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
Domenic Tamborriello likened the
black children's difficulties to those ex-
Judge, school board study
Blac~k English evaluation
By ALISON HIRSCHEL
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
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
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
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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FOUR DES-EXPOSED married men
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None of the men, who ranged in age
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"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
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There may be quite a few DES-exposed
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For example, he said, one of the DES-
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