Education Matters

Education— Why It Matters? Dr. Danielle M. Grier

As a young black girl growing up in Shelby, North Carolina on Grice Street, Davis Road, and the Meadows Apartments, I held on to many dreams written down in journals with flower drawings in the margins. Dreams to one day become a poet and create cards like the beautiful Hallmark cards I saw on the store shelves. These were the kinds of thoughts that filled many pages of my journals over the years. Thanks to praying grandmothers, supporting parents, and many encouraging mentors, I held onto these types of aspirations and never stopped believing.

Let me introduce myself. By the grace of God, I am Dr. Danielle Mauney Grier, daughter of Tim Mauney and Saundra Banks. I have always had a drive for knowledge and a desire to learn something new. I live by the words life-long learner because I truly believe that there is always something “else” to master. But, I did not develop this attitude on my own.

It starts in the home. Learning and education begins with you—the parent. Whether it is indirectly or directly, you are teaching your children at home daily. Right now, in the midst of this at home situation, your child is learning how to react to the ‘unknowns’ and the uncertainty of things. But, even when we don’t know what tomorrow holds, we know who holds tomorrow. But, that is a conversation for another time.

Education is key for your child because it will and can prepare them for so many opportunities. My education at Gardner Webb University has afforded me the ability to educate the minds of many young people for more than 13 years. In my current role, as a curriculum technology coordinator and PST coordinator, I am able to work closely with some of the best educators in Cleveland County while also advocating for students during PST (problem solving team) meetings. And this is only the beginning!

One of my favorite quotes, by Rita Pierson is: Every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists they become the best they can possibly be. During my life, I have been blessed with connections like this from amazing people like Mrs. Tropzie McCluney, Dr. Cindy McKinney, and Mrs. Wyonella Gardner.

Education for me has been a lifeline. At times, it was my safe haven, but it has always been a way for me to move forward and learn so many new things. Whether you are trying to help your child with phonics, Eureka math, chemistry, or learning how to count from 1-50, confidence is going to be key. Continue to encourage them and assist them when and if you can. Education is so much more than just passing a test or earning a certificate; it is a way of life. Education aids in our boys and girls having the opportunity to compete for jobs in the future, participate in decision making and critical thinking processes, and leading longer, healthier lives. For these reasons and many more, it is imperative that we make education a priority. And it does take a village. So, I encourage you to seek resources (i.e. mentors, tutors, shadowing opportunities) for your child in order to help them on this life journey. Be encouraged!

Education Matters

Education Matters Tannelaine Wilson

My name is Tannelaine Wilson and I am a high school educator.  I started my education in my parent’s home watching Reading Rainbow and Sesame Street.  My mother ensured I had plenty of books, crayons, pencils, learning coloring books, reading books, and board games.  Despite my parents never graduating from high school, they ensured all six of their children earned a high school diploma.  Quitting school was not an option in our home.

I began my formal education in the public school system of Bessemer City, North Carolina. During high school, I was dual enrolled at Gaston College and earned my North Carolina Real Estate Certification.  As a pregnant teenager, I enrolled at Gaston College earning an Associates in Applied Science. Then as a single mother,I enrolled in Belmont Abbey College and earned a Bachelors of Arts.  Next, I received a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, a Marketing & Business Certification from North Carolina State University, and Masters of Executive Leadership from Gardner Webb University.   In 2016, I founded Community Preparatory Academy, a non-profit organization with a mission to prioritize parental education and network with community stakeholders to address disparities. I currently serve as a subcommittee leader for Pathways for Prosperity K-12 Focus Group and Board Member of the Cape Fear Committee on African American Heritage.

As a child, my maternal grandmother, Geneva Partlow told me to reach past the stars.  Later, Mrs. Tweety Stewart, my seventh grade English told me that I could change things once I grew up and that winners never quit.  Last year one of my mentors told me to strive to be better than I was the day before and my only competition was myself. My Spiritual Father, Reverend William Thompson reminded me that everyone that changed the world encountered difficulty but it didn’t stop them.  

It truly takes a village to raise a child.  Parent involvement, words of affirmation, love, encouragement, support, and inspiration matters.  Informal education is just as important as a formal education.  The foundation that you give to a child matters.  Humans are like flash drives.  All of our experiences download into our subconscious and impact our development.  What happens when a child is not given the tools to be successful?  As a veteran educator, I have witnessed the effects of children suffering and sometimes meeting their demise due to adult problems.  As parents, under no circumstances should children carry our burdens.  It is not a child’s choice to come into this world.  For this reason, it is our responsibility to ensure our children are prepared to learn, lead, and love one another.  

Our beloved Malcolm X stated, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”  In 1965, Brother Malcom X was telling us that education matters.  Today, I am stating that education matters.  How many changes have you witnessed during your lifetime?  Jobs, medicine, technology, processes, and simply the way we live continues to change.  Our children must be educated and prepared to ensure their existence.  We must think generational.  Today, reflect over the generations in your family.  What is the pattern in your family?  What can you do to change it?  Until today, you may have not recognized your role in your family’s legacy.  However, when we know better,  we must do better.