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Educator, Rotary join in cause
by Bill Baldowski
bbaldowski@neighbornewspapers.com
June 27, 2012 02:55 PM | 878 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Joe Livingston <br>
Former Tri-Cities Principal Herschel Robinson, Ed.D., holds some of the thousands of dictionaries he and the Airport Rotary Club will give to upcoming third graders this year.
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As a retired 33-year Fulton County educator and school administrator now working part time as a senior professor at Cambridge University in Augusta, Herschel Robinson, Ed.D., said his respect for a student’s ability to read and comprehend at an early age continues to grow.

As a result, he and the Airport Area Rotary Club will again partner to provide upcoming third graders in south Fulton and Clayton County what he hopes will be “a gift that keeps on giving.”

When school begins this fall, Robinson will help distribute free to children in more than 90 schools thousands of new paperback dictionaries which he feels they can use throughout elementary and high school and even into college.

“It has been said that the number of new prisons which must be built in the future can be determined, in great part, by the number of students entering the third grade who cannot read or comprehend at that level,” said Robinson, who retired from Fulton County Public Schools following more than a decade as principal at Tri-Cities High School in East Point after serving in that capacity at Camp Creek Middle School and College Park High School before coming to Tri-Cities when it opened in 1988.

Robinson said if a child has not established himself on the right educational course by the third grade, his chances of breaking the law and becoming incarcerated increase by the time he reaches 16 or 17.

He also believes a serious situation exists nationwide in education which he feels must be corrected if a child is to achieve his education potential.

“We have school leaders who are put in charge of schools who are more interested in authority than they are in people and our children,” he said. “There is a terrible misconception that if a student is not from a certain socioeconomic class, he won’t be able to learn and that is pure bunk.”

Staying in school and receiving a good education has a “drastic and lasting effect” on what happens to that individual in later life, Robinson said.

Robinson said when he gives the dictionaries to the students, he advises them of a motto he said he has carried throughout his life.

“I tell the children there is no right way to do a wrong thing and not getting an education or reaching their education potential is a wrong thing that so often cannot be made right,” he said.

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