The Preceptor Marva Collins

"There is a brilliant child locked inside every student." Marva Collins

I was truly sad to know this marvelous woman has passed away. I wanted to share her name and her contributions to the city of Chicago. I am referring to the one and only Marva Delores Collins. Marva  Delores Collins  was a prominent educator that established the Westside Predatory School in the impoverished Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago.

Born on August 31, 1936 Monroeville, Alabama her father made a lasting impact in the realm of education. "My father never presumed that any task was too challenging for me to try nor any concept too difficult for me to grasp."

She attended Clark College now known as Clark Atlanta University. She graduated in 1957 earning a BA in secretarial sciences. Following graduation she returned home to Alabama she taught skills such as typing, bookkeeping, and business law at Monroe County Training School. She never intended to be a teacher, she left the profession in 1959 to take position as a medical secretary @ Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago. She met her husband Clarence Collins, a draftsman, they were married on September 2, 1960.

 The following year she established Westside Preparatory School as a full-time substitute in Chicago's inner city schools because she missed assisting the youth of Chicago. Marva used her resources to fund the school. She relied on her passion, pension, and assistance from her husband as well. The school was opened in the basement of Daniel Hale Williams University.

Rebel with a Cause
Marva Collins refused to accept federal funds because did not want to be confined by regulations. Eventually she moved the school into the second floor of her home which she and her husband would renovate to accommodate approximately (20) children ranging from ages 4-14. The school would be relocated to a building near the Collin's home. By 1977 she obtained attention from the media after the school was featured in the Chicago-Sun Times. More prominent publications printed her story, she appeared on 60 Minutes with Morfey Safer.

By 1980 President Ronald Reagan asker her to the accept the job as "Post of Secretary of Education." She declined the position Marva Collins wanted to continue to develop the minds of children in the "Windy City." She was offered school board positions in Chicago and Los Angeles once more she declined. She passed away on June 28, 2015. She will greatly be missed. This woman understood her purpose and dedicated her life to crafting young minds. Sending all my love and the utmost respect.


The Marva Collins Story (1981)


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