Plan supports confidence, learning and GPA increase

By James J. Hankins –

Teachers introduce students to some important points in a story during class time. Self- study/homework allows the student to learn the rest of the story.

Parents are you proud of the progress your children made during the 2015-2016 school year? If yes, congratulations. If no, please have them spend most of this long hot summer working on some newfangled self-study summer school suggestions from a retired master teacher. You spend no money and they learn.

This is a research exercise I am sending to all my great nieces and nephews. I encourage all who read this to do the same for your family and friends. Average students who do not open a book or watch anything educational on television this summer will not be ready for the next grade. Any student who follows this plan will gain confidence, acquire relevant knowledge, discover that learning is inspirational, increase their GPA and be eligible for future trade, technical school and college scholarships.

Research Exercise One

Look up the following words, tell what they mean in their own words and give an example of how they are affecting or could affect family and community. The words are: “disclaimer,” “gentrification,” “gerrymandering,” “block voting,” “FICO score,” “foreclosure,” “tracking in school,” “voter suppression,” “the principle of diminishing returns,” “entrepreneur,” “interposition and nullification” and “deductive reasoning.”

Research Exercise Two

Tell the steps of how a bill becomes a law in the United States Congress (draw a flow-chart).

Research Exercise Three

Read and summarize the “Sermon on the Mountain,” “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; 1 Corinthians, 13; and the vocational education programs in the child’s school system and tell what lessons you and your family learned from them.

Research Exercise Four

Read about successful Black people such as Reginald Lewis, Janice Bryant Howroyd, George Washington Carver, Malcolm X, Suzanne Shank, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Tracy Reese and find at least five things they all have in common.

Research Exercise Five

Find the minimum age, qualifications, length of office and yearly salary for city council, county commissioners, school board, sheriff, district attorney, state representatives and United States Congress and Senate. Then ask “Will you run for elected office one day and be the person making the laws? Why? Why not?”

Parents you can make bonding or re-bonding with your children easier when you partner with them on this research project. If you do not feel comfortable, there is help in your community. The educational department at most churches and some outreach centers have active, retired teachers and others who can help your children research, check their work and guide them in the right direction.

James J. Hankins spent three years in the United States Army stationed in Germany, is a North Carolina A&T State University alumna, retired vocational education teacher and past president of the New Hanover County NAACP. He is the author of “What We Blacks Need to Do.”

June 29, 2016
The Journal For Community News, Business and The Arts serving the African American community in Minneapolis-St.Paul. Available on news stands and online at

1815 Bryant Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55411
(612) 588-1313


Download our Media Kit (PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Newspaper Deadlines
-Classified: Ad inquiries due one week prior to run date Wednesday
-Display: Space reservation due one week prior to run date and material due Wednesday the week prior to run date.
-Insight News print edition is published weekly on Mondays

For more information call: 612.588.1313