Sunday, April 25, 2010

Geoffrey Canada....

(Geoffrey Canada with Children from the Promise Academy Public Charter School in Harlem)

And tonight, some child will go to bed,
No food, no place to lay their head.
No hand to hold, no lap to sit,
To give slobbery kisses from slobbery lips.
So you and I we must succeed,
In this crusade, this holy deed,
To say to the children in this land:
Have hope. We're here. We take a stand!

(Taken from Geoffrey Canada's poem "Take a Stand")

As someone who has spent the majority of her professional career as a teacher, nothing inspires me more than people who devote their lives to making a difference through education. Geoffrey Canada is one such individual.

In his 20-plus years with Harlem Children's Zone, Inc., Geoffrey Canada has become nationally recognized for his pioneering work helping children and families in Harlem and as a passionate advocate for education reform.
Since 1990, Mr. Canada has been the President and Chief Executive Officer for Harlem Children's Zone, which The New York Times Magazine called "one of the most ambitious social experiments of our time." In October 2005, Mr. Canada was named one of "America's Best Leaders" by U.S. News and World Report.

In 1997, the agency launched the Harlem Children's Zone Project, which targets a specific geographic area in Central Harlem with a comprehensive range of services. The Zone Project today covers 100 blocks and aims to serve over 10,000 children by 2011.

The New York Times Magazine said the Zone Project "combines educational, social and medical services. It starts at birth and follows children to college. It meshes those services into an interlocking web, and then it drops that web over an entire neighborhood....The objective is to create a safety net woven so tightly that children in the neighborhood just can't slip through."

The work of Mr. Canada and HCZ has become a national model and has been the subject of many profiles in the media. Their work has been featured on "60 Minutes," "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "The Today Show," "Good Morning America," "Nightline," "CBS This Morning," "The Charlie Rose Show," National Public Radio's "On Point," as well in articles in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, USA Today and Newsday.

Visit this link to TakePart.com to view more information and to watch a segment where Geoffrey shares his views on teaching. You can also visit the Harlem Children's Zone to find out more.

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