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Author speaks to Youngstown school about the importance of culture

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - At East High Thursday night, a professor and high school textbook author, spoke about how he believes students can do better in class in Youngstown and across the nation.

In order to see performance levels improve in Youngstown schools and nationally, Dr. Molefi Kete Asante points to infusing culture and history into every grade level and subject, especially from an African American perspective.

"African American children often do not discover themselves in the classroom," Asante says. "They sit in the classroom, but they are outside of the subjects that are being discussed."

A consultant to numerous districts, Asante cites research that shows students from better socioeconomic backgrounds perform better and so do students who believe their history and culture is important and significant.

"It's important not just to have the textbooks, not just to have some lesson plans, but we need to know how to teach the information, particularly in urban areas and to African American and Latino children," he explains. "Secondly what the parents can do is to become more engaged in the schools."

Asante's African American History textbook is used as an elective in Youngstown high schools.

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