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Making a difference in the lives of poor inner-city youth in Harlem
on February 3, 2010
Geoffrey Canada has developed a comprehensive, holistic formula to successfully educate poor kids in Harlem who historically have not had a good educational outcome. This book details the work that went into the program his Harlem Children's Zone developed and administers. One of the best parts of the book is the detailed discussion of why kids who come from a background of poverty more often than not do not do well in school. It debunks myths that these kids have inferior intellects. It covers how their upbringing by well-meaning but highly stressed and beleagered parents puts them behind their affluent peers. It details how Canada, who was born in a poor neighborhood in the South Bronx, decided that if these kids were going to succeed in large numbers that his approach was going to have to affect every part of their lives, not just what happens while they are in school. The city I live in, Charlotte, NC, struggles with many of the same problems of a wide achievement gap between affluent white kids and poor black and Latino children. I am telling anyone who will listen that there is a way to educate all of the kids in our community and that what Geoffrey Canada has come up with may be the best approach. This is a great book that anyone who is passionate about public education and the inequities that exist in them will enjoy reading.