Whatever it Takes

Here is where I get all erudite and ‘I am reading this amazing book right now.’ So I am reading this amazing book right now, pictured above. Andy suggested I read it, for a deeper look into inner city schools. So this amazing guy, Geoffrey Canada, started the Harlem’s Children Zone in an effort to better the quality of life and FUTURE life for Harlem kids. He raised millions of dollars, and started programs for high schoolers on down to pregnant Mothers.

Basically, he grew tired of only being able to save / help a few children, whoever he could afford to let into his programs – he wanted to impact EVERYONE. His solution: to start early. Before birth. Because there is this huge discrepancy in the cognitive and learning abilities between poor and middle / upper class children.

When I was little, without even KNOWING it, my parents made education and success a priority – I was constantly instructed, learned social codes, and was encouraged to ask questions (Mom/ Dad do you remember doing this? I bet you did, and I bet YOU didn’t even realize it.) But kids from lower-class homes: their parents have a COMPLETELY different set of priorities, and raise their children  differently. Not that it’s all bad. Kids from lower-class homes are more inclined to talk about how they feel, express themselves, but aren’t as familiar or comfortable with rules / the structure of school as their peers.

I haven’t finished the book yet, but so far, I’ve watched Canada struggle through pouring all of this funding into a new school for middle school kids, Promise Academy – and STILL the kids can’t get their test scores up, with extra attention, test prep, etc.

All in all, it makes me grateful that I was raised how I was. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I spent a fair amount of time outside making ‘stew’ out of grass and rocks, and playing circus, and reading babysitter’s club, but somehow somewhere, education as a priority was ingrained in me.

I just wrote a 5 paragraph essay. Look at me, doing my homework. This is the fifth paragraph, in which I sum up, so uh, thank you for reading this essay.

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