To Help Blacks With English, a company dedicated to improving the English test scores and literacy rates of African Americans, has introduced three new educational products.

With illiteracy rates as high as 80% in many cities throughout the U.S., will create pro literacy products around its flagship bestseller, Ax or Ask? The African American Guide to Better English ($14.95 -Barnes and Noble). The CD, workbook, and DVD companions will be introduced to schools this fall.

“Blacks have the lowest standardized test scores and this is due to an inability to read and think critically,” said Calumet College of St. Joseph professor and company owner, Garrard McClendon.

“Our goal is to help parents, students, and teachers by engaging students in phonics, sustained silent reading, pronunciation, and with words that trouble African American readers. Hearing us say words like ‘finna, fixin’ to, ‘ax, gonna, conversate, amma-lams, and kennygarden,’ frustrates me, and we must show African Americans how to code switch,” McClendon states. currently has materials used by teachers in 26 school systems, including Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Los Angeles.

“We are tired of 64% of all Black 4th graders being functionally illiterate. We’re tired of Black students teasing classmates because they use correct diction. Our books, CDs, and DVDs were created to empower African Americans,” McClendon said. will tour in September to mark the 2006 2007 school year. McClendon will go on a 20-city tour to encourage literacy in African American communities.

Via PRNewswire

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