Posts Tagged ‘New York City’
Geoffrey Canada’s celebrity took a weird turn this weekend, when he was briefly impersonated by Jay Pharaoh during a “What Up With That” sketch on Saturday Night Live. No lines, but some smoking dance moves. Fast-forward to 5:10 or so.
This weekend’s New York Times Magazine includes an article I wrote about character education. It focuses on a collaborative project between the KIPP schools in New York City and Riverdale Country School — a project that I’m also writing about in my book “The Success Equation,” which is due out in the fall of 2012. On the Times’s new SchoolBook blog, as an adjunct to the article, they’re soliciting reader questions for David Levin, the superintendent of KIPP NYC, and Dominic Randolph, the head of Riverdale.
On Monday, at a press conference at Madison Square Garden, Prince announced a donation of $1 million to the Harlem Children’s Zone. According to an article in Jones Magazine:
During the press conference, 30 students from the Harlem Children’s Zone got the chance to meet the musical icon. You could see how inspired and touched they were by Prince’s dedication to the youth, his unparalleled musical success and his generosity. Harlem Children’s Zone President and CEO Geoffrey Canada had this to say about the donation: “I want to thank Prince. I am touched and blown away by his generosity. This is unprecedented in my lifetime to see an artist come forward and invest in today’s children.”
Geoffrey Canada is one of the central characters in the documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman,'” which opens today in selected theaters. Earlier this week, the Daily News published a long profile of Canada tied to the movie. In the review in the New York Times today, Stephen Holden writes:
If Mr. Canada, who was born in the South Bronx and grew up to be one of the country’s most charismatic and inspiring educators, is not Superman, he must be a close relative. Those who have read Paul Tough’s book, “Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America,” will know that the 97-block Harlem Children’s Zone, which he founded and runs, is no miracle. The zone is astoundingly successful at getting children through high school and into college. But that success, largely dependent on private money, is a costly product of laborious trial and error.
This week, the education department announced the 21 recipients of Promise Neighborhood planning grants, from the Abyssinian Development Corporation in Harlem to Proyecto Pastoral at Dolores Mission in Los Angeles. The department’s press release lists the other 19 winners, and more details are here. There was a good AP overview, and a story on the New York angle in the Times.
If the group doesn’t receive federal funds to implement the plan, Whatever it Takes volunteers will continue to seek donations of time or cash from foundations, individuals and other service agencies both near and far, according to Lewis Earnest, chairman of the board for Family Connection/Communities in Schools of Athens.
“We’ve got some investment capital and we believe that we can show other people, other foundations and individuals and state and local government that we’ve got a good plan,” Earnest said.
Gotham Schools reports that the Harlem Children’s Zone is in talks with the New York City Housing Authority to construct a new school building in the St. Nicholas housing project. The Promise Academy would expand into the new building:
HCZ and NYCHA officials are pitching the new building as a continuation of the Zone’s mission to integrate education and social services and connect an isolated housing development to the wider community. Residents of the Saint Nicholas Houses would also receive an admissions preference to the school, and officials said that residents would also receive a preference for an anticipated 100 jobs created by the new school.
I’ll be giving a number of speeches over the next month, including talks at:
– a conference on a “multicultural/multiracial future” this Sunday at my church: Middle Collegiate Church, in New York City
– a fundraising luncheon for Mainspring Schools in Austin on April 29.
– an event on May 16 at the Holton Career and Resource Center in Durham, N.C., organized by the East Durham Children’s Initiative.
– a school-readiness symposium in Baltimore on May 18, organized by Ready at Five.
This morning I was a guest on the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC in New York, along with Helen Zelon, the author of a new report in City Limits magazine taking a skeptical view of the Obama Administration’s plans to bring the Harlem Children’s Zone model to other cities. (The report isn’t online yet, but it should be posted on the City Limits web site soon.) There is audio, along with comments from listeners, on the WNYC web site, here.
Beth Fertig at WNYC reports on this week’s conference on replicating the Harlem Children’s Zone model. In an accompanying blog post, she quotes Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, on whether communities applying for Promise Neighborhood grants need to be “shovel-ready” to have a shot at federal support:
These are scarce resources and there’s tremendous interest out there. And I think this work has to continue whether schools and neighborhoods and communities get funded or not. But we want to invest in those places that have the capacity to deliver dramatically better results for children. So this is not just about a good idea, it’s not just about good will or good intentions. We want to put lots of dollars, millions and millions of dollars behind those places that have the capacity, the political will, the courage and the plan to dramatically improve student outcomes.
As preparations continue for the Harlem Children Zone’s November conference on replicating the HCZ model, news from New York City and Chicago on plans to apply for President Obama’s proposed Promise Neighborhood program.
According to NY1, Mayor Bloomberg, speaking at a charter-school anniversary in Harlem, announced that his administration is “pushing to use part of President Barack Obama’s ‘Promise Neighborhoods’ funds for the creation of two new Children’s Zones, one in Brooklyn and one in the South Bronx.”
Meanwhile, Catalyst Notebook, a Chicago schools blog, reports that
Three Chicago neighborhoods are taking the first steps toward potential replication of the Harlem Children’s Zone, the highly-praised program that provides education and social support to poor children and families in Central Harlem.
Representatives from social service agencies in Chicago Lawn, Logan Square and Woodlawn will travel to New York City in the coming weeks to attend a multi-day conference and a ‘practitioner’s institute’ for organizations that are interested in launching Promise Neighborhoods, an initiative of the Obama Administration modeled on the Children’s Zone.