Our history begins 2002 when a young woman, Deidrea S. Stevens, begins her career in education. As with every first year teacher, she was startled by the number of hours being spent to ensure students receive appropriate education and the lack of compensation being given for her work. It was then she moved into providing tutorial services for students. What started as a way to make ends meet became an additional educational experience. It was there she identified the common war that sometimes takes place between families and the classroom was due to a major lack of understanding on both parts. Families lacked an understanding in how to help their children, and educators sometimes refused to understand how a parent’s defense was a mechanism to protect the fact they did not understand how to help their children.
By 2006, she began a tutorial agency that included each entity of the learning environment – parents, teachers, students, and the supplemental assistant. As a supplemental assistant she began bridging the gap between the family and the classroom. She spent her spare time assisting, not just students, but families to understand how to navigate through the school system itself. They became aware of the many resources the nation’s public school systems had to offer. She also saw a dramatic change in the students’ grades and their attitude towards school as a result of the added support now organized through her business, Supplemental Learners. However, this was not enough for Ms. Stevens! The more she worked with her families, the more she discovered the deficit of family knowledge concerning our school system. As a professional educator, she saw many changes taking place in curriculum, school culture, and even in legislation, but the main source of our business was being overlooked…family. She found that as long as families are overlooked and lacked how to help their children, our profession would continue to be a struggle. So, in 2008 she began conducting a seminar for parents called, “Navigating through the School System”. Receiving permission from her Bishop, Joby Brady, she used The River Church in Durham, NC as her first setting. After explaining the structure of our nation’s educational system, a parent asked, “You mean the whole United States is involved?” Immediately…this seminar was not enough for Ms. Stevens! So, she began to think of how to develop not just awareness, but a movement in our nation to assist everyone in understanding how important education is to our nation. Without knowledge, we will die as a nation. She felt in her heart we needed support for our teachers so they can concentrate both on our results and on the reason we are in this profession. The ability to do this would spawn creativity to make education better. We also needed family support, but not in a separate entity. This support needed to be embedded in the school communities we develop. Educating children is no secret, and the more we reveal to our families what we do in our classrooms, the more we are able to share the responsibility of student success. We needed an educational institution whose sole responsibility was to produce educators and all educational support majors from principals to school resource officers. We needed an educational fortress. We needed a power house of knowledge that understood that it is not about your family, your classroom, your school, your school district, or your state. It is about the well being of our nation!
And we need to know and understand that these things ARE possible! As the Christian Bible states in Matthew 19:26:
So, in 2009 an umbrella for these desires was born, Nineteen and Twenty-Six (19&26). And we are joining the fight of educational reform reshaping our nation using the power of knowledge