White House to honor South LA educator Daphne Bradford

daphneDaphne Bradford, CEO and founder of the grassroots organization, Mother of Many (M.O.M), which helps prepare South L.A. high schools students for both their college and work career, will receive a “Champions for Change” award from the White House on Thursday, November 21, 2013.

The Champions of Change program is an effort initiated by the White House to spotlight individuals, businesses, and organizations who work as a positive influence in their communities.  [Read more…]

Crenshaw Digital Media Team gets City Council recognition

CMDT at City Council

Councilman Bernard Parks honoring Mother of Many founder Daphne Bradford.

Eighth District City Councilman Bernard Parks on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 recognized Daphne Bradford, founder and CEO of Mother of Many (M.O.M.), and the Crenshaw Digital Media Team for making innovative technology history.  They are the first group of LAUSD students to design and release a game, Going Banana’s for Health, in the Windows 8 App Store. [Read more…]

Crenshaw Digital Media Team develops an app for healthy eating

By Kevin Rivera
Crenshaw High School Senior

Going Banana’s for Health is the first game developed and designed by Mother Of Many’s Crenshaw High School Digital Media & Garden Team. Our digital media instructor, Ms. Daphne Bradford, the founder and CEO of Mother Of Many, opened the Windows 8 gaming opportunity for us when she was recognized by Microsoft as one the top innovative educators in the nation. Going Banana’s for Health was inspired by our Change What You Eat, Change How You Feel! healthy eating program supporting First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative. Team members Esaul Parra, Kevin Rivera and Domonic Wilks developed the app.


The purpose of Going Banana’s for Health is to encourage adolescents to change their eating habits by making healthier choices. The game has three levels. The goal of each level is to drop Apple Dapple into Little Johnny’s mouth to avoid the danger of Little Johnny from being fed awful, unhealthy hot chips that most kids love. Each time you advance from level 1 to level 3, Little Johnny gets healthier if Apple Dapple makes it into his mouth.

The Level 1 challenge is to have Apple Dapple go jump through some platforms and eliminate the threat of the hot chips. As Apple Dapple jumps from various platforms, the player racks up points for destroying a bag by shooting Apple Dapple seeds at the bag of hot chips.

The game gets faster at Level 2. The goal is to rapidly get rid of the hot chips at a fast pace. The focus of this level is to jump on platforms as they move at different speeds. While that’s happening, you have to destroy the hot chips moving along the platforms by shooting Apple Dapple seeds. In doing so, the player can easily obtain a high score for jumping through these platforms in hopes of not falling off.

Level 3 is all about avoiding the vending machine dropping hot chips. The chips are dispensed from a vending machine-like box right next to Little Johnny. In order to reach him, Apple Dapple has to destroy all the hot chips sliding down a ramp towards him. After the player destroys the hot chips, Apple Dapple can go up the ramp without any threat and feed Little Johnny.

imageAuthor Kevin Rivera, one of the developers of the Crenshaw Digital Media Team’s healthy eating app.

When Apple Dapple eliminates the hot chips then it shows an example of how adolescence can choose to get rid of the junk food in their diet and go for the healthy alternative.

It was really fun programming Going Banana’s for Health. We used our Windows 7 laptop to make it for the Windows 8 App Store. This experience was like playing football without a football and still scoring a touchdown. Awesome!”
– Esaul Parra

“Who would’ve thought that I went from learning how to eat properly to making a game based off that? I actually made my first game with my Crenshaw high school peers for the Windows 8 App store. People like my peers and I are going to be the future.”
– Kevin Rivera

imageDomonic Wilks and Kevin Rivera with Crenshaw High School teacher Jacqueline Lopez.

Mother Of Many is launching a social media fundraising campaign in an effort to get a minimum of 1,000 people to donate $10 a month.

“Our grant with the California Endowment is coming to end and I’m hoping and praying M.O.M.’s Facebook and Twitter family and followers will give up one unhealthy meal or two Starbucks Coffees or Happy Hour drinks a month to support innovative education,” said Bradford.

If you would like to support Mother Of Many students visit www.MotherofMany and click the “Donate Now” button to make your $10.00 a month donation.

Obama teacher vs. Obama chicken & waffles

$75,000 Educator Investment vs. $8.90 Obama Three Wing special

imageApple Distinguished Educator Daphne Bradford

When I donated $15 to enter the “Obama, Clooney & You” dinner lottery, I knew a Super Star educator like myself had a slim chance of winning dinner with President Obama at the mega glitzy home of George Clooney.  Although the anticipation of hopefully winning was kind of fun, I understood losing against the odds on that one.  But when I read the accompanying TMZ and Huffington Post news reports about Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles renaming my favorite “#9 Country Boy” to “Obama’s Special” in honor of an unscheduled visit the commander-in-chief made on October 24, 2011, my hope of meeting the president during his next Los Angeles trip was instantly renewed.

I felt, deep in my soul, there has to be a HUGE possibility for President Obama to make a scheduled visit to meet the most innovative Obamateacher in nation and the history,the student-led, Barack Obama Digital Media Team at Crenshaw High School.  After investing personal money, priceless overtime and raising more than $75,000 dedicated towards implementing four years of President Obama’s “Blueprint for Change” in education, I firmly believe the “man of HOPE” I voted for in 2008 would give me and my amazing students the same $8.90 Roscoes’ Chicken and Waffles visit if the opportunity presented itself.

Well, I guess God’s ears heard me because on June 7, 2012 President Obama is schedule to attend a View Park, California $2,500 – $40,000 per couple fundraiser that’s five minutes or less from Crenshaw High School; probably close to the same distance as Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles was from the October 24, 2011 fundraiser hosted by Will & Jada Smith.

Just as the Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles visit endorsed the president’s support of small businesses, a Crenshaw High School visit with the Barack Obama Digital Media Team will support his “everyone deserves a fair shot at a first-class education” anthem. The $75,000 plus investment in the commander-in-chief’s 21st Century innovative education blueprint has produced amazing students who are Apple certified technology geniuses, budding Microsoft game designers, Let’s Move! High School gardeners and first time teen authors of Journey to the White House:  An Educational Blueprint for Change in Action.  Every where we go people are more than happy to record video messages to POTUS asking him to check us out.  Hopefully he will listen.  We have a book already signed and waiting for President Obama to accept.

imageThe Crenshaw Digital Media Team

The first of its kind, the Crenshaw High School Barack Obama Digital Media Team has carried the Obama name since the 2009 inauguration, years ahead of the Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles $8.90 Obama’s Special.  Beginning in the 9th grade, the four years strong digital media team will graduate a week after the president’s June 6th-7th visit to Los Angeles.  These career and college bound students will also exercise their right to vote for the first time on November 6, 2012.

Mr. President, how about making a scheduled visit to Crenshaw High School on your way to breakfast on June 7, 2012?  Let a dedicated educator and her students have a Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles chance at meeting you.  I’m easy to reach:  db4obama[at]gmail.com.

Actor Hill Harper joins Crenshaw students for book signing

imageStudents at Crenshaw High School in South Los Angeles unveiled a book Wednesday that they wrote about their year-long effort to visit the White House.

The students signed copies of their book, “Journey to the White House: An Educational Blueprint for Change in Action,” alongside actor Hill Harper from CSI: NY. Harper was also signing copies of his books “Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny” and “Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny.”

“We’re all in this together,” Harper said of his passion for helping students. “Education is what we need to be focused on.”

The student authors are part of the Crenshaw Digital Media Team that meets after school to learn about photography, video and other media tools. Their book is being published both in paper and as an eBook.

The journey began when their teacher and mentor Daphne Bradford, founder of the non-profit organization Mother of Many challenged her students to become the type of 21st century classroom that President Obama envisioned in his 2010 Blueprint for Change in Education.

The students wrote letters to the President asking to be invited to the White House. When their requests when unanswered, they decided they needed to make a bigger impression.

They put their multimedia skills to use and created video letters and burned them to a disc, that Bradford was able to hand directly to President Obama when he was in Los Angeles for a rally.

“Once we got invited to come, we had to fund-raise and we made calendars and went around to businesses and organizations,” said Trestan Fairweather, a 17-year-old senior at Crenshaw High School.

When the students got to the White House In September of 2010, they were given a tour by the White House chef and they established a partnership with the White House kitchen to start growing food at home to better the community.

Fairweather’s first impression of the White House was just how enormous it was.

“It was very, very, very big,” he said. “Almost too big for just one family.”

The students also met with the President’s web team who showed them how the White House media presence — Twitter, Facebook, photos, etc. — is run.

“They had really cool advice on how to run our own media too,” Fairweather said.

The book signing was sponsored by the NAACP Beverly Hills/Hollywood chapter.

“We felt this was another opportunity to help these students see a different future for themselves,” said the chapter president Ron Hasson. “We thought Harper could really relate to the kids and give back.”

Order hard copies of the book at www.motherofmany.com ($25.00), digital book purchase for $19.99 at the Barnes and Noble Nook store, iBookstore and ePub at lulu.com

South LA educator invited to Innovator Educators Forum

Daphne Bradford, an educator at Crenshaw High School in South Los Angeles, has been chosen by Microsoft as one of the top 2011 Innovative Educators in the US.

imageBradford and 100 other educators from around the country will attend the 2011 Innovative Education Forum (IEF) at Microsoft’s main campus in Redmond, Washington.

Bradford is one of 72 second-round finalists chosen by Microsoft and the only Los Angeles educator from the first and second-round finalists.  She is also an Apple Distinguished Educator.

Bradford’s Developing Digital Media Geniuses project at the Cal State Dominguez Hills Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) qualified her as a finalist.  Her Crenshaw High School Digital Media Team students use the skills they have learned in digital photography and video production to teach OLLI students (age 55+) how to make digital photo albums and movies. 

The team created weekly lesson plans using Microsoft Office tools.  The experience allowed students to get an understanding of teaching in the 21st Century and bridging the intergenerational digital divide.  “The project injected the spirit of entrepreneurship with the adult learners who encouraged Crenshaw team members to become independent digital media trainers,” said Bradford. 

image“The most important outcome was watching my students exemplify the following ISTE National Education Technology Standards for students,” said Bradford,  “creativity and innovation, communication and collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making, and the use of technology effectively and productively.  The program has been a resounding success at Crenshaw High School, Cal State Dominguez Hills and in the community.” 

“The school leaders selected to attend IEF are the best in the nation at incorporating technology into their classroom curricula to enhance each lesson and really break through with students,” said Andrew Ko, senior director, U.S. Partners in Learning, Microsoft. “It is inspiring to see these educators use technology to get students excited about learning and connected to the issues impacting their lives while developing the skills they will need for a successful future.”

Bradford and the other educators will showcase the creative ways they are using technology in the classroom at IEF in the forum in late July.

More stories
The young teaching their elders
Crenshaw garden cleanup honors Dr. King’s legacy
South LA students to visit the White House

Radical radishes and more at Crenshaw garden

by Kevin Rivera, Crenshaw Digital Media Team

The Crenshaw High School Garden is definitely on the road to being beautiful as it can be with all of our natural plants and vegetables blossoming. So far there have been beautifications done along with some major clean-ups around the garden. The Crenshaw High School Digital Media Team, our horticulturist Mrs. Lauri Burrier and our sponsor Ms. Daphne Bradford have been taking care of our broccoli, cabbages, tomatoes, and radishes. My peers and I assisted in pulling unwanted weeds near our radishes so that they wouldn’t make the rest of our garden look unattractive. image

The radishes we planted during the Martin Luther King Jr. day of service back in January surprisingly popped out of the ground this month, with some of them ready to be harvested. Before picking our salad-ready-veggies, everyone checked and observed the radishes size, color, and texture. From a glance, the radishes have grown very naturally and firm. They were so extremely red that we all decided to call our radishes “Radical.” A few of the Radical Radishes were a deep beet red and a bright ripe pink color. After getting a first pick of them, followed by a bath to remove the dirt, the Crenshaw Digital Media Team had the chance to taste our Radical Radishes. image

With a delicious crunchy taste along a spicy flavor for the red ones and a sour taste for the pink ones, these radishes are like no others you’ll find from any supermarket, especially since these were eaten fresh from the earth. With all our efforts of growing a wonderful garden our broccoli, cabbages and tomatoes will be ready to be harvested soon so the community can get a chance to taste every radical veggie being grown at the Crenshaw High School garden.

The young teaching their elders

The Crenshaw Digital Media Team is making history again. Under the instructional leadership and mentorship of Apple Distinguished Educator Daphne Bradford, the
team will be the first group of high school students to teach a digital media class offered by the Cal State Dominguez Hills Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) program. image

Osher Lifefong Learning at CSU Dominguez Hills offers educational opportunities for retired and semi-retired individuals age 50 and above. Beginning March 22, 2011 the Crenshaw Digital Media Team will teach weekly iPhoto lessons in the brand new OLLI Osher Mac Lab. The team will definitely have more respect for teachers after this. Each student will receive a college letter of reference from Jim Bouchard, Sr. Program Development Specialist & OLLIE Coordinator.

iLife is Apple’s digital media software that comes loaded on all Mac computers. It includes iPhoto, iMovie and Garageband. The students in the Crenshaw Digital Media Team earn their certification in iLife programs and other digital media skills, such as Final Cut Pro video editing software, giving them a competitive edge for working in the digital media sphere.


Crenshaw garden cleanup honors Dr. King

More than 150 volunteers honored the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on January 17h by weeding, tilling and planting at the Crenshaw High School Garden.

Organizing for America (OFA) sponsored the Martin Luther King Day of service and is a major supporter of Mother Of Many’s Change What You Eat, Change How You Feel healthy eating campaign led by the Crenshaw Digital Media Team.

Monday’s event had Crenshaw students, teachers and parents, along with volunteers from OFA and community members out working in the hot sun to beautify the 2.5 acre garden space, which hasn’t been fully used since the 1990s.

Watch a slideshow of the garden cleanup:

The garden cleanup was speaheaded by OFA’s Mary Jane Stevenson, Mother of Many’s Daphne Bradford and Crenshaw teacher Sandra Luna. The cleanup comes just days before the Crenshaw Digital Media Team will host a “Let’s Move” visit with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Regional IX Director Herb Schultz. Schultz, who will visit the garden on January 20, 2011, was recently appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as Regional Director at the U.S. Department of HHS Region IX. His visit is the result of the Mother Of Many Journey to the White House trip where the Crenshaw Digital Media Team toured the White House garden and delivered a pitch requesting the opportunity to partner with the First Lady in support of Mrs. Obama’s Let’s Move initiative.

Mr. Schultz will discuss how the students can partner with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in supporting the Let’s Move four pillars:
1) Help parents make healthy family choices
2) Create healthy schools
3) Provide access to healthy and affordable food
4) Promote physical activity

To donate to Mother of Many’s Crenshaw High School Garden project, click here.