Posts Tagged ‘North Carolina’
1. In Winston-Salem, N.C., more than 25 non-profit agencies have come together to form the Promise Neighborhood Community Collaborative in order to create a Promise Neighborhood in the Ibraham school district. According to this article in Yes! Weekly, “Whatever It Takes” helped inspire the project:
Lee Koch, principal of Prince Ibraham Elementary School, said it was Tough’s book that first inspired community leaders in Winston-Salem to look into the possibility of identifying one neighborhood as a potential Promise Neighborhood.
2. In Kinston, N.C., community leaders have joined forces with faculty and graduate students from the University of North Carolina’s Community-Campus Partnership to create the Kinston Promise Neighborhood. According to this article in ENC Today, the neighborhood will cover 81 blocks in the city’s East Kinston and Mitchelltown neighborhoods.
4. And in June, a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio filed this report on the 250-block St. Paul Promise Neighborhood, which “hopes to counteract the effects of poverty on children by creating a network of so-called ‘cradle-to-career’ services.”
From the News & Observer in Raleigh, an article on various attempts in North Carolina to replicate the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone:
In Wilmington, for example, an unprecedented coalition of 40 community partners, including schools, government agencies, faith-based groups, and nonprofits, are proposing a “Youth Enrichment Zone” for traditionally disenfranchised families on the north side of town.
In Bertie and Hertford counties in northeastern North Carolina, where poverty rates go as high as 23 percent, a partnership led by nonprofit One Economy is proposing a “Connected Rural Achievement Initiative,” with targeted interventions in three schools with a continuum of family services for the communities served by these schools.
In Durham, the East Durham Children’s Initiative is focusing on a 120-block area where the median income is $11,000, only 25 percent of the houses are owner occupied, and all of the schools are labeled under-performing.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.