"Lets Build This Together" Purpose, Truth, Triumph and Equality for all..

Location: Greensboro, North Carolina, United States

Saturday, March 12, 2005

This is an email that I received today.

Hello Jerry:
Talent or skill is present within our community. The match up of that talent with the need for it does not go smoothly. We need more mentoring instead of teaching in our communities. Teaching can be performed without regard to the success of the student. Mentoring, in my opinion, can't be performed without success as a measure.
What I do in my life is mentor others. High school and college students want to know what I have done, what they can do, any useful advice as long as they can participate in it with me. My focus was on black students at first. Later I figured anyone who wanted to learn should have an opportunity to do so. So two people saw the need and formed Project Score. A program that teaches the SAT. I have done that for the last 22 years in Greensboro.
Our students have obtained scholarships to various colleges because of their SAT scores primarily and second their high school grade point averages. Grade point averages have no correlation to SAT scores in my experience with students.
What we learned:
  • We quickly found out that teaching the theory of math and English did not do too well!
  • Students need to be motivated.
  • Students need to see that they can be successful.
  • Mentors must respect and well as be respected by the students.
  • A student's weakness is not a negative but an opportunity.
  • To learn a student must work and perform.
  • Tests are forever present in life.
  • A students needs to be told that life is not fair!
  • The goal is to pass a test. Preferably the first time, if not, as many attempts that is necessary.
  • A test needs to be explained and strategies developed for it.
  • Practice must be done. Just listening is not enough.
So I evolved into teaching the test Saturday mornings here in Greensboro. I developed web sites for the old SAT test that taught math and English. With the new SAT in March the web sites are being revamped to reflect the new SAT. In another month or so I should be done adding practice tests to them.
We try for one on one involvement with our students. The web sites definitely made that possible. Motivation is handled on Saturdays. Funds come from grants and donations over the years. Obtaining students have not been much of a problem. Word of mouth does the job well. Our program has received awards from the City of Greensboro in the past. No, we have not ever been funded by local governments.
It would be nice to have a registry of mentors, skills, and organizations to go to in order to receive help. I still visit Greensboro high schools to give a two hour seminar on the SAT yearly. A lot of my students have graduated from college and drop me a note now and then.
Who am I?
An African-American or black man
College graduate
Retired IBM consultant
Married with kids out of the house and college.
Born in New Jersey, the son of migratory workers
I did fail algebra when I was in high school! (smile) So I taught myself.
Spent two years with Reading Connections as a GED tutor volunteer.
Spent eight years in the Air Force
Find staying retired a full time job!
Let me know your comments.

Ronald E. Newton




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