Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America
What would it take?That was the question that Geoffrey Canada found himself asking. What would it take to change the lives of poor children—not one by one, through heroic interventions and occasional miracles, but in big numbers, and in a way that could be replicated nationwide? The question led... show more
What would it take?That was the question that Geoffrey Canada found himself asking. What would it take to change the lives of poor children—not one by one, through heroic interventions and occasional miracles, but in big numbers, and in a way that could be replicated nationwide? The question led him to create the Harlem Children’s Zone, a ninety-seven-block laboratory in central Harlem where he is testing new and sometimes controversial ideas about poverty in America. His conclusion: if you want poor kids to be able to compete with their middle-class peers, you need to change everything in their lives—their schools, their neighborhoods, even the child-rearing practices of their parents.Whatever It Takes is a tour de force of reporting, an inspired portrait not only of Geoffrey Canada but of the parents and children in Harlem who are struggling to better their lives, often against great odds. Carefully researched and deeply affecting, this is a dispatch from inside the most daring and potentially transformative social experiment of our time.
Publish date: August 12th 2008
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages no: 304
Edition language: English
, Book Club
, African American
, Social Movements
, Social Justice
Ironically Paul Tough was a little tough on the parents he portrays in the Harlem Children's Zone and in my opinion, helps to promote stereotypes around dress, household composition and styles of speech. That I didn't like. With that said, he does do an excellent job of describing the incredible dri...
Geoffrey Canada is a teacher who came up against the most-difficult-to-educate group of kids a teacher can face: kids who grew up in poverty, with broken homes, surrounded by drugs and guns and alcohol. But Canada was not daunted by this group. As a child, he grew up in the same world and, somehow, ...