Education Committee Members
Dr. Barbara J. Ehren (Committee Chair)
Dr. Barbara J. Ehren is passionate about the role of public education as the foundation of democracy and committed to addressing the educational needs of underrepresented children and adolescents and their families. She has spent half of her career working in schools as a teacher, speech language pathologist, and administrator and the other half as a university professor working on behalf of our youth in schools, with a special focus on closing the achievement gap among adolescents of color. Although she is retired from full time employment, Dr. Ehren consults internationally, nationally and regionally on working in schools with learners who struggle. Before moving to Manatee in 2019 she was Director of a Language/Literacy doctoral program at the University of Central Florida. Her research focus has been on language differences, language/literacy disorders, RTI/MTSS, curriculum relevant intervention in special education, and collaboration among professionals in schools. She is also an active member of the League of Women Voters Education Action Team and values greatly the partnership forged between LWV and NAACP on behalf of students in Manatee County Schools.
Margaret Delegato (Committee Member)
In 2003, at the age of 63, Peg graduated from USF Sarasota-Manatee. She was so grateful for the realization of a dream. she promised God that she would work to help others in their pursuit of an education. This promise led to volunteering in Title I schools. This volunteering led to seeing the reality of poverty in Manatee County and pursuing chances to serve those in need. In education she has mentored five students awaiting their opportunity with Take Stock in Children. Further, for over ten years she has read to children in programs sponsored by the Early Learning Coalition. For several years she was the Social Justice officer at her church which led to membership in the NAACP where she became Chair of the Education Committee, then Chair of the Freedom Fund Committee. Currently she is a reader in Books for Kids and a mentor for TSIC. She works with the St. Vincent de Paul Society and is on the Steering Committee for the Sierra Club locally for the purpose of reorganization. Peg says, “I have been blessed.”
Lynette Edwards (Committee Member)
Lynette “Hayes” Edwards is a product of the public schools of Manatee County, having graduated from Lincoln Memorial High School in 1967. After completing her B.S. degree in education from Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University), she returned to her former high school (then Lincoln Memorial Middle School), where she spent 16 years as a teacher, Dean of Students and Assistant Principal. She received the Master of Science Degree in Curriculum and Instruction followed by certification in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of South Florida. She was employed with the School Board of Manatee County for 36 years. Her roles included teacher, Dean of Students, Assistant Principal, Middle School Principal, Director of Personnel Management; she retired as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. A devoted children’s advocate, Lynette has resided in Bradenton for over sixty years. She attributes her success to the wisdom received from her grandmother who lived to be 108 years old, to a strong belief in God, and to all those who have provided confidence and encouragement over the years. She is the proud mother of one adult son.
Elaine Graham, (Committee Member)
Elaine Graham is a retired Manatee County educator after 35 years in Manatee County, teaching Language Arts in middle schools and working as a member of the district curriculum team. She has a B.S. English Education 6-12 from USF and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from NOVA University. She continues to work to protect public education. Elaine believes when all students receive a quality education, it makes all of us better. Public education has worked for many children who have been embraced in schools over the decades, but doesn’t always work for other children who struggle and fall behind. It’s the duty of the entire community to build the education of all students- we need everyone’s children to thrive and succeed. Education is struggling to maintain its position; working together we can continue to keep this part of our democracy working for all. Elaine values her membership, the work of the NAACP Education Committee and its partnership with other groups. Elaine mentors for Take Stock in Children Manatee, chairs the Scholarship Foundation for the Bradenton Branch AAUW and serves on the Manatee League of Women Voters Education, Social Issues and Voter Services Action Teams.
Felecia Diane Jett, MBA, DM (Committee Member)
Felecia is the daughter of Willie and Yvonne Jett, born in Brookhaven, MS and graduated from Brookhaven High School. Her bachelor’s degree is from Northwestern University, her MBA from Illinois Institute of Technology, and her Doctor of Management from the University of Phoenix. Felecia retired from Tropicana Products, Inc. after 38 years in Corporate America. She has always been involved in church and community service – from singing in community choirs and leadership teams to serving as a mentor in various organizations. Currently, she is a lifetime and active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and NAACP. She is also a Board Member of the League of Women Voters (LWV) Manatee, and LWVFL; she serves on the Board of Trustees at Wiley College and is a Guardian ad Litem. She is Financial Secretary of the Association of the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), and a 2014 graduate of Leadership Manatee. Felecia is an avid reader and a member of several book clubs. In addition, she enjoys running and has finished 12 marathons, numerous halfmarathons and other races. Her motto is “Live life to the fullest and bring others with you.”
Darrell Nixon Sr. (Committee Member)
Darrell Nixon Sr., born and raised in Cairo, Georgia, has dedicated his life to education, community service, and safety. With an extensive background in law enforcement, military service, and his current role as a substitute teacher, Darrell is a valued member of the Education Committee. After earning a degree in Political Science from Fort Valley State University, Darrell joined the United States Army as a 2nd Lieutenant and received training at the Military Police School in Alabama. Following his military service, he served on the Sarasota Police Department for 26 years, gaining valuable insights into community dynamics and safety protocols. Retiring from law enforcement, Darrell became a Safety Guardian for Oneco Elementary School with the Manatee County School District, prioritizing the well-being of students. He is currently working as a substitute teacher for the school while also volunteering as a tutor. Darrell's diverse experience in law enforcement, military service, and education positions him as an invaluable asset. With his commitment to creating safe and nurturing learning environments, he will contribute to informed decision-making and prioritize the holistic development of students.
Dr. Sharon Jefferson (Committee Advisor)
Dr. Sharon Nico’ Jefferson is a Palmetto native who graduated from Palmetto High School. She attended Florida A&M University, then received her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences from the University of South Florida, her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from National-Louis University, and a Specialist Degree and Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Argosy University. Dr. Jefferson is committed to improving the lives of all children through educational opportunities, believing that education is the path to economic freedom, family stability, and community wellness. In memory of her mother, evangelist Rosalyn Sumpter Walton, Dr. Jefferson founded the Rosalyn Walton Education and Enrichment Services, Inc (RECESS Education), a non-profit organization that partners with other community organizations to provide innovative educational opportunities for children, including the annual Juneteenth Reading Conference, using culturally responsive practices. Dr. Jefferson is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Executive Committee Member of the Manatee Branch of the NAACP, and member of the Manatee League of Women Voters. Dr. Jefferson continues her research and advocacy for education equity and justice. In her commitment to service, she heeds the words of Shirley Chisolm, “Service is the rent you pay for room on this Earth.
Authentic History Resources
Gathered by the Authentic History Task Force*
A Collaborative Effort of the NAACP and League of Women Voters in Manatee County
This task force was formed to support community efforts to teach the truth about the lived experiences of people of color in the United States. This material is a repository of identified in-person, digital, and print resources that capture authentic historical events. It can serve as a basis for developing community programs and activities. Currently, the focus is on African-American History. At another point, other populations will be included. Please note: These resources were vetted by Judy Kreiling, former social studies teacher, school district administrator, and current LWV Education Action Team member. Her specific comments under “Possible Use” appear after her initials “JK.”
Name: The 1619 Project
Description: In partnership with The New York Times, the Pulitzer Center is building learning communities around The 1619 Project. We’re developing programs for K12 Classrooms, out-of-school time programs, and higher education programs. Explore this site to find teaching resources, program information, and ways to connect.
The 1619 Project: Pulitzer Center-created Resources Here you will find reading guides, activities, and other resources created by the Pulitzer Center education team to bring The 1619 Project into your classroom.
How Language Becomes Law Students use rhetorical analysis skills to reflect on the media backlash to The 1619 Project and connect political media rhetoric to current anti-critical race theory (CRT) legislation.Kensington Health Sciences Humanities Team
The 1619 Project Books: Activities for Engaging K-12 Students Educator-created activities designed to facilitate engagement with the 1619 books "A New Origin Story" and "Born on the Water." Pulitzer Center Education LESSON BUILDER USER
Location (URL): https://1619education.org
Source: The Pulitzer Center- raises awareness of underreported global issues through direct support for quality journalism and a unique program of education and public outreach.
Possible Use: Creation of online modules, resource list for teachers and parents. However, note that Florida teachers are prohibited by the State from using this resource.
JK: Great resources for instructiion whether by teacher, community person or parent.
Name: Looking for Angola
Description: Looking for Angola is a multidisciplinary research project, aimed at discovering the location “Angola,” a maroon community that thrived on Florida's southwest coast from 1812-1821. It was comprised of formerly enslaved Africans and African-Americans and Red Stick Creek and Seminole Indians.
The “Looking for Angola” project began to take seed in the early 1990s after Vickie Oldham, a Sarasota resident and producer of local historical documentaries, saw a mention of Angola while she was working on a documentary about African Americans in Sarasota. Cuban fishermen referred to the area as Angola. The Angola settlement is named after the region in West Africa that is home to some of the residents.
“The story of their lives, courage, determination and enterprise deserves preservation and commemoration,” Oldham, the project director, said.
Oldham has raised more than $92,000 in state grants and in-kind donations for the project. “To know about this local story of people who lived right in my community, to know of their courage, the risks they took, how determined they were to survive on their own with nothing but what they could carry on their back, that to me was just incredibly empowering,” she said.
The Florida Bureau of Historic Preservation and the Florida Humanities Council is supporting part of the Angola project.
Location (URL): https://www.lookingforangola.org/
Source: New College of Florida’s public archaeology lab; Project Director Vickie Oldham (941-962-8761; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Possible Use: To bring in local history, access to articles and current efforts, potential guest speakers from archaeology team.
JK: Fascinating local history. This should be something students can sink their teeth into if they are engaged in inquiry with it.
Name: Embrace Race
Description: There is a growing body of research and evidence that makes clear that children’s racial sensibilities begin to form in infancy, that almost all children develop racial and other biases by kindergarten, and that those biases become fairly entrenched by adolescence. And yet, most national organizations dedicated to children’s racial learning direct their resources mainly to middle and high school educators. There are too few resources for young children available for parents, grandparents or other caregivers or for early childhood educators. EmbraceRace helps fill that gap. EmbraceRace was founded in early 2016 by two parents who set out to create the community and gather the resources they needed (need!) to meet the challenges faced by those raising children in a world where race matters.
Melissa Giraud is a first-generation American, multiracial (Black/white) daughter of a mother from Quebec and a father from Dominica. She has brought a racial equity and social justice lens to her work as a radio producer, storyteller, K-12 educator and ed tech strategist.
Andrew Grant-Thomas is a Black man of Jamaican origins, born on the 4th of July. He is a long-time social justice and racial justice researcher and advocate. Andrew and Melissa have two girls, ages 10 and 12.
Location (URL): https://www.embracerace.org/
Source: Fiscally-sponsored project of the non-profit Proteus Fund
Possible Use: Resources for early childhood educators and parents, including webinars suchs as Racial Learning in Schools Past, Present and Future and resource lists such as Reading Race in Picture Books with Children
Name: Stamped from the Beginning
Description: Adapted from the groundbreaking bestseller Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, this book takes readers on a journey from present to past and back again. Kids will discover where racist ideas came from, identify how they impact America today, and meet those who have fought racism with antiracism. Along the way, they'll learn how to identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their own lives.
Location (URL): https://www.ibramxkendi.com/stampedforkids
Source: Ibram X. Kendi's research
Possible Use: Contains history, could be used in guided reading groups
JK: Good stuff! Not for stand-alone reading, but would be excellent with mentors or someone students feel comfortable talking with.
Name: Zinn Education Project
Description: The Zinn Education Project promotes and supports the teaching of people’s history in classrooms across the country. Since 2008, the Zinn Education Project has introduced students to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of history than is found in traditional textbooks and curricula. With more than 140,000 people registered, and growing by more than 15,000 new registrants every year, the Zinn Education Project has become a leading resource for teachers and teacher educators.
The empowering potential of studying history is often lost in a textbook-driven trivial pursuit of names and dates. We believe that through taking a more engaging and more honest look at the past, we can help equip students — and all of us — with the analytical tools to make sense of and improve the world today. For a more complete description of our approach, read why teach people’s history.
The website offers free, downloadable lessons and articles organized by theme, time period, and grade level. Based on the approach to history highlighted in Howard Zinn’s best-selling book A People’s History of the United States; the teaching materials emphasize the role of working people, women, people of color, and organized social movements in shaping history.
The daily This Day in History posts highlight stories ignored in most textbooks and are shared on social media where they have more than 500,000 followers.
They also produce a regular If We Knew Our History column that features articles by teachers, journalists, and scholars that expose the myths told in corporate curricula and offer ideas for teaching outside the textbook.
They offer professional development workshops in collaboration with school districts, teacher unions, and at teacher conferences.
They have several campaigns including Teach Reconstruction, Teaching for Black Lives, and Abolish Columbus Day.
Location (URL): https://www.zinnedproject.org/
Source: The Zinn Education Project is coordinated by two non-profit organizations, Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change, that have spent decades developing and providing social justice resources for teachers.
Possible Use: Supplemental materials to be used by teachers with students and professional learning opportunities for teachers.
JK: I was one of the first teachers using Ziinn’s book in th ‘80’s. I worked with the College Board in revising the curriculum and adding social history to the exam. I used it with my Advance Placement US History studnets as a supplement and they loved it – several wrote their major research paper from his perspective and countered with others. Then I used it with my regular history students as a supplment and they also loved it – it was about them and not politicians, economists, etc.
Name: Facing History and Ourselves
Description: Facing History and Ourselves uses lessons of history to challenge teachers and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate.
FH&O has developed programs to meet the needs of schools and communities, such as Teaching for Equity and Justice, Jewish Education Program, and Year-long Supplemental programs. Numerous content partners are involved in program development including CivxNow, the United States Holocaust Museum, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Source: Facing History and Ourselves was founded in Brookline, MA in 1976, by educators who believed true intellectual rigor must emphasize and teach caring for others. FH&O has become a global organization with a network of hundreds of thousands of middle and secondary educators teaching millions of students worldwide.
Possible use: Classroom resources such as tool kits, lessons and mini-lessons, teaching strategies, and even professional learning for educators.
JK: It could be a good addition as a teacher resource. In teaching strategies it incorporates a considerable amount of SEL (social emotional learning) which is forbidden by our governor and the Florida Department of Education. The plus side is that the book itself focuses on the 1930s and 40s and the Holocaust which is required in state standards. Good teachers can extrapolate from that.
Name: Woke Homeschooling
Description: To be WOKE is to be “alert to injustice in society, especially racism.” Woke Homeschooling provides resources for parents to educate socially-conscious children who will grow to become wise and informed world-changers.
Location (URL): https://wokehomeschooling.com/
Source: Delina Pryce Mcphaull crafted a solution for her own children and put together an incredible resource that centers the histories of the indigenous and marginalized, affirms the experiences and writings of Black and Brown people, and honors her faith.
Possible Use: Provides curriculum for ages 3-7 and high school.
JK: Found this would be good for anyone working with students one-on-one or in a small group.
Name: An Inclusive American History Curriculum
Description: Blog Post from a homeschooling mom about creating an inclusive history
Source: Homeschooling parent
Possible Use: List of books for teachers and parents.
Name: Reading Like a Historian
Description: The Reading Like a Historian curriculum engages students in historical inquiry. Each lesson revolves around a central historical question and features a set of primary documents designed for groups of students with a range of reading skills.
This curriculum teaches students how to investigate historical questions by employing reading strategies such as sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating, and close reading. Instead of memorizing historical facts, students evaluate the trustworthiness of multiple perspectives on historical issues and learn to make historical claims backed by documentary evidence. To learn more about how to use Reading Like a Historian lessons, watch these videos about how teachers use these materials in their classrooms.
Source: Stanford History Education Group
Possible Use: Teach history while also focusing on reading skills.
JK: My absolute favorite. It allows students to do their own research and discuss. They do need a lecturette (as stated) before beginning for some information and perspective. Again, as stated, it also increases their reading comprehension. An addded plus is that the Florida end of the year exam has students read primary sources and and answer questions relating to them.
Name: The American Yawp
Description: A Massively Collaborative Open U.S. History Textbook - The American Yawp offers a free and online, collaboratively built, open American history textbook designed for college-level history courses. Unchecked by profit motives or business models, and free from for-profit educational organizations, The American Yawp is by scholars, for scholars. All contributors—experienced college-level instructors—volunteer their expertise to help democratize the American past for twenty-first century classrooms
Location (URL): https://www.americanyawp.com/
Possible Use: Social studies teachers and adults who want a more complete understanding of history than what they were taught.
JK: It has good reviews and a great price for a history book. Both authors are from Texas and have written other books regarding abusing/missusing others. Although their views may be slanted, they seem to include diverse views.
Name: Graphic Novels including March and Run
Description: The March trilogy is an autobiographical black and white graphic novel trilogy about the Civil rights movement, told through the perspective of civil rights leader and U.S. Congressman John Lewis. The series is written by Lewis and Andrew Aydin, and illustrated and lettered by Nate Powell. The first volume, March: Book One, was published in August 2013, by Top Shelf Productions. and the second volume, March: Book Two, was published in January 2015, with both volumes receiving positive reviews. March: Book Three was published in August 2016 along with a slipcase edition of the March trilogy.
Run recounts the lost history of what too often follows dramatic change—the pushback of those who refuse it and the resistance of those who believe change has not gone far enough. John Lewis’s story has always been a complicated narrative of bravery, loss, and redemption, and Run gives vivid, energetic voice to a chapter of transformation in his young, already extraordinary life.
Source: Individual graphic novels
Possible Use: Attractive alternatives to text book history for youth.
JK: I understand from both students and teachers that graphic novels are great ‘hooks.’
*Members: Helen Anderson (LWV), Barbara Ehren (NAACP; LWV), Kelly Ford (LWV)