Omaha, NE -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/20/2014 -- While thirty years in Omaha Public Schools has afforded Cara Churchich-?Riggs thousands of uplifting and life-?changing experiences, she has also had plenty of time to come to the conclusion that schools are too often judged solely on test scores and unfairly labeled as failing. In a new book that is garnering acclaim from coast to coast, Churchich-?Riggs tells the real-?life story of the urban school and its students and passionate teachers, in a bold move to remind those in education of why they entered their profession.
‘Hope in the Urban Schools: Love Stories’ brings readers to a grassroots level to prove that every school is different, every child is different and that hope is the key ingredient to collective success.
Hope in the Urban Schools: Love Stories explores the school life of urban students. With the current political backdrop in public education, including the realities of No Child Left Behind, illegal immigration, poverty and racism, readers will meet real students craving the access their suburban counterparts so often take for granted.
From seemingly hopeless to believing in success, these true stories show the challenges students bring to public schools, and provide evidence of how schools can nurture the love and hope needed to develop bright futures.
As the author explains, a shift in focus is required to ensure students in urban schools can achieve to their full potential.
“We are bombarded with research, pedagogy, best practices and effective instructional strategies. Our teachers are using that information to become better teachers. However, this often clouds the focus; loving adults that are truly passionate about their teaching and their students are vital to insuring their success,” says Churchich-?Riggs.
Continuing, “My book is also a documentary for the regular public to look beyond test scores and percentages and data when they judge the success of our schools. Relationships are the key element to change schools from failing to successful. When kids are loved in their schools, they will do better academically. Academic achievement increases when the school climate improves.”
To date, the book has received an influx of positive reviews.
"At a time when our country seems to be abandoning our public schools, this book is a 'must read’," says Susie Buffett of Sherwood Foundation®.
Erin Gruwell of Freedom Writer's Foundation adds, "Her story is a triumphant example of what can happen when a principal refuses to give up on the 'unteachable' kids.”
‘Hope in the Urban Schools: Love Stories’, published by Strategic Book Publishing, is available now:
For more information, visit the author’s official website: http://www.carariggs.com.
About Cara Riggs
Cara Riggs is a 30 year veteran of the Omaha Public Schools. She has held the positions of teacher, assistant principal and athletic director, and middle school principal. She is currently serving her sixth year as principal of Omaha South High Magnet School. Creating RESPECTFUL SCHOOL CLIMATES where all kids feel welcomed is her passion and her evidenced expertise. She believes strongly that positive adult-?student relationships is the foundation of successful schools where students are thriving and teachers are naturally able to connect with their hearts. She is proud of South High School’s increased enrollment, graduation and attendance rates and decreasing truancy rates. Her fondness of the South Omaha community brings her great joy. Cara believes that unique programming, caring adults, and respectful acceptance has engaged AND re-?engaged the students in her school. She’s often heard saying, “It is such an honor to be here!” With the publication of her recent book, Hope in the Urban Schools: LOVE STORIES, Cara is busy consulting with school districts and teacher preparation programs, providing workshops, book talks and keynotes. Cara is the proud single mom of 17 year old, Shelby… a senior at Omaha South High Magnet School. She is relocating to the San Diego area, following her retirement at the end of this school year.