The idea of self-reliance also figures prominently in her book Stay The Course and she credits her grandmother for encouraging her to pursue an education.
"The belief that education is freedom – real freedom, began in childhood. I was adopted and raised by my grandparents. My grandfather was a sharecropper who could barely read."
" Even when he knew what the earnings report was fraudulent, he felt helpless to even speak up. He regretted to his dying day for not “getting more learning.” But until his health failed, my grandfather tirelessly worked endless hours on the farm, upholding the traditional role of provider for his family. At the end of his life, he had nothing to show for his hard work. The landowner left his family a small fortune," she said.
We have all read and heard news reports about the abysmal performance of schools as test scores indicate. Recently, the New York Times reported more than 35 percent of students need remediation when they reach college, according to the federal government.
"For those students who get it, continue doing what works for them. But for the many students who are performing poorly, it’ can’t be business as usual. You’ve got to understand how the student learns – visually as well as auditory, so practice, all of the above – and then meet the student where he/she is by utilizing enrichment programs designed for the student, not the test. It’s the 21st century — Change is a good thing," she said.
Arrington is also the founder of a reading program based in North Carolina, "It’s Time To Read With Me!" and in the interview that follows, Arrington shares her work as an author, influences, and how she is promoting literacy locally in Wilson, North Carolina :
Your reading program “It’s Time To Read With Me!” has been instrumental in promoting literacy. Can you share some creative ways you encourage struggling readers to develop a love of books and reading?
After the release of Stay The Course, I began reading aloud to youth. But I only drew very small groups. However, what I learned by reading to these small groups, that often included younger and older adults, was that when I read in character, making every character, including the narration, come to life, the children held onto every word.
In every author’s experience, there is often a pivotal event that results in the creative process which in your case, took the form of writing. Can you describe the pivotal event that led you to tell your story?
I was adopted and raised by my grandparents. Both were dead when I turned fifteen years old. I was left with a lot of questions about my biological parents – questions to this day that have not been fully answered.
How do you envision your book will impact your readers?
I hope the book will cause my readers to look within themselves. Question their belief system. Question their behavior. And change for the better. My mantra is: “If I can make a difference in but one life, then I have given life my best shot.” I hope after reading the book, my readers will pick up that mantra and give life their best shot.
For More Information, visit http://edarringtonbooks.com