The Harlem Children’s Zone is a network of programs designed to address a slew of neighbourhood problems including bad living arrangments, failing schools, violent crime, and absentee parents. Run by the wonderfully-named Geoffrey Canada, the idea behind the HCZ is that there is an optimal moment for intervention in every child’s development, and the goal is to provide a sort of “conveyor belt” of services and programs that families can hop onto at the appropriate time as needed.
This is a poor description of one of the most fascinating educational projects in America right now. Paul Tough, a Canadian who lives in New York, has written a book about Mr. Canada’s project called Whatever it Takes — it’s going to the top of my reading pile as soon as I can get a copy.
Here’s a link to the HCZ homepage.
Here’s Paul Tough’s site.
Here’s a review of the book in today’s Times.
Here’s a recent NPR broadcast about the HCZ.