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Marva Collins

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Information about Marva Collins

Profile image of Marva Collins

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Teacher
Education Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Orange, Red
Favorite Food:
Southern Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
Peace.

Birthplace

Born:
8/31/1936
Birth Location:
Monroeville, Alabama

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Teacher
Education Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Orange, Red
Favorite Food:
Southern Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
Peace.

Birthplace

Born:
8/31/1936
Birth Location:
Monroeville
See how Marva Collins is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

A woman passionate about learning, Marva Collins received her early education in Atmore, Alabama, a town where the segregated school system provided very few resources for African American students. Marva eventually attended Clark College in Atlanta and, after graduation, returned to Alabama. She taught for two years in the Alabama school system before moving to Chicago, where she worked in the public school system for fourteen years.

Frustrated by the Chicago Public Schools’ low standards, Collins decided to open her own school in 1975 on the second floor of her home, naming it the Westside Preparatory School. The first students included her son, daughter and several neighborhood children, some of which were considered learning-disabled. At the end of the first year, every student scored at least five grades higher on their standardized tests. Soon, Collins’ success attracted national attention. She and the Westside Preparatory School were profiled by 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, Time and Newsweek, and were the subject of a television movie, The Marva Collins Story.

Her achievements prompted President Ronald Reagan to offer her the post of secretary of education, which she declined in order to continue the development of Westside Preparatory School.

At the end of 1996, Collins decided to return to the Chicago Public Schools to supervise three schools that had been placed on probation. She specifically requested the schools with the worst academic records and lowest parental involvement, and in only half a year improved the rating of two of the three schools by 85 percent. During the following year, the Marva Collins Preparatory School of Wisconsin opened its doors to its first class of students, and other schools have since opened in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Florida. Collins trained more than 100,000 teachers since the opening of the Westside Preparatory School and traveled to Africa with the Young Presidents’ Organization in order to spread her methodology to educators worldwide. She received more than forty honorary degrees and in 1982 was honored as one of the Legendary Women of the World.

Collins passed away on June 24, 2015 at the age of 78.

See how Marva Collins is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Marva Collins' favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marva Collins shares stories of her grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marva Collins remembers the closeness of family life in the South
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marva Collins discusses the strong values she was taught as a youth
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marva Collins highlights the differences between today's youth and her generation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marva Collins details how her environment shaped her values
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marva Collins validates the axiom, "It takes a village."
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marva Collins on the modernity's loosening of familial ties
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Marva Collins recalls how her personal philosophy was shaped
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Marva Collins shares stories of her avid reading habits
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Marva Collins details how reading has enriched her life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marva Collins describes how she entered teaching
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marva Collins reveals the role fate played in her life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marva Collins discusses how valuable reading has been to her
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marva Collins discusses her children's private school education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marva Collins details her leap of faith to open her own school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marva Collins discusses her philosophy on education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marva Collins on her concept of self-validation and success
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marva Collins continues with her thoughts on self-esteem
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marva Collins remembers former students who have touched her life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Marva Collins recalls the airing of the 60 Minutes TV episode on West Side Prep School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Marva Collins enjoys life's simplicity
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Marva Collins continues with her thoughts on what makes her "wealthy"
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marva Collins details how simplicity brings her great happiness
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marva Collins' hopes for today's youth
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marva Collins thoughts on the future of black American youth
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marva Collins details what is wrong with society today
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marva Collins discusses what brings her happiness
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marva Collins decribes her plans for the future
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marva Collins believes she's fulfilling a divine purpose
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Marva Collins continues with thoughts on her life's mission
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Marva Collins discusses what her legacy will be
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Marva Collins shares why she forms strong bonds with children
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Marva Collins continues with her bonding abilities with children
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - The most influential people in Marva Collin's life
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Marva Collins discusses her favorite historical period
  • Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Marva Collins Creed
  • Tape: 3 Story: 15 - Marva Collins shares her passion for helping others succeed
  • Tape: 3 Story: 16 - Marva Collins continues with her thoughts on achievement