^z 23rd March 2023 at 7:39am

Yesterday's New York Times carried an On Education essay titled, "Giving Poor Children a Chance to Study Hard, Long and Late" by Samuel G. Freedman. It's about the Nativity Network [1], schools that offer inner-city children good teachers, long hours of tough academic work, extended summer sessions, and lots of individual interaction. The motto is "breaking the cycle of poverty through education".

"While everybody else is debating how to fix the system," said the Rev. Richard DeLillio, the executive director of Nativity Prep in Wilmington, "we'll deal with the kids one by one by one."

Freedman concludes his article with:

The temptation in discovering a school like Nativity Prep and a system like the Nativity Network is to look for easy ways to copy them. Certainly, these schools offer a replicable model of rigorous curriculum, unstinting standards, small class size and individualized attention. But there is something else, something more ineffable, something that can't be learned at a workshop or in graduate school.

"It sounds syrupy, but this school is about unconditional love," said Ciro Poppiti, a graduate of Salesianum High and Princeton University who teaches civics at Nativity Prep as a volunteer. "You can see in the kids' eyes, this sense of, 'Why do these people care about me? These white people? Do they want me to become a priest? Is this a secret seminary?' And then, gradually, they realize this is a gift. The only strings attached are to study hard and respect others. You do that and you keep getting the gift."

Something to be thankful for ...

(see also EducationOfTheYouth (1 Dec 2001), LearningAndLosing (23 Dec 2001), Boston Public Library (20 Jun 2002), InvestInPeace (9 Jul 2002), FreedomPeaceCommerceEducation (13 Sep 2002), RoomToRead (23 Oct 2004), ...)

TopicFaith - TopicLife - TopicOrganizations - TopicSociety - 2004-11-25

(correlates: SuspectTerrain, RoomToRead, SuckItUp, ...)