math and science studies, said Awolowo.
Those subjects make up the foundation of many growing career fields and it's difficult to succeed at college without some background in them.
Thursday's event marks the second such workshop at KSU-Trumbull. Michelle Jones, vice president of the IBMC, termed last year's event a success, adding that it includes community leaders as well as students.
"We talk about the importance of education and financial aid and talents and where to showcase those talents," she said.
The event is free. A soul food lunch will be provided by 100 Fold, an Akron restaurant.
Awolowo said the groups are working with pupils at Jefferson Elementary School in Warren, bringing them to the university campus to plant the idea of continuing their education at a young age.
The workshop will focus on ways to expand that idea.
"We want them to grow up thinking, 'I want to go to college,' 'I have to go to college' or 'I need to go to college,'" he said. "We'll be happy with any of those three."
Families play a key role in a young person's education and attitudes toward it, but some young people don't have anyone in their families to convey the significance of education, Awolowo said..
"It's very important to give them a foundation," he said. "We can't do it all, but we can put a big dent in it."