Posted on: July 6, 2020 Posted by: Historically Black Since Comments: 0

Tia Clarke is the author of the exciting new children’s book series, Riley’s Routines. As an amazing mom of two daring toddlers, and wife of a supportive husband, Tia has a passion for increasing early childhood literacy. When she became a mother, her enthusiasm to get kids excited and spark their interest in reading increased. In her first children’s book series, Riley’s Routines, Tia emphasizes the importance of routines in children’s lives and the struggle between parents and kids to adhere to them. The series was written to show the value of implementing routines and structure into children’s lives, even if they get off schedule at times. Predictable routines help build independence and boost a child’s self-esteem.

What are some of the common problems you see children have, in regards to their health and hygiene habits?

Some of the common problems I see children have regarding their health and hygiene are unhealthy eating habits, staying active and practicing proper hand washing techniques. Kids don’t always eat a lot of fruits and vegtables and drink enough water throughout the day. Unhealthy eating can affect a child’s energy levels as well as their focus. Kids tend to eat what you feed them early on as babies and while they may develop dislikes for certain foods later on, I’ve seen that if you feed them a variety of foods early on they are more likely to eat a variety of foods as they continue to grow. A lot of kids spend a large amount of time in front of a screen or device, thus causing them to not be as active as they should be. We need to get back to outdoor activities and keeping kids active so that they can enjoy an active lifestyle as they become adults. Also, proper handwashing techniques need to be empasized with kids in showing them how to wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds so they can continue this routine as they grow. This is extremely important right now as we are trying to stay healthy during the pandemic and not germs.

As a Howard University graduate, how did your experience at an HBCU impact the woman you are today?

My experience at an HBCU helped me take pride in being a black woman and gave me tools to face adversity. It was important for me to get an education at an HBCU because it taught me values that I carry in my life today. I know that as a black woman, I am enough. It also taught me that I can achieve anything I set my mind to do because I saw plenty examples of that from other black women that attended or graduated from Howard University before me. My experience at Howard helped me to appreciate fighting for what I believe in and doing things my way instead of conforming to what the world thinks I should do. There were plenty of beautiful, confident women walking around Howard’s campus and initially I wasn’t always confident with who I was. I soon realized that if they could have a certain level of confidence, so could I and I still carry that with me today by not trying to be anyone else, but being comfortable with who I am and the decisons I make.

What would you say to those students looking for guidance on whether to attend an HBCU or not?

I would tell students looking or guidace on whether to attend an HBCU or not to ask themselves these 3 questions: 

1. Do I feel comfortable with who I am? 

2. Do I feel like I’m enough? 

3. Do I enjoy being in the presence of other like-minded black people? 

If you can’t answer these questions confidently and comfortably, then you definitely should attend an HBCU. If you struggle with answers to these questions (as I’m sure a lot of kids going to college do) you may want to consider that if you don’t attend an HBCU you may have to fight to prove yourself being around other races that don’t have similar values or understand what it is to be Black in America. I’ve had black friends tell me that they didn’t attend a HBCU because they wanted a certain University’s name on their resume. They thought it would afford them better opportunities in Corporate America. However, I never felt that way. My attendance at an HBCU taught me that if I had a certain work ethic, my work would speak for me more than a Private White Institution (PWI) would on my resume.

Give us a few fun facts more people don’t know about you?

I enjoy water activities such as scuba diving and parasailing. I love scuba diving so much I’ve considered getting certified. 

What can readers look forward to from you next? 

Readers can look forward to more books. There will certainly be more books in the Riley’s Routines series and I am planning another series to follow this one. I am working on a weekly podcast to engage my readers a bit more and hear from parents on what has or hasn’t worked for them with routines. I’m also currently working on a campaign to encourage kids to stay healthy during this time as cities begin to reopen from the pandemic and schools consider bringing kids back into classrooms and daycares. 

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