Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When your corner is really a whole city.

In my 0-3 training, the catchphrase for the class became "Brighten your own corner." And the consensus was that if everyone takes care of their own little corner, eventually the whole world becomes a better place.

This morning on my jog I listened to This American Life about Geoffrey Canada's project, "Harlem Children's Zone". He's a man who has made Harlem his "corner". His vision is to help bring the less fortunate people of that community out of poverty through education. Big claims. Being a huge advocate of the crucial importance of the early years in life for future outcomes in society (especially the first three years), he has implemented a spread of social service courses. They start with one called "Baby College" where mothers and pregnant women in the city take an 8 week class which teaches them about the development of their child in the first years and how best to serve it. They follow this with charter schools and advanced parenting programs, all the way to helping the students graduate from high school and eventually college.

It is so rare to hear about someone's big plans for educational change actually going through. I was greatly inspired and ran a mile extra to finish this very great radio essay. I super recommend. Just looking at the statistics on the HCZ website gives me chills.

1 comment:

SmartPumpkin'sMom said...

Very inspiring.
There is some hope out there yet.