Focus on Achievement-#6 in a Series of Discussions-Entry for April 4, 2008

Achiever in Training


Focus on Achievement-#6 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 is a 18% gap in parents reading to children at home between black and white parents?

Source: US Department of Education NCES Status and Trends in the Education of Blacks pg.24

My parents brought me a set of World Book Encyclopedia shortly after I was born. My older sister used to send me annual subscriptions to Ebony Jr. A few months ago, I purchased a used set in good condition on sale at the public library for only $6.00. It came complete with a matching Childcraft series. Something that has positively impacted and lasted me for a lifetime was purchased for less than a movie ticket.

My mom used to take me to the library regularly. I recall picking out books and tapes and returning them back on time. It gave me great pleasure to fill out the application for library cards when my youngest reached the required two years old age limit.

I used to sit and try to decipher my older siblings college textbooks lying around the house. I recall trying so very hard to figure out my brother’s calculus book problems. It was a mystery that I was determined to grow up and explore. It was a private joy to receive an ‘A’ on my college course when I finally reached that level of understanding.

My daughters and I have our favorite books we read. Daddy has identified his favorite ones of his own with the girls. Books were introduced to me at birth. I loved each and every one of them and now almost 4 decades later some of my favorite ones are still around in the hands of my munchkins.

My husband reminds me that some parents do not get introduced to the importance and joy of reading until adulthood. He falls in that camp. He instills the importance to the girls because he now sees how important the skills are in life.

Reading fine print on contracts, scouring over newspaper classifieds or even following an engaging blog discussion online can be a challenge for some parents.

Some habits are hard to manage. Experts all cite the importance of a child being read to at the earliest of ages. It doesn’t even matter what you read. Just let them know that words on paper have meaning.

What are our favorite ways to instill the love of reading? Did you know that has created a wonderful collection of DVDs that combine an appreciation for diversity with classical stories that encourage reading? Children will get a treat out of reading! On the site families can venture into a place of fun and excitement at Afrokids Place-Storytelling! Enjoy and share the story of “Prince Mutasa’s Delicious Dessert” with a child! It is a real treat, you’ll see!

Our family designs unique and educational unity gear for babies with reading in mind. Every time we put on a shirt with writing on the front, we use it as a teaching moment. We read it, point out the letters as we sound out the words and explain what it means. If it is not positive and inspiring for our kids to know, then they do not wear it. It really works for us and we hope that others choose to give it a try at home. Babies love to learn. Feed them knowledge. You will grow a great reader and a happy literate adult.


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







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