As the African American Student Achievement (AASA) Lead Teacher, Mr. Joseph Richards has founded numerous AASA support groups, events, interventions and celebrations for African American students this year. He helped to establish the AASA Mentor Program, which involved recruiting adults on campus to mentor African American students. To create a more effective communication network with parents, he established the AASA Parent Advisory Committee and regular AASA Parent Meetings. Mr. Richards created a monthly Speaker Series to provide inspiration and role models for our students and to showcase a variety of careers where African Americans are thriving and impacting the greater community. He also worked with others to create student meetings and to establish traditions, such as our first African American student graduation appreciation dinner.
The African American student population at Animo Jackie Robinson has always been a small, yet valuable, fraction of the total student population. Still, there wasn’t enough being done to not only showcase their greatness but also to directly and authentically meet the needs of these students and families. Mr. Richards has begun the work of meeting those needs with more success and of celebrating our African American students specifically, rather than simply peripherally. This is a true example of Upstanding.