WORKING WOMEN

D.C. organization breathes new life into teaching

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(WJLA) - Allyson Criner Brown is passionate about learning.

This former middle school teacher is now the associate director for "Teaching for Change" - a D.C.-based nonprofit where the goal is to give learning new life.

"We are here to serve teachers because teachers serve our children," Brown says.

The mission is to provide parents and teachers with resources so students learn to read, write and change the world.

Brown says they do this through teacher training, parent workshops, and hosting authors and discussions on topics from social justice to economics to poetry.

Brown focuses on getting parents involved with a program called "Tellin' Stories." She says it's about being creative - like using gogo music as a segway into studying D.C. history.

"For many teachers - particularly in D.C. - the students are constantly sitting and drumming at the desk. And they listen to gogo music," Brown explains. "It's music that comes out of D.C., so you can use that to invite students in to learn more about the world and themselves."

Brown is also mother to a 6-month-old girl, and she is an avid biker who serves on the D.C. Bicycle advisory council.

Her biggest challenge, though, is to push students to go beyond their textbooks, and make sure classrooms are anything but boring.

The challenge is, how do I invite my students to learn?" she says. "How do I make learning relevant for them?"

Learn more about Teaching for Change online.

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