Paul Tough

Writer & Speaker

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

Promise Neighborhoods in the Post

In Sunday’s Washington Post, a lengthy story about the Harlem Children’s Zone and President Obama’s plan to replicate it:

Canada was raised poor in the South Bronx and went on to earn a graduate education degree from Harvard. Years ago, he grew frustrated that his successful after-school program was not decreasing Harlem’s tally of high school dropouts, juvenile arrests and unemployed youths. He set out to devise an encompassing program to “move the needle” and improve the lives of poor children in a mass, standardized, reproducible way.

Now the Obama administration seeks to replicate Canada’s model in 20 cities in a program called Promise Neighborhoods and has set aside $10 million in the 2010 budget for planning. President Obama has frequently singled out the Harlem Children’s Zone, and first lady Michelle Obama recently called Canada “one of my heroes.”

3 comments on “Promise Neighborhoods in the Post

  1. Kudos on great reporting! I’m on the board of Family Matters, a community-building organization in Chicago that reflects the same goals as the HCZ. Does Paul Tough do appearances and speaking engagements? Would love to hear some live dialogue.

  2. Larry Tenney says:

    In Santa Ana, CA, THINK Together is partnering with other CBOs and The California Endowment on a pilot project known as Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities. The goal of the place-based 10 year program is to create environments where children and youth are healthy, safe and ready to learn. Sound familiar?

    The program is akin to HCZ and the Promise Neighborhoods concept Obama’s team has advocated. In fact, Santa Ana a predominately Hispanic low-income community where English is generally not a resident’s first-language is a perfect candidate for support under any Promise Neighborhoods program. Paul, you ought to learn more The California Endowment’s significant efforts in Santa Ana and 13 other CA communities.

    One of the neighborhoods targeted in Santa Ana reportedly has more children living in a one square mile area than any other place in the Western U.S.

  3. Loretta Crea says:

    I keep reading about Promise Neighborhoods and the Harlem Children’s Zone. It reminds me of the day I visited the Beacons in New York and thought I found the answer for the community I work in, but it didn’t work because the people running the Beacons in Philadelphia never fully grasped what the end result could and should have been. So, the Beacons in Philadelphia failed. Promise Neighborhoods has reinspired me and I want to stay with this concept in the hopes that something could come of it. I want to be involved. I want this for our community and for its people. Please contact me.

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