Monday, May 22, 2017

Magic Sounds Reading Program

   
                                   
                                      Magic Sounds Reading Program
                                                Junious Ricardo Stanton

            Elementary school teachers are exceptional educators and motivators. Their task is to stimulate inspire and encourage young minds in the joy of learning and prepare them for the rigors of things to come. Miss Barbara Jackson was an elementary school teacher who taught first grade in the Philadelphia school district for over thirty years. During that time she enjoyed interacting with young children discovering and figuring out ways to make learning fun and easy for her students.
            She attended and graduated from Cheyney State Teachers College where she was trained to teach the basics of reading, mathematics and civics. She favored the phonics approach to teaching reading because her methods instructor at Cheyney emphasized phonics and encouraged her to use it to teach reading.
            When she began her teaching career, phonics was the standard method but subsequently the Philadelphia School District switched to the sight word approach.  She found her students were not doing as well using that method. Being a true teacher who wanted her students to succeed, she went back to teaching phonics. "I was about ten years into teaching, I was seeing the children weren't grasping reading the way I thought they should so I tried all kinds of ways to get them to do better. I developed magic sounds, I was already teaching phonics but this was an easier way than the traditional phonics. One day I sat down and wrote it out I showed it to a friend of mine and he couldn't believe it."
             She saw her students responded well to the program and over the years she  modified it to suit the skills and personalities of her classes. After a while she realized she had created an innovative reading program which she called Magic Sounds. Being an astute teacher, she recognized the children liked repeating the vowel sounds coupled with consonants to make up words or parts of words. She discovered her technique made reading easier for her students.
            She caught flack from some of her principals but remained steadfast and persistent in her belief that phonics was the better reading teaching method. Plus school administrators couldn't really discipline her because her students always outperformed the other first grade classes in the school.
             Miss Jackson wanted to share the program with other teachers, parents and the public so she went into a professional recording studio, recorded the lessons then used her notes and lesson plans to create a workbook to accompany the audio lessons. As time passed Miss Jackie, as her students called her, was forced to keep up with the technology. At first she used vinyl records. When cassette tapes came out she created cassette tapes for her lessons, then DVD's and later memory sticks. Now she is working on an animated program and workbook.        
            Though retired she still tutors students one on one occasionally and she keeps busy refining and reworking her reading program she calls Magic Sounds. She has expanded to offer a few additional learning products. She is proud of the reading program and the success it has had helping students of all ages learn to read using phonics. "You can use the program to teach toddlers and babies to read. If the mother watches the DVD and becomes familiar with the sounds then she can teach her baby. The child will learn very fast and efficiently because phonics is a natural way to learn to read because that is the way children learn to speak. In the first year babies babble, they say da,da, dada and ba,ba and baba; these are the short sounds. They don't say mama or mommy until later.
            In all the years I've been doing this I've never had one program returned." She declared proudly.
            With much of education in crisis especially in urban areas, with dwindling resources, widening achievement gaps and an emphasis on test score results, a program like Magic Sounds is a medium parents, teachers, mentors and educational advocates can get behind and support.
             Miss Jackie spends much of her time filling orders for the program and shipping them out of her home. "I do most of the work myself I don't have a large staff. I used to have a friend who served as a salesman but he died." She has created a Website, www.magicsoundsphonicsfirst.com and she sells her programs Online. The cost is $20 which includes shipping and handling. For more information about Magic Sounds reading made easy, you can E-mail her at magicsoundsreadeasy@gmail.com or call (215) 849-5543.

                                                            -30-

ps, you can listen to my podcast interview with Barbara Jackson at https://soundcloud.com/junious-ricardo-stanton/akoben-miss-barbara-jackson-magic-sounds-reading-technique

Monday, May 15, 2017

It's Time To Stand Up For Right

               
                           

                                                 From  The Ramparts
                                              Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                         It's Time To Stand Up For Right

            "Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that held its ground." - Rosa Parks

            There was a time Afro-Americans were the moral compass of this country. Due to the insane system of slavery and oppression that ensnared our ancestors in a vicious  environment that attempted to break their spirits and sap their will to resist, numerous ancestors stood up to urge their peers to struggle, resist and hold on for a better day.
            In 1827 Freedom's Journal the first African American newspaper was started by Rev. Samuel E. Cornish the pastor of the African Presbyterian Church of New York and John Russwurm the first Black man in the US to receive a college degree. Their paper called for self-determination and freedom. The banner of their very first edition read, "We Wish to Plead Our Own Cause."  In the first editorial they said, "We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us. Too long has the public been deceived by misrepresentations in things which concern us dearly ..."  While the paper didn't last long due to lack of financial support, it was a seminal effort in self-determination and self expression.
            David Walker was born in North Carolina around 1796 of an enslaved father and free mother; so he "enjoyed" free born status.  His status as a free Black allowed Walker to gain an education. He subsequently moved to Massachusetts in 1825. There he became active in the abolition movement and the proprietor of a successful second hand shop that sold mostly sailors clothing and uniforms. In 1829 he wrote and published a radical call for the abolition of slavery entitled Walker's Appeal To The Slaves of The United States of America a detailed account of the status of enslaved people. In it Walker was implacable in his hatred of slavery. He vigorously denounced the forced ignorance and white religion slavery imposed upon his enslaved brethren. Walker was equally contemptuous of the colonization movement organized by prominent whites whose goal was to get free Blacks to immigrate back to Africa.
            Walker urged enslaved Africans not to turn the other cheek but to use violence in their righteous quest for freedom. Walker's provocative pamphlet so unnerved white America a bounty of $500 dollars was placed on his head, $1,000 if he was captured alive. Walker was advised of this by friends who urged him to flee to Canada, but he refused. He was  mysteriously found dead in 1830. Many suspected he had been poisoned but "official records" say his death was due to tuberculosis.   
            Throughout our sojourn in the wilderness of North America there have been countless courageous souls known and unknown who stood up for freedom, dignity and self-determination in small and large ways from one on one resistance to leading large scale rebellions and social movements. As this nation devolves into an oppressive police state very reminiscent of the constant monitoring by the Pattyrollers and militia during slavery, it is time for us to stand up and stand for something. It is time to reinsert the words struggle and liberation into our vocabulary and lexicon.
            The voices of our ancestors, countless sheroes and heroes call out from the spirit realm to encourage us to stand for something meaningful and good. Mrs. Rosa Parks the courageous catalyst for the Montgomery Bus boycott once said, "Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that held its ground."
            We can not afford to rest on our laurels or boast about our victories during the Civil Rights movement because many of those same victories are being undermined as we speak. Sadly there is no mass movement to address these issues or right these wrongs. It's time we stand up for freedom, human rights, economic justice, PEACE and well being for all humanity.
                                                            30-
                 

  

Monday, May 08, 2017

The Monkey Is Showing His Behind

   
                                           

                                                     From The Ramparts
                                                  Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                       The Monkey Is Showing His Behind

            There is an African saying, "the higher a monkey goes up the tree, the more it shows its' behind." We are seeing Donald Trump show his behind. Many people voted for him because they thought he would usher in a new era of government featuring less taxes, less military intervention and war, an America first outlook, create and bring jobs back to the US. Trump won the election by garnering the most electoral college votes and after one hundred days he is well on his way up the tree and we are seeing his behind.
            We are seeing just how ill equipped he is and how the deep state has muffled all his talk about friendly relations with Russia. We are seeing how he has flip-flopped on just about every campaign promise he made. Now only his most ardent supporters and the Fox Cable talking heads are the only ones who aren't having buyers remorse (not that a Clinton presidency would be better).
            Just like on the campaign trail where Trump played loose with reality (alternative facts) he routinely uttered outrageous characterizations of his opponents and their policies, now in the White House Trump looks like the reality show personality he is. For  him, everything is hyperbole, spin and there is no rhyme or reason to the things he does.
            When Trump was talking about establishing friendly relations with Russia he was ridiculed, mocked and scorned by the deep state's acolytes in the corporate media, the D.C. beltway group think lemmings and the warmongers in the military intelligence security hydra. He caved in immediately. Now Trump is on board with saber rattling and bellicose rhetoric against people who have done nothing to the U.S.
            Trump drank the Democratic Party's Kool Aid about Russia hacking the presidential election despite the fact the CIA, NSA, DIA, FBI and Five Eye Alliance have produced no evidence whatsoever to prove these claims are factual. Whew.  
            Unlike the US, North Korea has not invaded anyone, North Korea has not engineered coups in foreign lands and North Korea doesn't have over eight hundred military and covert ops bases around the world! North Korea can't launch a nuclear missile at the US mainland because they don't have the capability.  But Trump and his advisors (except Banning) are cheerleaders for "all options are on the table" blustering against North Korea. They never talk about coming to the table to work out a binding peace agreement to end the Korean War!  Trump is revealing he is just like his predecessors a gullible stooge in the grip of the deep state.
            On the home front, Trump and his Republican Party buddies who have their own agenda are using his popularity as a cover to gut the New Deal and Great Society programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
            These charlatans made a big deal about the fact they passed a Health Care bill to supposedly keep their promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. But the fact of the matter is they didn't do any such thing. Most of the two hundred seventeen Congress critters who voted for the bill hadn't even read it!!  They held a love fest and mutual admiration society bash at the White House after the vote each taking turns patting themselves on the back for passing a House version of a bill that will need passage in the US Senate then reconciliation with the Senate version then passage of the compromise bill and then signage by Trump. All that for a bill that is deeply flawed which will hurt citizens much more than Obamacare did (not that Obamacare was a good bill it wasn't). 
            Trump is showing he doesn't give a hoot about the American people, only his super rich buddies. There is an article in Forbes that details how the GOP health bill injures just about everyone. Please read the article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnwasik/2017/05/05/how-gops-healthcare-bill-hurts-everyone/#6954714b5cf2
            As Trump goes farther up the tree (a metaphor for the D.C. political landscape) the more he reveals how controlled by the establishment he really is.

                                                            -30-
                                                                                         

Monday, May 01, 2017

The Tax Cut Scam

   
                                                     
                                                              From The Ramparts
                                                            Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                                               The Tax Cut Scam

            "The reality is that years of massive deficits, runaway government spending, artificially low-interest rates, and three rounds of quantitative easing, have left the economy so sick that any tax cut large enough to revive it may actually kill it instead. The only silver lining to this cloud may be that the coming fiscal train wreck leaves lawmakers no choice but to slash government spending. If the real Republican agenda is to starve the beast, its success is assured." Peter Schiff, http://patriotrising.com/2017/05/01/tax-cut-big-enough-save-economy-may-kill-instead-says-peter-schiff/

            I don't profess to be an economist, a tax expert or and big time financial analyst but it seems to me the Trump tax cut plan is a scam that will do the same thing the Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush tax cuts did, give a gigantic boost to the already rich while skyrocketing government deficits and debt. The United States is fiscally bankrupt our government spends far more than it take in from taxes, tariffs, leases and other forms or revenue.
            You know yourself if you spend more money than you earn by using credit cards and refinancing your home your wealth diminishes and your balance sheet will be out of whack, so image what it means for a country to be in hock over its head. This situation would be catastrophic except for the fact the US treasury can get money from the Federal Reserve Bank anytime it needs it, but obviously at a cost since it is really a loan; sort of legalized (due to the legislation that created the Federal Reserve bank in 1913) counterfeiting.
            Continuous deficits are really unsustainable but the federal government simply borrows the money to keep operating even though they know it is putting us in a deeper fiscal hole. "For example, in 2015, the federal government ran a cash deficit of $438 billion—after collecting $3,250 billion in revenues and spending $3,688 billion. The continuous level of deficit spending has increased public debt, which, during the same period, rose from 33.7 percent to 73.6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP)." http://www.heritage.org/budget-and-spending/report/causes-the-federal-governments-unsustainable-spending 
            This means the government debt level is almost as much as the total amount of goods and services produced in this country! We are fast approaching the point where public debt will overtake and surpass the total productivity of this nation! Not that that's too hard to do since the US has been deindustrialized, the jobs sent overseas and casino                     capitalism is the rage.
             Now Trump is coming with his tax reduction plan, a plan ambiguous in details but praised by the rich because it lowers their taxes! Trump's tax plan has been formulated by the rich for the rich. http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-trump-tax-plan-more-money-for-the-oligarchs/5587786  This will produce a declining standard of living for most Americans. The Republican agenda (which is also supported by many Democrats) is to cut and eventually gut social programs like Social Security and Medicare while continuously funding wars (fueled by the totally bogus war on terrorism), massive corporate subsidies and welfare for the rich.
            Due to corporate media propaganda, government brainwashing and mind control we suffer from shortened memories and an absence of critical thinking; so we fail to connect the dots about how tax cuts for the rich championed and passed by Ronald Reagan, George W. Bu$h and Congress created huge benefits for the rich, massive government deficits but failed to manifest the ballyhooed jobs and trickle down benefits for the rest of us. Trump's plan will do the exact same thing especially given the Republican plan to cut the so called entitlement programs. By the way "entitlement programs" are programs we pay or paid into while we were working, that our Congress critters don't have to pay into because their plans are funded by us (in addition to the bribes and contributions they receive) and are much much better!
            We are facing a lose lose situation here. This alarming ratio of rising government (and personal) debt to shrinking GDP is unsustainable in the long run and this doesn't include the dire fiscal situation faced by cities, counties and state governments and their pension plans. Demand a full airing and accounting of the proposed tax cuts lest we see a repeat of the Reagan and Bu$h policies.


                                                            -30-