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The Marva Collins Story: "A Brilliant Child Inside Every Student"



The Marva Collins Story: "A Brilliant Child Inside Every Student"
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.73

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    low-income, worksheets, dialogue, acceptance, founded, dwindle, enrollment, accomplishment, usage, reading, public, teaching, capable, self-esteem, atmosphere, pronunciation
     content words:    Marva Collins, Westside Preparatory School, African American, Cynthia Collins, Preparatory School, Jefferson Award, Humanitarian Award, National Humanities Medal, President Bush, Marva Collins Story


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The Marva Collins Story: "A Brilliant Child Inside Every Student"
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     Marva Collins was a public school teacher in Chicago during the 1970's. She became upset with the education system around her. Marva decided to start her own school. It was based on the belief that learning is important. She also believed that children like to learn. She believed that black children are as capable of learning as anyone else, and that self-esteem can be gained only through real accomplishment.
 
2     Marva Collins was born in Atmore, Alabama, in 1936. Her family taught her the importance of learning. After graduation from college, she taught school in Alabama for two years. Then she moved to Chicago, Illinois. She taught in the public schools in Chicago for fourteen years. Discouraged with how the public schools educated her own children, she started her own school on the second floor of her home. The Westside Preparatory School was founded in 1975. She created her private school specifically for the purpose of teaching low-income African American children who were labeled "learning disabled."
 
3     She took in learning disabled students and problem children during her first year. At the end of that year, every one of her students scored at least five grades higher than they had in public school. This convinced Marva she was on the right track.

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