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Improve Literacy with ELA Common Core State Standards (Even if You Hate Them)

I was shocked by the immediate interest of students in reading my first book, Life After Birth: A Memoir of Survival and Success as a Teenage Mother. Then I learned teachers were actually using it to help students improve literacy. First…
Summer Owens holding first copy of her memoir

Sharing My Life Story Changed My Entire Life

Okay, I can admit it. I cried. If you're a parent, do you remember the first time you held your child? You'd waited months for that moment to see and hold that "thing" that had just been an idea or how it would actually look and feel…
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Reading and Real Life- The Journey to the Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education Curriculum

When I published my first book, Life After Birth- A Memoir of Survival and Success as a Teenage Mother, I had no idea the impact it would have on students and adults. I was just telling my story. I had no idea that people all over the world…
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When Silence Doesn't Make Sense

When I was asked to issue an official statement on the racial injustices many African Americans are currently facing and have for too long, I was ready. I didn't know what I would say and could barely verbalize how hurt and even afraid I felt,…
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10 Ways the Coronavirus is Forcing 2020 Vision

Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you're aware of the COVID-19 crisis that has disrupted our entire world in a matter of months. Rounding out 2019, I don't think anyone (with the exception of a few people) had any idea this was coming.…
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My Journey to the Motherland- Accra, Ghana Day 11

On the last day in Ghana, we packed up and checked out of the Airbnb. Because our flight wasn't until almost midnight we headed to Justin's parents house to unload our things and handle the last minute business of preparing to ship thousands…
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My Journey to the Motherland- Accra, Ghana Day 10

On the 10th day in Ghana, we returned to Mokola Market for Justin to try on the suits he was having custom made. Justin, who is half Ghanaian, has done a beautiful job of incorporating his culture into his speaking business. When he does corporate…
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My Journey to the Motherland- Accra, Ghana Day 9

The 9th day in Ghana was a super chill day. Our awesome driver, Bizmark, met us at the Airbnb to pick us up. This time he had a guest. He explained that his family was gone to church (it was Sunday), and he had his son, Kobe, with him. Because…
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My Journey to the Motherland- Accra, Ghana Day 8

Justin, who is half Ghanaian, has done a beautiful job of incorporating his culture into his speaking business. On the 8th day in Ghana, he worked with a local film crew to record footage for a documentary he is creating about the making of…