Focus on Achievement #4-Entry for February 4, 2008

Achiever in Training


Focus on Achievement-#4 in a Series of Discussions


By Joan E. Gosier, CEO of HBCU kidz, Inc.


Definition of GAP [a problem caused by some disparity]

Pronunciation: \gap\ Function: noun

Science +Math +Artifacts of Culture +Reading +Test Taking Tips (S.M.A.R.T)=Gap Closure

Did you know that there was a 36% gap in using a computer at home between black students and white students according to the US Department of Education NCES Status and Trends in the Education of Blacks?

Did you also know that there was a 13% gap in people over 18 going online between blacks and whites according to a Pew national survey completed in February 2004 ?

Does it matter to you? Quite a few things are happening on the internet today. Many opportunities for our children to learn new skills are in a domain name. In fact, I am really happy to know that on demand, you can find a video on almost any topic under the sun for your child to learn about.

I have a personal testimony to share that tickled me. My daughter began to use our home computer at or around age 2 using a Fisher Price keyboard. She can quickly log on to and independently. At age 5, she writes letters and prints them out to put on her wall. So the other day she was sitting on my lap as I worked on a project. She looks up at me and asks, “Mommy, how do they make computers?” I began to describe and she interrupted. “No, I mean do they draw it out on paper first?, how do they make it into a box like that and who was the person who did it first? What is their name(s)?” Ouch. So I wasn’t getting off easy with this. Well, low and behold there is to the rescue. Together, we found a video explanation that took you from the ancient Egyptian sun dial technology up to a British mathematician and inventor Charles Babbage who is credited for the creation of the first programmable computer in 1822. So upon completion, she looks up and says. “OK, I understand THAT BUT how did they get Dora, Nick Jr. and Little Bill inside of the computer? Did they draw it first and where do they stick it inside so it shows up on the screen?” I patiently smiled and promised her that we would revisit these awesome questions after our snack. I gotta get back to that lesson. However, I think her questions provoked me to gather together some other parents for village assistance. We had an interesting phone conference. Visit here for the results of that call.

Now, can someone point me in the right direction on how to explain this to a five year old?

I have talked with people who say that computers are hard to provide for children because they cost too much. There are many groups who give them away for free and the internet access charges are about $1.00 per day. In my opinion, it is worth every penny.

At the public library, it is free to use the computers. They usually charge for printing documents and depending on how crowded your branch is there may be a limit on the amount of time you can remain connected. Don’t let it be a barrier. A few hours a week is far better than none at all. If you have family members who do not yet own a home computer, perhaps you can share with them how easy it is to get a hold of one. I recall convincing my cousin to get a SEARS credit card to invest in one. At the time my dear older cousin thought it was a ridiculous suggestion and a wasted luxury item because he did not even know how to turn on a computer.

Today, almost 20 years later, I am pleased to announce that he is a “professional computer programmer” working for a Fortune 500 company. That computer helped motivate him to go back to college, win a scholarship to complete a bachelors degree and get recruited and relocated out of state by a top notch high technology employer. Who says a computer is not a family’s best friend? Ask Fido or Spot dog, “Can you help get someone viable employment”?

It is so important that those of us who are connected via internet take a moment to share with those in our family who do not yet understand the importance or see the need. Think about all of the various coupons and offers you receive or even those heart touching stories that brighten your day. There are groups of people in your family bitter and jaded with life because they do not have any idea that this world even exists.

Every day there is something new to learn, do or buy on the internet that you cannot find locally or even NATIONALLY. Try finding unique and inspirational gifts for Black History in your local retail store.

So especially for this Black History Month, make it a point to share with your family all that the internet has offered to your life. Don’t forget to introduce and visit sites such as to find a gift that will inspire a love using technology. The internet is not just for playing games. It is becoming another way of life. So please do everyone a favor! Celebrate Black History Month by spreading the word about using the computer at home!

The Achiever in Training and S.M.A.R.T curriculum are exclusive copywritten and proprietary programs developed by HBCU kidz, Inc.

For more statistics and academic resources please visit and click on “Educate.” To comment on this article, visit the Blog. To communicate with other concerned Black parents, please visit

For more information about the program or the limited edition gift collection, visit The site contains information and ideas to proactively promote positive images for African American children and their families. Contact Joan Gosier at 1-888-HBCU-kid.


Joan E. Gosier




Filed under Focus on Achievement

6 responses to “Focus on Achievement #4-Entry for February 4, 2008

  1. Anonymous

    Thanks for the information and the stories. It motivates me to talk to some of my friends who don’t have computers at home for their kids, and try to get them to see the importance of having a computer…more important than the lastest pair of expensive jeans, shoes, or game. –thank again–


  2. Anonymous

    Hello Joan, I found the conversation that you had with your daughter very interesting. In your research of computers did you come across the contribution of IBM engineer Mark Dean? He is the person responsible for the “personal” computers we use today and he is also African American! You can learn more here:

    My 9 year old daughter recently did a research paper on Dr. James West who invented technology still used in telephones and microphones today. He is also African American and still alive as is Dr. Mark Dean. My daughter had the opportunity to exchange emails with Dr. West for her paper. It was very exciting!

    Thank You
    Kwanzaa Kidz offers African-centered Toys, Videos, Books, Online FUN, and more…



  3. Anonymous

    “Too Wise Not To Praise Him!”

    This is a very good, cute article informing about something I myelf take for granted. I remember when I purchased my children their first computer (word processor) over 20 years ago and I marvel at how pc-telligent they are today and savvy, too.

    Thanks for sharing and please subscribe to my blogs and share….


  4. Anonymous

    You know I got tired after the first half of this message, however we don’t necessarily need devices to achieve as we are thinking we do. ..We also need to have a plan for our kids and lesson the effort of gazing on what others are doing.

    The fact we are comparing almost always give rise to our inability to give strong direction to what is right for your own.

    From the moment we compare we loose….Not only time but we loose focus on what we as parents are committed to do for our kids to be a productive member of his or her domain….

    All the structures are there for our use and not there for our reliances……..Turn the tables and you will technology does not pose a problem in their development if they don’t have some of these tools..

    A matter a fact it makes for a stronger them if you remove technology initially to allow the mind to develop….

    Jackie Robinson did not have it easy but he was successful…


  5. Anonymous

    Girlfriend now i know why i liked u

    Who else has the patience to type it all down so effortlessly.

    I’m taking a class startin today @ my library to help me out.

    Thanks for recognizing the truth and sparing my feelings too.


  6. Anonymous

    Hi Joan,

    I just had a chance to read this, my apology for the delay. It’s a delightful article and a nice vehicle for demonstrating a way to bridge the computer access gap.



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