MLK events aim to educate community

Gabriella Ybarra

Educator Cherry Rose Gooden focused on the importance of communication between parents and the community during the fifth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

MLK Jr., who was an advocator of true education, said, “Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.” Gooden built her presentation on this belief and called for more conversations to take place between the K-12 schools and the community to improve their relationship.

Gooden, a retired associate professor from Texas Southern University with over 50 years of teaching experience at the elementary and university levels, spoke Jan. 26 in Wolfe Recital Hall. Gooden earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education from TSU, and her Doctorate of Education in educational leadership and cultural studies from the University of Houston. Among her many achievements, Gooden is a founding member and past president of the National Association for Multicultural Education.

The theme of this year’s celebration was “Bridging the Gaps.” Students from both  Del Mar and A&M-CC heard Gooden speak about the gap between the education system and the community, and the need to metaphorically build a bridge to connect the gap. The event was presented by Del Mar College and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

“One of the things that caught my attention was the communities’ perception that teachers weren’t really doing their jobs,” Gooden said, “because they didn’t have a clear understanding of what their jobs were.”

According to her, much of the reason behind this is the widening communication gap between the people and the education system.

“The question here is, how do we communicate to the parents and the business community that what we do has value for the students that we serve,” Gooden said.

Gooden stressed the importance of disparaging false perceptions of teachers and educating parents on what the true intentions of teachers really are. She suggested that educators should engage the community in allowing them to see how teachers work on a daily basis.

“You can’t tell people. Sometimes you have to show and engage them in a way that allows them to feel what you’re feeling from your perspective,” Gooden said.

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