This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Samuel Reed III is a man of many talents.
He teaches literacy to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders at Dimner Beeber Middle School in Wynnefield, where he has taught for the last 15 years. He owns Sriii Consulting, a boutique-style social entrepreneurial and training company that provides small business and nonprofit consulting. And he is a fellow at the Teachers Institute of Philadelphia and a teacher consultant at the Philadelphia Writing Project.
Still, Reed finds time to blog regularly for the Notebook.
Reed said he first became aware of the Notebook at Beeber.
“I used to see the Notebook at my school and used to read it,” he said.
One day in 2006, a Notebook reporter contacted Reed for a set of profiles about how he and fellow teachers were using art in their teaching. It was through that experience that Reed said he became even more engaged.
“I was very impressed with the coverage around education issues.”
It was that impression that Reed said led him to become a member when the Notebook’s membership program was launched in 2009, and shortly thereafter apply to become a blogger for the Notebook website.
Reed has been filing posts regularly for the past four years, but his dedication to the nonprofit organization doesn’t stop there. Reed began talking up the Notebook to new teachers and even offering to pay for their memberships.
“I’m just a really engaged member,” he said.
“As a teacher, I encourage folks to visit the website. I encourage my students to leave comments on blogs that are relevant to them, particularly blogs written about my classroom practice. And I always make sure that I’m present at their annual celebrations, invite folks, and I’ll recommend the Notebook to potential advertisers.”
It’s no surprise that Reed has become so involved. He has spent the better part of his life devoted to education issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Cheyney University, an M.B.A. from Clark Atlanta University, and a graduate degree in education from Temple University.
Before teaching at Beeber, he volunteered with the Peace Corps in Botswana, serving as an operations officer with the Botswana Development Corporation. After that duty, he stayed in the country and jumpstarted his own service training company, called Logical Solutions.
Reed said one of the things that keep him most interested in the Notebook is its “hard-hitting reporting” and ability to provide a “nuanced coverage of education.”
“It’s a national model for niche journalism and the main source for education in the city and region.”
Reed said he wishes more people would become aware of the Notebook. He plans to continue to spread the word.
“I see the struggle that the Notebook has as an organization that wants to increase and maintain membership, increase revenue, yet keep its journalistic integrity,” he said.
“If the Notebook had more members, it would have an even bigger impact than it is having, which is already a pretty amazing impact.”