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Teacher Spotlights: Holly Mortimer

Behind every graduate is a number of dedicated teachers. We’re grateful to our iSucceed instructors, and that’s why we take a moment to shine the light on them in this Teacher Spotlight blog series.

This month, we are excited to spotlight Mrs. Holly Mortimer, an English instructor who is well liked by our students. Learn more about her with these fun questions below.

Mrs. Holly Mortimer, iSucceed English Instructor

1. How many years have you been a teacher?

I taught for 13 years in brick and mortar classrooms, and have been at iSucceed since it opened in 2008.
2. What are some of your hobbies?

Trail running, skiing, reading, cooking, architecture and home design.

3. Why do you enjoy teaching iSucceed students?

 I am impressed by so many of my students who have made the proactive decision to seek out a high school situation that works for them, whether it be because of personal or medical challenges, or outside interests that they are pursuing. I am amazed at how so many of our students juggle multiple commitments–work, family, children, health conditions, education—with grace and discipline. I am proud to be a part of that.
4. What are some benefits you see in online education?

Online education isn’t for everyone at all times, but all of us will have times in our lives when it works for us. Traditional high school works great for some students; online education is there for the rest of us.

5. Have you had a moment when you felt you made an impact on a student’s life at iSucceed?

I had a student who was so committed to his English coursework. He took every opportunity to ask for clarification and input, and he revised all of his projects multiple times. He did this while working full time at a meat packing plant on the night shift

When his mom became ill in Mexico, he had to leave the U.S. to visit her and was concerned that he wouldn’t have enough time to maintain his high grades in his courses. Because our system is flexible, I was able to assure him that he could get caught up when he returned two weeks later. Despite my reassurance, he still walked every other day to an internet cafe to log in and complete some coursework.

When he returned, he sent me a beautiful pottery piece he had brought back; more importantly, he caught right up and earned an A in my senior English course. I was so proud to be part of his success. I know without iSucceed, he would not have been able to graduate from high school.

6. Share with us a piece of advice for your iSucceed students: 

Log in every day and read your messages and announcements. Don’t break the chain of doing that one thing every day at around the same time. Once you are in, it’s easier to get some work done; getting started is the hardest part.

  • Do you have an iSucceed teacher you’d like to give a shoutout to? Share with us in the comments below!

20 Surprising Facts About U.S. Presidents You Didn't Know

There’s no doubt, being President of the United States is one of the hardest jobs ever. And While we commend our fearless leaders for their outstanding service, there are some strange and funny facts we bet you didn’t know.

We found hundreds of them, but since President’s Day falls on February 20 this year, we picked out 20 weird facts you can use to impress your friends.

While you’re at it, enjoy some curriculum from our American History courses featured in the Bio Card graphics below. It brings the past alive for iSucceed students as they learn about the more serious side of our nation’s history.

20 Surprising U.S. President Facts

1. George Washington (1787–1797)

Our first president gave the shortest inauguration speech. It was only 133 words and lasted less than two minutes! He also didn’t have enough money to get to his inauguration and had to borrow money from a neighbor.

2. John Adams (1797–1801) & Thomas Jefferson (1801–1817)

 

Presidents Adams and Jefferson died on the same day, July 4, 1826, which happened to be the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. James Monroe (1817-1825) was the last surviving founding father and he died exactly five years later on July 4, 1831.

3. James Monroe (1817–1825)

The capital of Liberia, Monrovia, was named after President James Monroe.

4. Andrew Jackson (1829–1837)

Rumor has it that President Jackson taught his pet parrot how to curse. At his funeral, the bird had to be taken away because it kept swearing!

 

5. James Buchanan (1857-1861)

To help end the movement, this president bought slaves in Washington D.C. and set them free in Pennsylvania.

6. Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)

“Honest Abe” was an amazing wrestler. He competed in about 300 matches, and only lost one of them. He was also the tallest president at 6’4”. Learn more about him in this video

7. James Garfield (1881)

Get ready for this odd fact: President Garfield was ambidextrous, meaning he could write with both hands. He could even write in Greek with one hand and Latin with the other… at the same time.

 

8. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)

Good ol’ Teddy was shot in the chest while giving a speech. This didn’t stop him from finishing his talk, which lasted an hour and a half!

 

9. William H. Taft (1909-1913)

President Taft was the largest president weighing in at over 300 pounds. His advisors had to sometimes pull him out of the bathtub. He was also the only president to serve as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

10. Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)

“Silent Cal” liked to press all the buttons on his desk and then hide while his assistants were running in. He would then jump out and say he was just checking to make sure everyone was working.

 

11. Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)

and his wife lived in China before he became elected president. When they wanted to have a private conversation in the White House, they would speak Mandarin.

 

12. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)

Also known as FDR, this president married his cousin, Eleanor Roosevelt. The bride was given away by her uncle (and FDR’s other cousin), former president Theodore Roosevelt. FDR was also distantly related to other presidents including Washington, both Adams, Madison, Van Buren, both Harrisons, Taylor, Grant and Taft.

 

13. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)

General Eisenhower served in both World War I and World War II.

 

14. Gerald R. Ford (1974–1977)

Two people tried to assassinate Ford in less than a three-week span; they were both females!

 

15. Ronald Regan (1981-1989) would talk with an astrologer before making major decisions or planning events.

 

16. William J. Clinton (1993-2001) won two Grammy awards for Best Spoken Word Albums.

 

17. George W. Bush (2001-2009) was the head cheerleader at his high school.

 

18. Barack Obama (2009-2017) wanted to be featured in a pin-up calendar in his Harvard days, but unfortunately, the ladies in charge didn’t choose him.

19. Mount Rushmore Presidents

Four presidents’ faces grace Mount Rushmore in South Dakota: George Washington (1789-1797), Thomas Jefferson (1801-1817), Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) and Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909). The monument was created to increase tourism in the region. The sculptures are 60 feet high, the equivalent of a five-story building! Read the whole story here.

 

20. President Dollar Bills 

Ever seen a $500, $1000 or $5000 bill? If so, you may have noticed the faces of William McKinley (1897-1901), Grover Cleveland (1885-1889 and 1893-1897) and James Madison (1809-1817) gracing these bills. Forget the Ben Franklins, and show us the James Madisons, please!

Sources:
https://ww2.kqed.org/pop/2016/02/18/weird-facts-you-never-knew-about-the-u-s-presidents/
https://www.factretriever.com/us-presidents-facts

  • Do you know any other surprising U.S. President facts? Share with us in the comments below!

Life of an Online High School Student vs. the Traditional Student

A common question we hear is: “What’s different about online high school?” In a nutshell, the main answer is: the daily routine. Here is how the routine differs for an online high school student.

Life of the Traditional Student vs. an Online High School Student

Let’s start with the morning.


Traditional students need to wake up early, catch the bus, walk or hope mom or dad will give or dad them a ride to school.

An online high school student wakes up, gets ready for the day and log in to start their coursework. There’s also no dress code required, which can be a plus.

Now let’s take a look at what your day will look like.

A traditional student attends school from about 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., listening to teacher lectures and working on assignments. Any assignments not completed in the allotted timeframe becomes homework.

Online school is not easier, and takes the same 30 hours per week to complete. The difference is online students are not tied to a physical classroom or a set schedule. This amount of freedom requires a lot of discipline, as it can be easy to fall behind on coursework. But discipline is an invaluable skill needed in college and careers, so why not start early?

“What would I be doing,” you ask? Read on.


All material—assignments, quizzes, exams and projects—are completed online. Students should complete at least one lesson per class every weekday.

Courses include teacher-led lessons, graphic-novel stories, instructional videos and educational games.
Check out this blog post to learn more about iSucceed’s curriculum.

So you’ve worked hard on your classes and it’s lunch time. Now what?

That’s the benefit of online school. You are not constrained to cafeteria food; you can eat whatever you choose. If it’s the yummy pizza pictured above or a nice bowl of cereal from home, that’s completely up to you!

You might be thinking, “But what if I have a question? Who will help me?” Let’s take a look at teachers:

Teachers hold the same qualifications in both traditional and online school. Online instructors are not less accessible, communication is simply different.Students can receive support through email, instant messaging, a phone call or live online tutoring.

Learn more about iSucceed’s personalized communication model here.

OK, school is great, but what about friends?

 

Because there is not a physical classroom, online students connect with classmates differently. Interaction happens through the following channels:

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  • Group discussions in courses.
  • Staff-monitored community page to “friend” and chat with students.
  • Online student clubs

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There are school events (including prom!) and a graduation ceremony, which you can learn more about here.

If you’ve decided the life of an online student is right for you, you can get started ChooseiSucceed.com.

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  • Can you think of other comparisons? Share with us in the comments below!

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National Inventors Day: 5 Revolutionary Teen Inventions

Today is National Inventor’s Day, which falls on the birthday of America’s most prolific inventor, the late Thomas Edison. While he is America’s most famous historical inventor who held more than 1,000 patents, there are modern-day inventors who continue to transform our world with amazing solutions for our biggest problems. In fact, some of our most brilliant inventions come from teenagers! Check them out…

5 Revolutionary Inventions by Teens

 

  1. IV Backpack – Kylie Simonds was a cancer survivor and only 11 years old when she invented an IV pediatric backpack for kids with cancer. It was a school assignment that led Kylie to create an alternative to the large IV pack on wheels that is often cumbersome for kids to pull around. Now thanks to Kylie, kids with cancer who need an IV pack can move around easier and in style. Check it out here!
  2. Cancer detection method- It appears teens have made invaluable contributions to preventing/coping with cancer. Janet, 16, and Benjamin, 15, Song developed a urine test for early detection of cancer. Janet and Benjamin hypothesized that certain DNA markers found in urine are altered when cancer is present. While their invention is still undergoing testing before it’s used clinically, it’s well on its way to saving lives. Read their story here.
  3. Sensor to protect Alzheimer’s patients – Determined to help his grandfather who suffers from Alzheimer’s, Kenneth Shinozuka was just 15 when he invented a device to alert caregivers when their patients with dementia wander. Check out this inspiring TED Talk by Kenneth that has more than 1.4 million views!
  4. Car exhaust filter – After being astonished at the amount of exhaust cars release, 17-year-old Param Jaggi decided to do something about it. For three years, Param worked diligently to create an exhaust filter. The filter basically takes the carbon dioxide released from the car, and then using photosynthesis, converts it to clean, breathable air. He won an award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for his valiant efforts. Check out the news article here.
  5. Ocean Sweeper – Boyan Slat , 19, developed a plan to potentially remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans. The device consists of several floating booms and processing platforms anchored together that acts as a giant funnel, gathering plastic and packaging it into garbage cubes that can be dispensed to countries throughout the world. Boyan went on to create a non-profit foundation dedicated to the project. Found out more here.

Remember, you are never too young to start making a difference in the world. This Inventor’s Day, we hope you gather some inspiration to try and invent something yourself!

  • Which is your favorite teen invention? Share with us in the comments below!

 

School Event: Cupcake Wars February 23

If we had to guess, it’s your absolute dream to become the greatest cupcake decorator the world has ever seen.

OK, maybe not, but how does meeting new friends, eating desserts and possibly wining an Amazon gift card sound?

Come to the iSucceed Office on Thursday, February 23 from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. and participate in our Cupcake Wars! Meet fellow classmates, make friends and eat delicious, beautifully decorated cupcakes. Three students will even walk away with a $10 gift card! Here are the full details:

iSucceed Cupcake Wars 

February 23, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Study Labs at the iSucceed building in Boise (6148 N. Discovery Way Suite 120
Boise, ID 83713)

We will provide the cupcakes, you only need bring yourself (and a friend, if you’d like)! Each student will be given a cupcake with frosting and other random toppings, then provided a theme. Students will then have 20 minutes to decorate their cupcake according to the assigned theme. There will be three rounds total, and students can participate in each round.

Cupcakes will be judged by our “Cupcake Experts” (iSucceed staff), and the winner from each round will receive a $10 Amazon gift card.

Not in the Mood to Decorate? Come Anyway! There’s Free Food.

If you’re not exactly “artistic,” we hope to see you there anyway! Students can come enjoy free snacks like chips, popcorn and sodas, sit back and enjoy watching the ‘war.’ Plus, your counselor and principal will be onsite for you to meet your teachers, or get help in your coursework.

Come Early for Homework Help

We encourage all students attending the event to come early to work on coursework. Staff will be onsite and available for homework help, so we hope you take advantage of this great opportunity.

An RSVP is required for all attendees. Students can bring one non-iSucceed student as a guest. To RSVP, email mprice@isucceedvhs.net.

National School Counselor Week Featuring iSucceed's Guidance Counselor!

Behind every graduated high school student is a number of dedicated teachers and counselors.

February 6–10 is National School Counselor Week. To celebrate, we want to spotlight iSucceed’s Guidance Counselor, Crystal Sistoni. Learn more about her below.

Crystal Sistoni, iSucceed Guidance Counselor

Ms. Sistoni is an outdoors enthusiast who has been a resident of Idaho for over 20 years, and a teacher at iSucceed for about three years. Some of her hobbies include camping, fishing, backpacking, rafting and being with friends and family.

“I have lived in the Boise area for the last 20 years and fall in love with this city more and more each day,” said Ms. Sistoni. “I am so fortunate to live in an area where I can do so many of my favorite things.”

Ms. Sistoni said that she became a counselor to fulfill her greatest passion—to help others succeed.

“I became a school counselor to help Idaho’s youth through this huge step in their lives,” said Ms. Sistoni. “I have had many of the same struggles that my students have and if I was able to get through this, I want to help others succeed, so they can move on to bigger and better things this life has to offer.”

As the main guidance counselor for iSucceed, Ms. Sistoni connects with each student personally to promote their academic, social and personal development. Her favorite part about counseling iSucceed students is that she gets to work with unique individuals.

“I like that we have different ways of communication [at iSucceed],” said Ms. Sistoni. “Most people think I can’t develop a relationship with students online, but I have developed some of the best relationships this way. I commend these students for going to school despite challenges that they might deal with on a daily basis. I work with students on all areas of the spectrum, so that makes every day different. Each one of my students is unique and special and I love getting the opportunity to learn about them.”

One of the most rewarding things about being a counselor to Ms. Sistoni is those moments when she empowers students graduate who otherwise may not have finished high school, as she recalls in this story:

“There was a student who was scheduled to graduate this year who was  focusing too much on what was going wrong with in life and not focusing on school,” said Ms. Sistoni. “We were able to discuss this student’s concerns and issues and with time and a solid plan, this student ended up graduating. It’s impacting students on this level, the level that will help them move forward in life that I value and cherish the most. The caveat with this student was this was their last shot at graduation because they were going to age out of the public school system, so this was definitely a highlight for this student and myself.”

What Does a Guidance Counselor Do?

The real question is, what can’t Ms. Sistoni do?  At iSucceed, our counselor works with students individually to map out graduation plans, provide support for academic and personal needs, and help prepare for life after high school, including applying for colleges, interview tips or obtaining financial aid. Whenever students have a need, they can always turn to Ms. Sistoni for help.

How Do I Communicate With Counselors and Staff at iSucceed?

We often hear this question, and we’re proud to say you are likely to receive more personalized support here at iSucceed than at your traditional school. You can learn more about it in this blog.

Because we have one devoted counselor, getting help is simple at iSucceed! Ms. Sistoni’s contact info is accessible straight from the Parent Student Portal (PSP) homepage, the main page students and parents use to log into their classes. Ms. Sistoni and your teachers are all available via phone calls, emails and instant messaging, so that you can get quick responses to your questions.

This week, we hope you take some time to thank the school counselors who have helped you! Send them an email, or even give them a shoutout in the comments below! Either way, we hope you make them feel appreciated.

How You Can Receive More Personalized Support Through iSucceed Virtual High School

Pictured above: Mr. Rollins tutoring former iSucceed student.

As the famous English author Terry Pratchett so eloquently stated, “a lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on.”

There is an ongoing myth that online schools do not provide students with any support. At iSucceed Virtual High School, this is far from the case.

In fact, we’ve developed a proven working model that allows for more individualized student-teacher interaction than a traditional school. While some think the lack of a physical classroom creates a barrier, we believe it actually creates a pathway for better communication. Read below to learn about iSucceed’s student-instructor interaction model and how it can support you.

iSucceed’s Supportive Student-Teacher Communication Model

If you had one hour to help 30 people, who would you go to first? Likely the ones who grab your attention first and ask for help. That’s the barrier a traditional classroom can create. With such large class sizes, students must be vocal in order to receive any sort of help. Those who aren’t oftentimes fall through the cracks.

At iSucceed, teachers take care of each student individually. There are real-time online lectures similar to that of the traditional classroom, but that’s merely one point of contact–not the main form of interaction. Here are the different ways students can contact teachers at iSucceed.

1. Phone Call

iSucceed instructors have a direct line, which students can easily find in the home page of the Parent Student Portal (PSP).

2. Instant Messaging

Also found within the PSP is an instant chat messenger. Students can see which teachers are online and contact them right away with a quick question.

3. Email

For a smaller, less urgent question, teachers also have emails that they check regularly to respond to students within a 48-hour period.

4. Online Personal Appointments

Students needing more personalized support can arrange a real-time online appointment with their teachers to get extra help on homework.

5. In-person appointments

Those students who live near the Chandler office are welcome to schedule an appointment with their instructor for in-person support.

The five points of contact listed above are all easily accessible to students. In many ways, this model is better for the students who are not as outspoken. Raising a hand can be intimidating, especially when coupled with the fear of asking a “stupid” question. Having quick access to teacher support in many ways helps provides more personalized attention. Take it from a few of iSucceed’s parents and students:

Student & Parent Testimonials

“Having taught in traditional classrooms for over twenty years, I have to admit I was very reluctant about switching my son from a traditional school to iSucceed.  But, after seeing the programs and the dedication of the staff to the success of the student, I am amazed. Every couple of weeks he, or I, is contacted by a counselor from iSucceed to check our progress. The counselors and teachers have been knowledgeable, helpful and are truly interested in the progress and success of my child!” – Heather Bergeson, parent

“Having taught in traditional classrooms for over twenty years, I have to admit I was very reluctant ab”Mr. Rollins [at iSucceed] was the first teacher I was able to ask a question. After he was so helpful and encouraging, I could ask another and then another. Thank you so much for helping me find my voice and the courage to be a leader!” – Nicole Griffith, iSucceed graduate, student at Northwest Nazarene University

If you have any further questions about iSucceed’s instruction model, our enrollment advisors are happy to help! Give us a call at 208.908.6250.

National School Choice Week: Choose iSucceed Virtual High School

At iSucceed, we believe students deserve a choice in their education. That’s why we’ve worked since 2008 to provide a tuition-free, quality online education for 9–12th grade students throughout Idaho.

January 22–28 is National School Choice Week (NSCW). Founded in 2011, the goal is “to raise public awareness of all types of education options for children.” In the spirit of NSCW, we want you to know that you always have a choice, even midway through the school year. If you’re not enjoying where you currently attend, consider choosing iSucceed Virtual High School.

Is iSucceed the Right Option for Me?

We often hear this question, and in most cases the answer is “yes!” iSucceed works to provide a tailored education, which makes it the preferred choice for many people.

iSucceed can be a great option for students who are: 

  • Looking to catch up on credits, or graduate early
  • Needing more individualized attention from teachers
  • Wanting a flexible schedule due to illnesses, family responsibilities, work or other extracurricular activities
  • Hoping to study from the comfort of their homes in a supportive online environment
  • Wanting to switch to online school, but don’t want to miss  ‘high school experience’

Programs Available at iSucceed

About iSucceed Virtual High School 

iSucceed is an accredited public charter school, which means it is tuition free and offers the same diploma as any traditional high school in iSucceed. Our curriculum is award-winning, engaging and split into three courses every nine weeks for reduced stress and better focus.

Quick Facts About iSucceed

  • Tuition Free
  • Accredited
  • 100% online
  • Rigorous, award-winning curriculum
  • Six-week courses
  • Interactive student life
  • Personalized support from highly qualified instructors and counselors

How Do I Switch to iSucceed Virtual High School?

Here are a few steps to get you started:

  • Head to ChooseiSucceed.com/Enroll
  • Fill out the form, located either to the right or bottom of your screen
  • Work with an enrollment advisor to turn in paperwork and get enrolled

We know transferring in the middle of the year sounds like a daunting undertaking, but it is more doable than you think! For tips to easing the transition to online school midyear, check out this blog post.

Student Spotlights: Sarah Geopel

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At iSucceed Virtual High School, we have dedicated students who work hard to get their diplomas. That’s why we decided to start a Student Spotlight series, so we can shine the light on a few of our awesome students.

This month, we bring the story of a student who just finished her last quarter with iSucceed! Although she had a feel stumbling blocks, she got back on track and earned her diploma early. Check out her inspiring story below.

The Story of Sarah Geopel, recent iSucceed graduate

Geopel-CopySarah is an 18 year old who loves riding roller coasters, eating sweets, playing with animals, and trying new things. Among her interests includes getting to know others, and helping where she can.

“I absolutely love to talk to people,” said Sarah. “I enjoy having deep, thought-provoking conversations and also finding the time to have fun together.”

Another great thing about Sarah is her confidence in herself; she embraces being unique.

“I have a quirky, outgoing personality, and am often known for being smart. Although if you really get to know me, you’ll find out that I’m quite… different from other people. But I feel that it is a good thing to be different, and I want to share that with the world,” said Sarah.

At one point in her high school career, Sarah faced some challenges that set her back on graduating. But she decided she wanted to obtain her diploma, so she came back to iSucceed and worked hard.

“My goals [when I enrolled in iSucceed] were to get as good of grades as possible and to graduate early” said Sarah.

And despite coming to iSucceed behind on credits, Sarah did accomplish her goal and graduated a semester early with good grades.

“I feel proud because I managed to graduate a semester early, and I even finished that semester a few weeks early. On top of it, I even managed to get straight A’s,” said Sarah. “I don’t claim to be perfect, but I always try to work with what I have and move on in life.”

In her last quarter at iSucceed, Sarah was also diligently working toward earning her Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) license. Now that she’s graduated, she plans to finish CNA schooling and work in an assisted living home. Although, Sarah tells us that getting her CNA license is simply a first step to help her get funding to go to college for something she is passionate about.

“Nursing isn’t my passion, and I don’t know if I will further my education in it, but it is a good start to living on my own,” said Sarah. “Even though it probably won’t be my career path, I am still determined to do my best and make the residents’ lives better. After I’ve gotten myself established, I’m contemplating starting a career in the arts.”

When it comes to advice for other iSucceed students, Sarah has a few great tips:

1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! No matter how stupid the question, it doesn’t matter what others think, what matters is that you learn more and satisfy your curiosity.

2. Don’t be afraid to share other things with your teachers too, whether it’s something you read that you think they may be interested in or lesson material that you find inspiring.

3. Put forth your best effort! I know it may be tempting to put minimal thought into responses on things such as discussions and projects, but nothing worth doing is easy. It reflects well on you to try hard, and you just may learn something interesting too.

4. Have a great life! Make a difference in the world, don’t just be a bystander, and don’t fall victim to violence and peer pressure.

Check out this article to see how you can graduate early with iSucceed.

  • Do you have any encouraging thoughts you’d like to leave with Sarah? Share with us in the comments below!

iSucceed Curriculum Spotlights: Black History Month and Martin Luther King Jr.

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Whenever you face an obstacle in life, you have two options: deal with it, or do something about it. At times, it will feel like you are not in control, and that’s when it’s important to look to powerful figures in history for inspiration. This month, we celebrate Black History and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Because we feel it imperative to educate our students on crucial American civic rights events, Primavera includes interactive articles and lessons in our coursework, which we’re featuring in this blog post. Learn more about Martin Luther King Jr. and other key contributors to civic rights below.

About Martin Luther King Jr.

 

“Martin Luther King Jr. was both a social activist and Baptist minister who became increasingly active in the fight for civil rights after facing countless moments of discrimination and racism.

By the early 1960s, MLK had become a national figure as he supported various efforts around the nation including sit-ins and other peaceful demonstrations. To this day, his words are echoed yearly and remembered as a turning point in the civil rights movement.”

Read more about Martin Luther King Jr. in this iSucceeed lesson.

Lesson 1: The Freedom Riders

“Beginning on May 4, 1961, 13 Freedom Riders—black and white, male and female—embarked on their challenge in two buses from Washington, DC. In a tag-team type system, hundreds of supporters of the movement joined for any length of bus ride they could commit to. The riders planned to end the trip in New Orleans on May 17, the seventh anniversary of the Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education desegregation decision. Riders were arrested in Charlotte, North Carolina, and then assaulted in Rock Hill, South Carolina, when they refused to obey ‘whites only’ regulations.”

Read the full lesson here.

Lesson 2: Rosa Parks

“Bone weary, Rosa Parks climbed aboard a public bus on a cold December morning in Montgomery, Alabama. She took a seat at the front of the bus, too tired to make the trip to the segregated section in the back. When asked to move, she refused. Failure to comply with the bus driver’s order to move to the ‘blacks only’ seating led to her arrest. This story would spark a powder keg that would disrupt the public transit system in Montgomery.

Rosa Parks’ arrest for refusing to give up her seat inspired a boycott of the Montgomery buses by African Americans in the city. Since 75% of the patrons were African American, the loss in revenue forced Montgomery officials to change the policies.

Learn more about Rosa Parks in this iSucceed lesson.

Lesson 3: The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

“With criticism from his supporters and progress seemingly reduced to a crawl, King began to make plans for another March on Washington. Yet, before this could happen, a labor strike broke out in Memphis in 1968. Sanitation workers, who were dissatisfied with their working conditions, wanted the support of King for their cause, and he agreed to come to their aid. On April 4, 1968, King was standing on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis when a sniper shot him where he stood. Surrounded by his peers, King was pronounced dead at the St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Shortly after the fatal shot, the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched an international manhunt. They were able to match fingerprints to James Earl Ray, a former convict.”

Read the full lesson here.

Coretta Scott King

Four days after MLK’s assassination, Coretta Scott King and her four children led 40,000 followers through the streets of Memphis, to remember and to continue King’s work by protesting the treatment of the city’s sanitation workers. Dr. King’s funeral would be held the next day in Atlanta, Georgia. The funeral was televised across the nation.


To this day, Martin Luther King Jr. is credited with being one of the greatest African American leaders of his time. His vision of what life should be like led him to encourage others to advocate for social justice by taking peaceful measures. Over time others would come to realize the dream of Dr. King.
This January as we celebrate both Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month, we hope you take some time to learn about the important men and women who fought for equality, and get inspired to make a difference in your own world. Remember, if you ever need any additional help or support, your guidance counselor is always available for you at 480.456.6678.
  • Students, did you enjoy the lessons you read in this blog? If so, you might want to consider enrolling with Primavera! Learning would look like this every day. ENROLL HERE.

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