The 21st Show

Black And Latino Male Teachers; Childcare For Kids With Disabilities; ‘I Love My Librarian’ Award


Alfred Tatum (left), dean of UIC's College of Education, with four students who are part of the 'Call Me MISTER' program: Armando Rivera, Juan Hernandez, Jesus Flores and Ja'Waun Williams. UIC Photo

On the 21st: Finding the right fit for a daycare is a tough for most parents. But what about if your child has special needs? And, we'll tell you more about the national "I Love My Librarian" Award. But first, we talk about the shortage of black and Latino men in teaching—and how recruiting more can help young boys of color. 

It’s that time of year when students are either already back at school or getting ready to. And if you recall your time in the classroom,  you probably remember sitting down and wondering what your teacher was going to be like.

Well, in the vast majority of classrooms, there’s a huge need for more teachers who are black and Latino men - especially at elementary schools.

Roughly one percent of all public elementary school teachers in Illinois are black men  - and for Latinos, that number is even lower. And research suggests that increasing those numbers can help boys of color develop and succeed.

Nate Wahl is a special education teacher at Yankee Ridge Elementary School in Urbana. We also spoke with UIC’s College of Education Dean Alfred Tatum along with a student: Ja'Waun Williams is a sophomore studying urban education at UIC. Dante Lotts also joined us, he’s a social worker at Wiley Elementary in Urbana.


More than two thirds of childcare providers in Illinois say they struggle to provide care for children with special needs. That’s according to a recent statewide survey conducted by the University of Illinois.

So, where does that leave you -- if you’re a parent of a child with a disability?

We were joined on the line by Brandy O’Connor. She lives in Decatur with her son Mark, who is 10, and has cerebral palsy.

We also spoke with Lee Gaines, a reporter for the Illinois Newsroom who has been covering this issue. And - joining us on the line from the Chicagoland area was Faye Manaster, project director for the Arc of Illinois, an advocacy organization for children and adults with disabilities.


Looking for a sci-fi novel recommendation? Need help searching microfilm for an old newspaper story? Maybe you’re writing your doctoral thesis and have a question about westward expansion.

If you’ve ever asked your local librarian, you know that they seem to have the answer for pretty much everything.  

So for those librarians who you feel like do the best job - now through October, The American Library Association is taking your nominations for the I Love Librarian Award, which will honor 10 of the nations top librarians.

Jim Neal joined us, he’s the former president of the American Library Association and is also the chair of the selection committee for the I Love My Librarian Award.

Story source: WILL