In his article Windows and Mirrors, Chad Everett (2019) suggesting, viewing literature through a lens of windows and mirrors helps us understand that, in addition to texts being stories to be enjoyed, they are powerful tools of social justice. In the primary and intermediate grades as we are devoting copious amounts of time to helping students become proficient readers, we must remember that students are discovering their place in school and world, and the texts we provide access to inform this discovery. With access to mirror texts, students are able to see that their narrative matters, and with access to window texts, students learn to understand and appreciate the narratives of others. The power of literacy to transform lives does not exist in skill and strategy instruction alone; it also resides within the stories students read. What message do we send students when they do not see themselves reflected in the texts we use in our classrooms? What message do we send to students from non-marginalized groups when we only use texts that reflect their culture and experiences? The diversity provided through window and mirror texts extends beyond ethnicity. Diversity includes how a piece of literature addresses family structures, dialects; cultural traditions and values.
TW4LFS views the community as a family who will be transformed by embodying the spiritual principles of communication, understanding, love, forgiveness, and perseverance; while being empowered through their interaction with loving and affirming adults as they participate in the programs and sessions offered by the center.
The mission of The Way4Life Family Services is to transform the lives of those we serve by creating indigenous leaders that will empower their families and neighborhoods, and by reproducing what they have received through relationship, faith, and resolution. Our mission is to equip families to live life in love using 4 principles of service. Every principle is included in each of the programmatic approaches. The principles are:
Understanding • Love • Forgiveness • Communication
a. Every participant will develop their plan of action as it pertains to what love is and is not.
a. Every participant will be required to practice listening and implement what has been conveyed.
a. Participants will be required to practice public speaking, debating various topics to hone conflict resolution skills
and learn how to agree to disagree.
a. Behavior and motivation to resolve conflict and learn to not hold personal grudges. Relationships are the most
important aspect of human behavior.
We have identified several areas of focus that are essential to ensure that communities are successful:
1) THE WAY FOR COMMUNICATION
a. This a introductory session Communication and the power of the tongue and how we have the create and frame
our life based off what we say and how we live our life.
b. Public Speaking, and conflict resolution are lost skills in our community so during this sessions participants will
learn how to agree to disagree and accept someone can have a different.
2) SOUND MIND (MEN AND WOMEN DEVELOPMENT)
a. This program teaches how to overcome emotional chaos and fosters development on evidenced based decision
making instead of fear, feeling, and distractions. This is rooted on God giving us a sound mind not a spirit of fear.
b. Each session will be for men and women as each man will be shown how to make decision from a sound mine
and not from their emotions.
3) TRUST THE PROCESS (R8:28)
a. This a faith building program in which families are taught how to believe in positive results and shown how to
SPEAK LIVE to obstacles versus complaining about their situation.
4) LOVE THYSELF
a. We desire to teach and define what loves has to do with it in our monthly sessions.
5) FINANCIAL STEWARDSHIP (WEALTH MANAGEMENT)
a. Financial stewardship begins by learning to live within your means. Genuine wealth management is committing
to saving, maintaining a great credit score, investments, home purchasing and leveraging equity. Becoming and
remaining debt free.
b. We seek to steer the entrepreneurial spirits of families to provide additional income through programs that
assist families in their personal and professional development, provide families with viable employment
opportunities and support their involvement in families-governed community businesses.
c. This program teaches parents/children to operate their family as a business teaching budgeting, tax preparation.
6) COMING TO THE TABLE
a. See www.comingtothetable.org-
b. We seek to promote the enhancement of communities by addressing the overall lack of financial, social,
political, environmental awareness among of families. We shall focus on how to develop strategies to improve
community relations among marginalized groups through conversations.
7) The Ke'miyah Project
Ke'miyah Edwards is a 5 year old girl and kindergarten student at Glenn Lea Elementary School. She was shot in the head while playing with her 2 year old brother, who was not injured, at her maternal grandmother's house. They had just finished playing when a bullet came through the window. Currently, she is still alive and superseding all the doctor’s prognosis. We are praying for a full and complete recovery. The doctors told the family Ke’Miyah would not make it, but she did. They said if she woke up she might be in a vegetative state and may be paralyzed, with impaired vision. Yet, 29 days after being shot, Ke'miyah is walking, talking, seeing, and playing; even though her frontal lobe has been removed.
TW4LFS endeavors to send Ke’miyah and her family to Walt Disney World on April 2, 2020, as well as assist other children and families impacted by trauma as the result of gun violence. We need your support. When donating to TW4LFS, please indicate The Ke'miyah Project to assist our endeavor. The Ke'miyah Project was created to acknowledge the perseverance of Ke'miyah and highlight the need to end gun violence in lower income communities.
Your support and contributions are welcomed and encouraged. With your help, we can continue to make a positive impact for numerous families.