A newly formed organization is trying to close a gap between the school system and parents with hands-on informative workshops. The Brooklyn-based group, No Rest Until Success, is a generous organization that aims to raise educational awareness, by assisting families struggling to provide their children with schoolwork with resources.
Co-founded earlier this year by East Flatbush-raised educator, Dr. Anesha Fuller, the creation of the organization was inspired by the high school teacher’s desire to fix a flaw she noticed, and observations she often made throughout her years as a public school teacher.
“Part of my doctorate dissertation was geared towards a literacy curriculum and to see if a school’s literacy program was rigorous enough to match the common core and learning standards, and as I did my research I saw that there was a growing crisis with reading and writing,” she said.
After increasingly witnessing repeated instances in the literacy habits of many students, she realized that several factors were likely contributors to the trend.
“In my overall experience as teacher, I started to see a massive crisis in students not writing properly,” she said.
She said the daily use and growth of the smartphone are beneficial in many ways, but it comes with several cons that changes how everyone, and particularly the youth, communicate both online and to a great extent in school.
“Many people struggle with writing standard English, and they’ve become so effective with high-tech phones and everything social media, that they are so reliant on the many apps that do it,” said Fuller. “But when it’s time to do the work, they can’t produce it because they don’t have the app.” And the downside is students are continuing down this path from elementary school into high school, according to Fuller.
“They are transitioning into high school and they don’t have the proper fundamentals to succeed in high school because they can’t read or write properly,” she said.
She said this was partly the reason why high schoolers were taking state tests such as the Regents examination, more than once, when these assessments were designed to be taken and passed on the first try. But for Fuller, she believes in the power of community philanthropy and says her organization not only wants to help students achieve great success, but more importantly wants to also help the people that can guide them at home — the parents. She said some parents need help too.
“What I realized is that parents want to help their kids, but their number one problem is they don’t know how,” said Fuller.
Often times, other community-based organizations are more focused on gun violence and shelter housing, and not enough are geared to education, said Fuller. But feeling like more could be done, she decided to form a non-profit that would be committed to offering free workshops and programs for families.
The format of the workshop includes teacher and volunteers showing attendees information that teachers know and apply in the classroom, and how they too can use for themselves. She uses word of mouth and social media to get the word out about the organization and what services they provide.
Fuller said she was well-versed in this subject and felt others should be too.
“I see the need and I’m able to do it, so I do it and share what I know,” said Fuller. “It’s not taking anything from me to share the knowledge that I have because our children aren’t reading or writing properly, and they’re failing and struggling, and no one is saying anything about it.”
With No Rest Until Success, a group of mostly dedicated teachers, experienced professionals, and volunteers — parents and students from pre-kindergarten to high school, learn how to do coursework using the same tools that teachers have. Fuller says as the school system changes, parents need to also be informed about these changes to stay up to date.
“There are simple strategies that teachers like me, and other people in my profession know how to do, and we want to help people basically help their children,” she said.
Fuller adds that they also want the community to support their mission through material or monetary donations, and even free rental space.
“Our overall mission is to raise educational awareness among the community and show people how to help their children better,” said Fuller. “We need as much help as we can get, because we are helping parents learn how to take the knowledge we are able to give them, and in turn help their children become better students.”
Next year on Jan. 13, the organization will be hosting a workshop at the Cortelyou Early Childhood Center Annex.