Tag Archives: TWS

TWS Client News: Author & Early Childhood Authority, Dr. Bisa Sounds Off about School System Test Scores

Author & Early Learning Authority Dr. Bisa Sounds Off in Her Blog, Says It’s Not Just the Numbers

By: Tamika Morrison

If you follow education news, are an educator and/or parent, then likely, you’re feeling the frustrations of many across the nation as it relates to our seemingly faltering educational system.

Author & Early Learning Expert, Dr. Bisa

Author and Early Learning Authority Dr. Bisa Batten Lewis, affectionately called ‘Dr. Bisa’, managing partner of Ideal Early Learning, LLC –an education consulting firm based in Atlanta, is sounding off in her latest blog about the fallout in the Atlanta Public School system’s alleged cheating scandal and performance of schools throughout the state of Georgia. Ideal Early Learning, LLC, is one of a few chosen firms leading the way in Georgia to revamp the state’s education system starting with the professional development of early childhood educators and the eligibility requirements effective 2012 by Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

Georgia has ranked among the lowest-performing states over the last decade in education. The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute’s 2005 report on Georgia’s rankings showed that Georgia ranked 48th in teen high school dropouts and 49th in public high school graduation. Keep in mind that these rates are from lowest to highest. The most recent reports show that Georgia is now 47th, which has only occurred due to its record number of high school dropouts. With a 10% increase in high school dropouts, Georgia ranks the highest in dropouts among states its size (KIDS COUNT Data Center, 2009).

Dr. Bisa comments in her latest blog post, Public Schools in Georgia: The Proof is in the Pudding, “Media attention on education in the state of Georgia has been heightened due to the spring reports on schools cheating on standardized tests and the resignation of State Superintendent Kathy Cox. While finger-pointing continues to be redirected, the victims (our children) continue to suffer from a lack of quality educational experiences.” Dr. Bisa home schools her sons ages 9 and 13 and made this decision mainly because of disappointment with the quality of education offered in Georgia’s public school system. She reflects…

Click here to read more.

News Hot off the Press for the week of November 15th

By: Bekkie Owens

Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement this week, proposing with his beloved mother, Princess Diana’s Sapphire and diamond 32-carat sparkler, Prince William has officially made Kate the envy of many.

The Brits are not the only ones obsessed with the royal family, as many all over the world can’t get enough of this breaking announcement.  It is known and well-documented, Princess Di set  trends with her hair styles, hats and fashion.  Now, almost thirty years later we have a new Princess on the rise as we await the royal wedding.

In other news, Fortune 500 takes a look at the top 40 under 40 highest paid of the year.  Among them we found Roland Fryer, Professor of Economics, being the youngest African-American to ever receive tenure at Harvard.  Fryer completed a controversial study involving paying kids to get good grades.  Speaking of which, early learning strategies and educational programs such as the WINGS Curriculum led by Dr. Bisa Batten Lewis, affectionately called, ‘Dr. Bisa’ will help the role of both parents and teachers to set a clear standard for high achievers. Dr. Bisa is our new addition to the TWS family!

As an up and coming publicist, it saddens and shocks me to learn of shooting death of Ronni Chasen.  Publicist or as she liked to be called, “Press Agent” to the Stars, the 64 year-old fashioned her style after old Hollywood, with clients such as screenwriters, directors, actors, and composers. Ronni Chasen spent over twenty years in the PR industry and will be missed by many.

And that’s this week’s news hot off the press.

Blogging is the new…..Me?!

Intern Tia Tia!

June 22, 2010 was my first blog that I uploaded, “Appreciating the Sound of Music.” I was instructed to write a blog on Electric Violinist, Ken Ford’s foundation.  Walking into it I was extremely nervous because I had NEVER wrote a blog before.  When writing a press release, setting up a website, or a press packet I have a little experience, but when it came to blogging I was hesitant.

So I wrote my version of my blog and sent it over to Tamika Morrison, my Public Relations Advisor.  She wanted to edit it before I uploaded, which I appreciated, but once it was uploaded I could see many things were changed.  With this being my first blog Ms. Tamika told me I did a great job, but there were a few errors.  After that blog came two more, I still hadn’t mastered blogging so each time I would submit my copy of the blog it would be revised.

When blogging you think of it to be your own online personal diary, but you also have to remember to be professional.  Each blog that I submitted was revised by Tamika, and then uploaded.  I was a little down because I was so eager to master blogging, but after speaking with Ms. Tamika I was Ok.

“Portia, even some of the best writers have to get their papers edited over and over, so don’t take don’t take it personal,” ensured Tamika.  When she told me that I felt a lot better, I know that I am not one of the best writers so that means I just have to keep practicing.  Which is why I am so thankful to Tamika Morrison and Rochelle Valsaint, they are truly providing me with the tools and techniques to be successful.  On a personal level I even look up to these ladies; here are two African-American young beautiful women loving their jobs that they have personally made into their OWN!!! True entrepreneurs and for that I say thank you to Tamika, Rochelle and the other intern Keri!!!!

Signing off,

Intern Tia Tia

Recap – The Essence Music Festival

By: Portia aka Intern Tia Tia

Beyonce' at Essence Festival

One word. Phenomenal!  That’s all I have to say about the production of this year’s Essence Music Festival, held in the musical and cultural city of New Orleans, as it’s held every year – did not disappoint.  TWS Media sleuths was on the pulse at the “One Night Only” event hosted by actress, Cynthia Garrett, ready to give a great recap of the happenings, partyin’, dancin’, jazzin’ and celebratin’ promised to take over the city.  Katrina’s imprint is still felt as evidenced by many of the physical areas around this city, but could not damage the spirits that sang and danced throughout it.

Beyonce’ Knowles, headlined the concert shouting, “Put your hands up!!”, and that was all she wrote!  Beyonce’ danced back and forth in her 4 inch heels, singing “Put a Ring on it.”  As the camera turned to the crowd you could see women putting their hands in guys face twisting it back and forth as Beyonce’ instructed them too. Too funny!  My only question is what kind of hair extensions does she have because it was just flowing and I didn’t see any braids for a sew in? Nice job Bey’s stylist!

It was so much talent and star power from old school to new school, a music lovers dream! EnVogue, Ne-Yo, Jazmine Sullivan, Salt-N-Pepa, John Legend, Charlie Wilson, Al Green, Teena Marie and Robin Thicke all blessed the stage on this musical evening.  And speaking of EnVogue, the ladies came out in all black swaying back and forth while singing, one of their number one hits, “My Lovin” (You’re Never Gonna Get It).   Next they sang “Free your mind.”  This ensemble really took me back!

In other news, Alicia Keys was said to take a plunge…makes me recall that song she sings, “I Keep on Fallin’”….Okay, seriously, she took a fall, but apparently was so smooth with it that it looked as if it was all part of the performance.  And her reps say that her and baby are doing fine.

Trey Songz & T.I. shut down Carol’s Daughter’s “Toast to Women” event which brought out

Trey Songz & T.I. @ 2010 Essence Music Festival - Necole Bitchie

the likes of Tameka Raymond, Jada Pinkett-Smith and of course, the fabulous Mary J. Blige who debut her latest fragrance, “My Life”, which is a Carol’s Daughter collaboration. Go Mary!

Then came one of my favorites, John Legend, hello! “Let’s get lifted,” I wonder if he sang that for me? Now was he fly or what; we even share something in common, DIMPLES!!!!  When he sang, “Green Light,” a song that shares a special place in the heart of TWS Marketing Communications UnAgency!  Catch us live every Friday at 11 am EST to The Greenlight Project on Blog talk radio.

Overall this Annual, “One Night Only”, Essence Musical Festival was off the charts!  Hip Hop, R&B, Oldies, Old School and New School were in the building! Each and every artist truly did a great job!!! After watching a show like this it shows you that Hip Hop isn’t dead! All these genres of music are all similar in a certain extent so let’s keep jammin!  I cannot wait until the Annual Essence Musical Festival!  Great job Essence!!!

Appreciating ‘The Sound’ of Music

The Ken Ford Foundation

By: Portia Rice

I’m new to the TWS blog roll and call it quite an honor to write my first post ever!  Since coming onboard, it’s been all things music, entertainment, fashion, media – all very exciting!  However, the one moment I’ve come to really appreciate is our agency’s involvement with keeping music alive in our schools through The Ken Ford Foundation.

In this day and time, it’s really a challenge for children to get exposure to the kind of music that can fuel their dreams – this is heartbreaking, considering we live in such a time where the world is at our fingertips, but sadly, music seems to be slipping through.

With a recent appearance on our agency’s show, The Greenlight Project, this unique,talented and most of all gifted musician, Ken Ford, will be sharing his talent with us in concert June 25, 2010 at the Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center in Atlanta.  The concert is actually FREE to children and will have Grammy-nominated vocalist, Dionne Farris, singer/songwriter/producer/musician Daniel Moore who’s also a staple on BET’s The Mo’Nique Show and new pop/urban/soul/alternative vocalist, Salakida all performing and I hear there are even more surprises in store. Talk about awesome!

Growing up in Milwaukee, WI as a student of Atwater Elementary School, we had the choice to play an instrument beginning in the third grade. I was so eager have my chance at playing an instrument because all of the “popular kids” were either in orchestra or the band.  When I finally I made it to the third grade, I was introduced to the violin so to have Ken Ford become so accomplished at it makes me very proud to say that I played as well.  The violin often gets a bad rap, but I was excited and enthusiastic to play and continued playing throughout elementary through the eighth grade.  While playing the violin I learned a lot about myself and I became at peace with things I was going through.  The violin itself is such a strong and graceful object that the horse-tailed bow just adds to the music, giving it that soft melody!

I do have to give credit where it’s due, my father loves jazz, so every day on the way to school he’d make me listen to “Smooth Jazz” 93.3 FM!  At first, I hated listening to it because it was all instruments never an artist singing!  My dad would always say, “Now this is really music Portia; just sit back and listen to the violin, clarinet, and flute.”  I would just sigh and sit back in my seat (OMG, it felt like torture!)..  When I think back to those times, I can really appreciate an artist like Ken Ford because he is really making “real” music and not just using a Mac to Google a sound for his next song!

When listening to Ken Ford, there is no need for a vocal artist because his nonverbal communication skills speak for him.  The way he rocks back and forth and moves with the bow makes you feel the melodies going through one ear and out the other.  This concert will truly be inspiring and relaxing, make sure to come out and enjoy this wonderful concert all the while supporting music and arts in school – and did I mention it’s free to children??  Or if you’re not in the Atlanta area, listen to our show when the critically acclaimed electric violinist, Ken Ford was the guest and hear him for yourself!

Thanks for allowing me to share my blog with you .

Signing off,

Intern Tia Tia

Next Up on The Greenlight Project: It’s Hip Hop Candi Baby!

By: Tamika L. Morrison

Grammy-winning Singer Monica and sons with It's Hip-Hop Baby

Three years ago, Candi Carter struggled to communicate with her then, three year old son Emerson, who lives with a rare chromosome disorder that caused several medical issues and a severe speech delay.  In an attempt to reach her son and help him transition and learn, she decided to make up songs with instructions in them.  Carter Immediately saw an improvement in his behavior and social interaction.  After creating multiple songs and testing them out on young family members, she decided to create an educational DVD series using family-friendly hip hop music. The Award-winning “It’s Hip Hop, Baby!” CDs and DVDs was launched in March of 2009 and is being distributed by Rhino Entertainment a Warner Music Group Company. It’s Hip Hop Baby has been seen in the news on media outlets such as CBS Atlanta, Oprah & Friends with Dr. Robin Smith and XM Radio with Gayle King and is a favorite among celebs and their children such as R&B songstress, Monica, Justin Chambers (Grey’s Anatomy), Holly Robinson-Peete, Dr. Oz, Roland S. Martin, and more.

Candi Carter has a BA in Broadcast Communications from Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA. She started her television career at CNN in Atlanta, GA and later produced news specials and children’s programming at WISN-TV-ABC Affiliate in Milwaukee, WI. There she won an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Programming. Over the past fourteen years, Candi has produced award-winning television for an internationally syndicated talk show based in Chicago. (wink)

Candi lives in Oak Park, IL with her husband Joseph Carter, a Private Client Services Banker for JP Morgan with their six year old son and 7 month old daughter.

Tune in at 11am ET on BTR’s The Greenlight Project, a TWS Media Production and listen in as Candi Carter shares how ‘It’s Hip Hop Baby’ got its start and where you can cop your own!

Celebrate Life ANYWAY!

By: Tamika L. Morrison

I swear, if I could get away with writing a repeat of last week’s Running on Empty, I sure would do it!  Life hasn’t changed much since my last post – I’m still wearing more than a few hats and now I have the audacity to try and get some celebrations in!

I can be tough on myself – I’m sure most of you can identify with that, but being hard on yourself doesn’t add to your growth and it certainly doesn’t add any length of days to your life.  Let’s face it – you’ll win some and you’ll lose some.  Have you ever heard the saying, “I may not be where I want to be, but I’ve definitely come a long way.” Stop right there, meditate on how far you’ve come and get to celebrating!

Life isn’t perfect, we aren’t perfect, but if we care enough about the lessons life teach us and put our best feet forward, you best believe, you’ll start to see more of what you want out of life.  And to that, I’m off to celebrate – and for more than one reason!

Reason #1SATC2 (Sex and the City 2) Premiere!  Charlotte, NC (my hometown), here I come!  I can’t wait to get all dressed up with my favorite girls.  We’ll giggle, sip, dish, make memories and pretend for just a moment, we really have all things GLAM just to feel a little like Carrie Bradshaw and her friends!

Tamika, Grammy-Nominated Vocalist Dionne Farris, Electric Violinist, Ken Ford & Annette Jackson, Exec. Dir. of The Ken Ford Foundation

Reason #2Critically Acclaimed Electric Violinist, Ken Ford will be on The Greenlight Project this Friday, May 28th @ 11am and we’re giving away TWO (2) tickets to see Ken Ford and Grammy-Nominated Vocalist, Dionne Farris, Grammy-Nominated singer/songwriter/producer I Am Daniel Moore and pop urban soul  sensation, Salakida perform LIVE in concert for the launch of The Ken Ford Foundation prestigious music and arts program in Atlanta on June 25th – the best part of this….children 5 – 18 are absolutely FREE!  Now that’s definitely a reason to start celebrating!

So, join me and celebrate!  Away from life’s ‘busyness’ and take it even further and send us an email to win those Ken Ford tickets!  If you’ve never seen him in person performing live, you’re in for a treat!

Until next time,

CIAO Baby!

Follow me @twsprfirm