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!