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October 12, 1980 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-10-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Tutors, children

The Michigan Daily-Sunday, October 12, 1980-Page 9
work on basic skills

(Continued from Page T7
Tamborriello added, "This is a learning
process for which there is no substitute.
Racial stereotypes will persist for both
*the kids and the tutors unless they have
a powerful personal experience like
LSA senior Jane McLeod, who coor-
dinates the tutors along with Education
School junior Glen Johnson, explained,
"When we drive up on the Very first
day, the kids all grab on to the black
tutors first. But after a while, it doesn't
seem to matter to them anymore.'
According to McLeod; who has been a
volunteer at the Center for the past
three terms, the tutors stress reading,
writing, and math skills through a
variety of games, activities, and
McLeod speculates that most of the
kids are "a little behind" in school. She
said, "unless someone reads to you
when you're young, you just don't
develop reading skills as fast as other
kids. I hate to say this, but I think that
in the majority of these kids' homes,
that just does not happen."
McLeod was quick to add, however,
that many of the parents do make an ef-
fort. to encourage , their kids
academically. She pointed to the Byrd
family whose four daughters and one
son all attend the Center. "They always
are talking about colleges or what their
ids are going to do," she said.
"They're really trying to instill in their
kids the idea that they can do
something with their lives."
McLeod blames some of the
children's problems on "a certain
amount of labelling" and some of the
children's own feelings that they don't
know as much as they should.
Karen Tamborriello claims that one
of the problems the students' kids
may encounter in the classroom is the
response of the teachers to the way the
kids talk. "Teachers think they must be
dumb because they don't speak stan-
dard English," she explained. The
children may also sometimes have
trouble understanding the teachers, she
In the Tamborriello's opinion, the 11
Ann Arbor children named in the
lawsuit were symbolic . of kids
everywhere. "They could have been
any black kids anywhere," Karen
Tambrorriello said.
Domenic Tamborriello likened the
black children's difficulties to those ex-

Judge, school board study
Blac~k English evaluation

An evaluation of the court-ordered
program designed to assist elementary
school students who speak Black
English was sent to a federal judge and
members of the Ann Arbor school board
on Thursday.
The program was developed to help
King Elementary school staff members
recognize the problems of students who
speak Black English. The Ann Arbor
Board of Education was required to in-
stitute the teacher seminars by Federal
District Judge Charles Joiner in June
1979 after a three-year court battle.
TIlE COURT SUIT was brought by
three mothers of children at King
Elementary School who contended that
Black English was a learning barrier to
their children. The program consisted
of five training sessions held during the
past year. Linguistics experts conduc-
ted the seminars at a cost of almost
The evaluation will probably be made

public after Joiner reads the document,
said Board of Education President
Wendy Barhydt. "He may just make a
comment about it, or he may not release
it at all," she said.
Ruth Zweifler, Student Advocacy
Center coordinator, said she thought
the report would be made public.
SCHOOL BOARD members are
reading the evaluation for their own in-
formation and do not plan to suggest
possible program changes to Joiner,
according to Barhydt.
Barhydt said she understood that the
report was compiled by experts outside
of the Ann Arbor school system.
King School Principal Rachel
Schreiber -said the program has made
teachers more aware of problems faced
by students.who speak Black English.
"I think that any teacher who par-
ticipated benefited from the program,"
she said. Schreiber declined to com-
ment further until the evaluation is
made public.

A GREEN GLACIER Community Center student mulls over a multiplication problem during an afternoon tutoring
session. Project Community tutors visit the Ann Arbor center twice weekly.

perienced by Appalachian children.
Just because the children "sounded like
hicks," he said, they were assumed to
be stupid.
A learning barrier created by Black
English was the central issue in the
lawsuit brought by three Green
Housing Project mothers against the
Ann Arbor Board of Education three
years ago. The mothers charged that
their 11 children were falling behind
because the teachers and children did
not communicate well, the teachers had
low expectations of the kids' abilities,
and the parents were not always prom-
ptly informed about the problems their
children were having keeping up.
Ih a ruling that received national at-
tention, Federal District Court Judge
Charles Joiner last year ordered the
Ann Arbor School Board to organize a
training program for staff members at
King. school. The program was
designed to alert the teachers to the
learning barriers created by Black

English and to help them teach children
who spoke Black English.
Some of the children and their paren-
ts feel the program has been successful
in improving their children's education.
Juanita Yarbrough who, as a lunch
program supervisor at the King school
has a chance toobserve the teacher-
student relationship, said, 'I think
communication with the .kids is a lot
better than it was last year."
Yarbrough also said she feels the
tutors at the Center have helped her
children "quite a bit." She said, "even
my first grader can read, really read."
Jacqueline Davis, whose mother was
one of the three instigators of the
lawsuit, said, "You want to know about
the Black English case? The teachers
understand us. Things are better than
they used to be."
Many of the children at the Center do
not consider Black English a problem

at school. Sharon Byrd, who attends
King school, said, "My teacher never
hardly corrects me."
Her twin sister Karen explained, "I
talk like a white person every time I
talk to a white person, and I talk like a
black person every time I talk to a
black person." Both children assert
that they are always aware of the stan-
dard way to speak, and they realize
when they are speaking Black English.
In an interview in his comfortable,
two-story home in the Green project,
Bill Byrd, the children's father, com-
mented, "I never had a teacher tell me
my kids were not comprehending and I
never ran into a black language
Byrd also said he did not agree with
the three mothers who filed suit against
the Board of Education. "I think a lot of
parents thought they were going to get
money in their pockets. I prefer to stay
out of it," he said.

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NEW YORK (AP)-The sons of
women who used the controversial drug
DES in hopes of preventing
miscarriage may have a higher in-
cidence of sterility than other men, a
pilot study suggests. The drug is
already linked to vaginal cancer among
DE~S daughters.
The study, based on a new technique
for determining male fertility, found an
infertility rate of nearly 80 per cent
among a small group of men who were
exposed to DES in the womb and have
reached adulthood.
"It's a pretty small pilot study but the
numbers are quite significant and
somewhat disturbing," said Dr. Mor-
ton Stenchever, head of the study and
chairman of obstetrics and gynecology
at the University Of Washington School
of Medicine in Seattle.
STENCHEVER presented, the data
Thursday at the annual meeting of the
Pacific Coast Obstetrical and
Gynecological Society in Monterey,

DES has been linked'to a rare form of
vaginal cancer in daughters of women
who took it, and to genital malfor-
mations in their sons. But the fertility of
DES-exposed men has never before
been reliably tested, Stenchever said,
partly because no accurate test of male
fertility existed.
DES, or diethylstilbestrol, is a syn-
thetic form of the female hormone
estrogen that was prescribed to an
estimated 4 million pregnant women
during the 1950s and early 1960s in
hopes 'of preventing miscarriages. It
was later shown to be ineffective.
THE NEW STUDY used a test called
"sperm penetration assay," in which
hamster eggs that have been stripped
of an outer shell which would block
human sperm are exposed to samples
of semen. If more than 15 per cent of the
eggs are penetrated by sperm within
two hours, the donor is judged fertile,
although actual fertilization cannot oc-
Among a group of men who had never

tried to have children, 10 of 13 DES-
exposed men were judged infertile by
the test compared to only one of 11 of a
control grooup of men not exposed to
the drug.
In a second control group used to test
the accuracy of the sperm assay, 11
married men with children were all
judged fertile. None of them had been
exposed to DES.
FOUR DES-EXPOSED married men
who had not yet become fathers were
all found infertile.
None of the men, who ranged in age
from 17 to 30, had an abnormal semen
analysis, the only method by which
male fertility could previously be
tested, Stenchever said.
"We don't want to panic anyone,"
said Stendhever, who has applied for a
grant from the National Institute of
Health for an expanded study.
"It's inconceivable that the test

doesn't hold as true for DES-exposed
men as for non-DES-exposed males.
There may be quite a few DES-exposed
men who are fertile. And the infertility
may be reversible, or may go away
with time," he said in a telephone in-
For example, he said, one of the DES-
ejposed married men was later judged
fertile by the test-and his wife con-
ceived-after surgery to correct
varicose veins near the testes.

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The firt Ann Arbor appearance of one
of San Francisco's major cultural assets.
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Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante, K. 364
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