Posts Tagged ‘newspapers’
– Sheena Wright, president and CEO of Abyssinian Development Corporation, told USA Today that “Whatever It Takes” was the last book she gave as a gift, saying, “I wanted people to understand the context for Abyssinian Development Corp.’s work in education and the history of education as a social justice movement. It deftly captures the philosophy of education embraced in a community like Harlem.”
– Plus blog posts on the book from a student at Brigham Young University and a student training to become a teacher near Washington, D.C. (writing for a web site co-founded by Dick Cheney’s former chief policy adviser!).
From the Savannah Morning News, a report on Mayor Otis Johnson’s effort to construct a “cradle-to-college” youth program in Savannah:
The effort, lead by Youth Futures and the mayor, has been the subject of planning sessions by local groups and agency leaders for a year. The unnamed local program, patterned after the successful Harlem Children’s Zone, has identified the local Rotary clubs for the first piece of 6 months to kindergarten and is seeking community help to complete the process.
Planners have pledged to pursue the effort locally with or without the Promise Neighborhood designation.
“We are not trying to replicate the Harlem Children’s Zone here in Savannah, only the success,’’ Chisolm said.
From the Chicago Defender, news of an ambitious effort to bring Promise Neighborhood funding to the city’s Woodlawn neighborhood. The Woodlawn Children’s Promise Zone is a collaboration between Bishop Arthur Brazier [above] and Prof. Charles Payne and others at the University of Chicago. As the paper reports:
More than one year ago, the pastor emeritus of Apostolic Church of God, Bishop Arthur Brazier began working with schools in his area and quickly became concerned with how little the community was doing to improve the academic standards in the schools.
He learned about the Harlem Children’s Zone and paid a visit to the organization that focuses on the three academic levels of a child’s life — Baby College, Promise Academy and College Success Office – within a 96-square block area in Harlem, N.Y.
Brazier then drew from HCZ’s model and convened a coalition of community leaders, educators and parents to develop a plan to improve Woodlawn’s 10,000 children’s lives from birth through college years and beyond. The Woodlawn Children’s Promise Zone was born, he said.
From the Providence Journal, an article about the Providence Children’s Initiative, a group that wants to bring a Promise Neighborhood to the city:
“Providence isn’t Harlem, but we are trying to adopt some of the components” of the larger program to address local needs, said [Family Service program director Swan] Capris. “For example, we’re working with the Providence School Department to implement the program, and we’re targeting neighborhoods where there is a high percentage of people living below the federal poverty level — not just minority students and their families. It’s for anyone who is in the selected neighborhood who is below the poverty level.”
Family Service started working on the initiative a year ago. A committee made up of nonprofit organizations, government agencies and other groups meets weekly, but officials have yet to target a neighborhood for help. “We’re still in the early planning stages,” Capris said.
From the Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C., a story about efforts to bring a Promise Neighborhood to that city:
The Charleston Promise Neighborhood would include Charleston’s East Side and Neck Area and extend into North Charleston, and its goal is to make that area indistinguishable from the rest of the county by breaking the cycle of poverty and improving education. The roughly 3,000 children who live in the zone and attend Sanders-Clyde, James Simons, Mary Ford and Chicora elementary schools would be the primary beneficiaries of its services and programs, which would begin at birth.
In Charlotte, N.C., last month, Geoffrey Canada spoke to “hundreds of Charlotte leaders,” according to a story in the Charlotte Observer, including “educators, agency heads and civic leaders [who] have been talking about whether Charlotte could follow” the Harlem Children’s Zone model.
And in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to a story in the Tulsa World, Canada visited schools and spoke to a symposium on education about many topics, including the prospects for something like a Zone in Tulsa:
“There are a lot of reasons for the city of Tulsa to be excited about the future. A lot of fundamentals exist in very high-quality levels here in Tulsa,” Canada said. “There has to be a clear plan drawn up about where we go from here.”
From two very different publications, articles about the Harlem Children’s Zone and the prospect of Promise Neighborhoods. In Real Change News, a weekly paper sold by the homeless in Seattle, an interview with Geoffrey Canada, in which he recounts the advice he has given the Obama Administration about Promise Neighborhoods:
We felt like they had to go with the right leadership. They had to get communities that were already down the road on figuring out their area and working out the collaboration issues. There had to be some structure for management in place, and there had to be resources so that it wouldn’t be under resourced, and a real commitment of local leadership — for the vision of the community and not for the individual schools. We thought those were some of the must-haves in the first few of these that have come up. So we’ve had those kinds of conversations with the administration.
And in Forbes, Nicole Perlroth cautions:
Any school rescue program that relies less on donations and more on taxpayer money is at risk of becoming a captive of the education establishment. A two-year project to replicate the Zone in Jacksonville, Fla. saw its largest private donor, the Chartrand Foundation, back out when it appeared that the program would be run by government officials and lack the Zone’s accountability.
In the Savannah, Georgia, Morning News, a story about the effort to replicate the Harlem Children’s Zone in that city:
The local group has worked for almost a year to prepare its case to become one of the 20 Promise Neighborhoods President Barack Obama announced support for early in his administration. The preparations have continued, although no requests for proposals have been received.
[Geoffrey] Canada brought his vision to Savannah last year, and [Mayor Otis] Johnson has made the local program modeled on the Harlem Children’s Zone a personal priority. It builds on efforts he headed while executive director of the Youth Futures during its first decade to improve the lot of children and families. Both Johnson and [Edward] Chisolm, [executive director of the Chatham-Savannah Youth Futures Authority], joined by committee members, have made it their goal to pursue the program even if denied being chosen as one of the 20 cities selected for planning funding.
Geoffrey Canada will be giving a speech next month in Charlotte, N.C. According to this article in the Charlotte Observer,
He’ll find a well-versed audience. Dozens of leaders from Charlotte-area agencies, charities, schools, advocacy groups and businesses have attended “book club” discussions focusing on a book about Canada. His creation, the Harlem Children’s Zone, provides education for expectant parents, preschool, health care, charter schools and tutoring for families in a 100-block poverty-stricken area of New York City.
Foundation for the Carolinas President Michael Marsicano was among the first group to read “Whatever It Takes” and talk about how the ideas might translate to Charlotte.
In today’s St. Petersburg Times, an article about a program to revitalize the Sulphur Springs neighborhood in Tampa, inspired by the Harlem Children’s Zone:
Beginning in 1997, the Harlem Children’s Zone followed [the] strategy of pouring every resource into a single, 24-block neighborhood. Within a decade, its charter school students were outscoring peers across New York State on standardized tests, and 90 percent of high schoolers in after-school programs were making it to college.
Until recently, such a plan might have seemed unrealistic for Sulphur Springs. It’s a place with more renters than owners, a median income of just $10,500, and Tampa’s highest concentration of children. Foreclosed and abandoned homes mar the landscape, and police mount extra patrols. By 2008, its elementary school was on a short list of the state’s most troubled schools.
But sometimes, when you slip down far enough, you get a fresh start.