Paul Tough

Writer & Speaker

Posts Tagged ‘newspapers’

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Promise Neighborhood Updates

In yesterday’s Highline Times, an article about plans by the local school board to apply for a Promise Neighborhood grant for the White Center area, outside Seattle:

Highline board members approved partnering with other local service agencies to apply for a planning grant to develop a Promise Neighborhood project in the White Center area.

If the planning grant is accepted, the local agencies would receive $500,000. So far, 941 entities have applied for the grant with 20 expected to receive funding.

And in the Austin American-Statesman, news that the school board made the somewhat controversial decision to throw its weight behind the Austin Achievement Zone, one of two local initiatives applying for a Promise Neighborhood grant. (In April, I spoke at a public meeting organized by the Austin Achievement Zone.) According to the article:

By addressing the challenges associated with living in poverty, Austin Achievement Zone organizers hope to provide students with basic services — such as ensuring that mothers get prenatal care and tutoring schoolchildren — that will ultimately improve academic performance at chronically struggling campuses. Organizers said they envision being heavily involved in the lives of up to 3,400 children living near Reagan High, Webb Middle and Pickle Elementary schools.

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Durham report

On the front page of this morning’s Herald-Sun, a report on my talk in Durham yesterday:

The most important factor in replicating the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone is accountability, says the man who wrote the book about the successful New York initiative.

“For a model like this to succeed, people have to be held accountable when kids fail,” author Paul Tough told around 250 people in the auditorium of the Holton Career and Resource Center Sunday afternoon. “Accountability can be really tough, but someone has to take responsibility for each failure. That’s the only way it works.”

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

East Durham updates

In this morning’s Durham News, a column by Wanda Boone, co-chair of the East Durham Children’s Initiative, on my talk this afternoon:

In his candid book about Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone, Paul Tough follows several families through the first years of school, inviting us to take a hard and honest look at the work, the hope and the possibility of change for at-risk youth and families.

It was this book, “Whatever It Takes,” that inspired Durham County Commissioner Ellen Reckhow to pull together groups of community stakeholders, agencies and advocates to do whatever it takes in East Durham, through the East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI).

And in the Herald-Sun, an editorial on the same topic:

The members of the steering committee, including county Commissioner Ellen Reckhow and Durham Public Schools Chairwoman Minnie Forte-Brown, talk about the Harlem Children’s Zone’s success with missionary zeal — which they credit in part to “Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America,” by Paul Tough.

Tough, a New York Times Magazine editor, drew a fine, nuanced portrait of Canada and the families that the HCZ serves, illuminating the effects of poverty and the challenges of extracting an entire city district from its grasp.

Friday, May 14th, 2010

More on the Durham Talk

From today’s Herald-Sun, a report on my talk in Durham, North Carolina, on Sunday afternoon:

Ellen Reckhow, the longtime Durham County commissioner, heard a public radio segment about the Harlem Children’s Zone in the fall of 2008. That led her to Tough’s book, which she urged other local leaders to read.

Some of those leader-readers helped Reckhow form the Children’s Initiative. The initiative is closely modeled on the Canada-founded Harlem Children’s Zone, which Durham leaders went to see in action last summer. Both organizations aim to offer a variety of educational and support services, including parenting classes and after-school programs, from birth through adolescence.

So Tough’s speaking engagement will close a circuit of sorts.

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Durham Q&A

From today’s Durham News, a fairly stream-of-consciousness Q&A about my talk in Durham this coming Sunday, in which I say things like:

I think my one worry about the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone is people are going to think it is easy. They look at how the Harlem Children’s Zone is now, and don’t see all of the hard work, wrong turns, and dismal failures that went into making it the success that it is today. What I think any community will need if they are going to try to do this is persistence, dedication, faith, a long term vision, and a sense that they are going to do whatever it takes.

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Promise Academy Expansion

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.

There’s more coverage in the New York Post, in the Daily News, and on NY1.

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Promise Neighborhood launch

The federal Department of Education finally officially launched its Promise Neighborhood program last week. The department invited interested non-profits to submit applications for planning grants. Those are due June 25. In Jacksonville, Florida, two separate groups are planning to apply, according to a story in the Times-Union.

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Durham talk

A brief report in the Durham, N.C., Herald Sun on my talk there in two weeks:

Paul Tough, author of “Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America,” will speak at Holton Career and Resource Center, 401 North Driver St., at 3 p.m. May 16. … Tough’s appearance is part of the efforts of the East Durham Children’s Initiative, which is modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone.

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Albany’s Baby Institute

From this morning’s Times-Union, a story about the first graduating class of the Baby Institute, a new program run by the Albany Family Education Alliance and modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone’s Baby College:

The mothers and fathers who received their diplomas at Giffen Elementary School in the city’s South End ran the gamut of race, age and education. They were all recruited from agencies that serve the poorest neighborhoods of the city. Some mothers have one or two children, others recently gave birth, and others are pregnant with their first child.

The idea is to provide parents “with the tools and techniques to become the first teachers of their children,” said Common Council member Barbara Smith, an alliance member who helped spearhead the baby program. She attended every session at the school, which ran from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. The participants had to have children no older than 3.

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

U.K. Election

According to a report in the Guardian, the Harlem Children’s Zone has become an issue in the British election, with both the Conservative and Labour candidate claiming a connection:

Geoffrey Canada, the founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone, helped inform the Tories’ education policy. Canada has, according to the Tories, eradicated the educational attainment gap between ethnic groups so that all but a handful of school leavers go to college. Labour has also turned to Harlem for its idea of one-to-one tuition. But the Conservatives say that they embody the Harlem ideas because they will allow parents and groups to set up schools along the lines of US charter schools.