By GARY LEE
Students from McClain School of Science and Technology and other Tulsa Public Schools received citations and awards of up to $300 for scholastic achievement in a March 27 event at the Greenwood Cultural Center.
The VILLA and Jordan Brand’s “J’s for A’s” program – organized locally by the nonprofit Negrospirituals.org. It seeks to reward TPS students, who earn A’s, with certificates to buy “Js,” – short for Michael Jordan’s Nike apparel brand.
Richard Baxter, founder of Negro Spiritual 121 Club and of the J’s for A’s program presented certificates of $300 to 10 straight A students and 10 $150 certificates for most-improved students.
The program is part of a larger Black on Black Education incentive that includes mentoring.
“We want to revive a culture where we give the young people in our community rewards and positive encouragement for their high achievements in school,” said Baxter, a longtime North Tulsa community activist. “It’s a way to steer them towards a positive future.”
The program is designed to disrupt the school to prison pipeline in Tulsa, he said.
The J’s for A’s event was a fundraiser at the GCC. It drew about 100 participants, mostly students from McLain and other North Tulsa schools and their families.
Baxter said proceeds from the fundraiser will go for more certificates that can be used for students to buy J’s.
“The parents were excited,” Baxter said. “And the kids had a good time.”
For a calendar of future community events visit www.negrospiritual121.org.