Out & About

Technology used to help at-risk students prep for Georgia Milestones exams

Currently, the education crisis is having an impact on our communities. Many of the at-risk students are classified as African-Americans. Dr. Thomas Duval is a retired dentist and Macon native.

Duval has dedicated his time and resources to create a movement to motivate at-risk students to learn and to achieve better test scores.

He calls this program the African American Ancestral Obligation, and the mission is for the old to teach the young. Duval partnered with Direct Action Media Academy Inc., a nonprofit that uses advanced technology to help elevate the conditions of impoverished communities. This nonprofit was founded by John Mcray and is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Together, they launched a website designed to elevate childhood learning by developing a motivation to learn. The Macon Making U website is yallmall.net/MMU. It was designed by Direct Action Media Academy for the Macon area. The website targets the “have-nots” and provides direct access to information about people from their community who look like them.

The goal is to give African-Americans an idea of themselves outside of normal teachings by providing local history and how it relates to them. It’s a catalytic foundation to help improve self-esteem and self-identity. In return, the results will help give strategic plans a better outcome.

The Georgia Milestones exams start as early as the third grade and continue through high school. Students are assessed on their knowledge of English, history, math and social studies. In the long run, these results are used to help students make decisions about attending college or choosing careers.

The Macon Making U site uses animation and local history as the motivation to engage at-risk students to learn. It’s a running management system where the content that needs to be added is unlimited.

This organic method of engaging information-age technology enhances philanthropy to help our at-risk students want to learn and perform better on this new method of standardized testing.

The African American Ancestral Obligations movement is making a call to action for churches, college students and historians to help gather and store Macon’s black history onto the Macon Making U website.

This information can then be shared on social media, at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and in the Library of Congress.

Yolanda “Y-O” Latimore is founder of Poetic Peace Arts and director of Like Water Publicity, a media and booking agency, and a member of the Macon Arts Alliance board. Contact her at ylatimore@gmail.com.