Sure, we can teach them to read, but how do we get them to LOVE it?

Are the students in your life bibliophibians or bibliophobians? Do they read because they have to or because they love to? February’s “Voices of Michigan Education” tackles all things reading related–from helpful new resources for struggling readers (remember The Electric Company? They’re all new, and they’re on our show) to what to do to keep older readers engaged and interested in trying new genres to an old-fashioned bookmobile that has today’s students pumped.

But I want to know from you–what do you do to help foster a real love of reading? How do we make kids lifelong readers? Share your tips and tricks–and listen to us talk about them on WJR NewsTalk 760 on February 9th at 7 p.m. We can all learn something along the way!


Utica teachers and other MEA members leading the way toward healthy lifestyles

As we tackle the issue of childhood obesity on our radio show this month, I am reminded once again how much I learn from our members. Deb Lotan, a food service employee from Waterford (and local ESP president) is on our show this month, and her stories really hit home about the importance of making sure our students make good food choices. No one is bigger advocate for the students she serves–Deb knows each and every one of them, and she makes it her mission to encourage them to adopt healthy eating habits.

In Utica, there is a group of teachers who are teaching that same lesson through leading by example. They created a “Biggest Loser” healthy weight loss contest, and the pounds are flying off. Read more about how teamwork is helping them stay on track here:

Makes me want to change a few things about my own habits!

He was almost a dropout himself…now, he is making it his mission to make sure students succeed in school.

Eric Wood didn’t fit in in high school.

When he wasn’t hiding behind long hair and heavy metal music, he was–he  admits–regularly getting into trouble with his teachers. When he ended his sophomore year suspended and not sure he was welcome back in the fall, his principal told him to look into Mott Middle College High School.

Eric’s decision to enroll there sixteen years ago changed everything, and put him on a path he never could have imagined. No longer the “bad kid” who rarely turned in his work,  Eric found himself embraced…and challenged. At MMC, his teachers weren’t satisfied with him getting enough credits for his high school diploma–here, like everyone else, he was required to take college courses at the same time.

Eric ended up going on for his BA and earning a Master’s degree… quite a turnaround for someone who figured he was destined to become another high school dropout.

So how did it happen? How did Mott Middle College take an at-risk teen and turn him into a highly educated teacher with a passion for giving back? And what can we learn from his story that could help us with the dropout crisis our state is facing?

Listen to WJR Tuesday night at 8pm to hear Eric’s story, and hear how this unique program is turning thousands of lives around…one at a time.