“Positive Practice” is an adverb that means, I have to apply myself consistently with the intent to improve; I have to put in the work daily with patience, because it takes time for my skill set to grow.
In the summer of 2008, the concept of Practice U originated from writing a poem in the 20th year of my 26 years of teaching at "RADIANT" John Ritter Elementary school inside the up and coming community of Watts, the undiscovered treasure of the greater Los Angeles community of 4 million plus. The poem was simply titled, "The More I Practice, Practice, Practice." Written with the goal to inspire my students with "uplifting brain food" it changed the culture and confidence of our class. One year later a music track converted the poem into a theme song that excited the teaching staff and students from Pre-K to the 5th grade. Encouraged by the message and the happy beat, we worked even harder continuously on our teaching strategies and detailed critical thinking skills, teaching our students the importance of knowing the "when, why and how to use a taught skill." Our students would in return practice the strategies and critical thinking skills from class work to homework. The end result was our test scores improved and our school did a fantastic job consistently. However, the collective data from our 5th grade student's test scores were to our surprise in the process of making history. Year after year, for 5 years in a row in English Language Arts, Math and Science, their test scores steadily increased exponentially in each subject from 2008-2013. It was from that experience that I grew and witnessed the power in practice first-hand. I recognized how "we as a people can do better“ and thus the birth of Practice U was born.
Practice U believes that "positive practice" builds 3 areas in our daily lives. The first is practice builds confidence and success in education, sports, the arts, health, fitness and nutrition. Secondly it builds the awareness of self-preservation in the areas of what we feed our body, brain and how we talk to one another. Finally, practice strengthens the social norms in our community. Our message of self- improvement is a message for all.