Be the Dream: Prep for Prep Graduates Share Their Stories

Overview

Twenty-five years ago, an elementary school teacher in the Bronx had a vision: No bright, determined, spirited child should be left behind because of the circumstances of race or poverty. Out of that vision, Prep for Prep was born, to identify gifted children and provide them access to a first-rate education. Thousands of these students have graduated from America's most demanding universities and gone on to become leaders in their communities. Thirty-five of them have written about the experience - an experience...

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Overview

Twenty-five years ago, an elementary school teacher in the Bronx had a vision: No bright, determined, spirited child should be left behind because of the circumstances of race or poverty. Out of that vision, Prep for Prep was born, to identify gifted children and provide them access to a first-rate education. Thousands of these students have graduated from America's most demanding universities and gone on to become leaders in their communities. Thirty-five of them have written about the experience - an experience that changed their lives. Their stories offer indisputable proof that education empowers people to do great things

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What People Are Saying

Robert Coles
Books come and go in our lives, but this collective testimony will earn a lasting place in our hearts.
James Agee Professor of Social Ethics, Harvard
Jonathan Kozol
Intensely moving.. the beautiful stories in this work remind us of the many millions who are left behind.
author, Savage Inequalities
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565124172
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
  • Publication date: 7/15/2003
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,392,426
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Simons founded Prep for Prep in 1978 and served as executive director until June 30, 2002. During those years, he turned a 25-student program into one with over 2,600 students and alumni. Mr. Simons, now vice chairman of Prep for Prep, is currently focusing on ways that the organization can serve a larger number of deserving young people, while developing an updated curriculum that can be offered to students beyond Prep's own ranks. Mr. Simons earned a B.A., cum laude, in history from Harpur College (now SUNY Binghamton) and a masters degree in psychology from Teacher's College, Columbia University. While at Teacher's College, he was appointed a fellow in the Graduate Leadership Education Project in Gifted Education; it was as a Fellow, and under the guise of fieldwork (and the auspices of Teachers College), that he launched Prep for Prep. While at Teachers College, Mr. Simons continued to teach full-time at P.S. 140 in the South Bronx. During a 12-year period, he taught each of the elementary grades.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
An Autobiographical Vignette: "To Infinity and Beyond"
Introduction
Prologue 1
I Beginnings 9
An Open Letter to Future Generations of Stickball Players at 112 Nagle Avenue from a Trinity School Eighth-Grader 13
The Scent of Sawdust 18
Going Home 28
M'Ethangatha's Gift 31
II The Culture of Prep 37
"Esos Muchachos!" 41
Prep for Prep and the Construction of Meaningful Democracy 53
The Test 59
III Lessons Learned Well and Early 75
"I'm a Bidness Man!" 79
Doing the Right Thing 83
"I Am the Master of My Fate; I Am the Captain of My Soul" 91
Anomalies 95
Fifty Bucks in Your Pocket 103
IV A Place to Belong 115
Who's That Smiling Through My Face? 119
Questions and Answers 123
Golden Boy 140
V The Me Inside of Me 147
Heroes and Saviors Need Not Apply 151
Discoveries 158
Staking My Claim 171
VI Navigating the Identity Rapids 181
Chasing the Dream 185
The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side 191
Reflections on the Life of a Young Ambassador 198
The Party 203
The Inner Work of Carving a Self 209
VII Prep for Life 215
"Get on the Bus with a Dog on Its Side" 219
Telling the Truth 236
A Moral Compass 239
VIII Journeys 251
Making Pilgrimage to Myself 255
A Long Way from St. Ann's Bay 271
The Journey of a Thousand Miles 280
A Life Worth Living 285
IX Making a Difference 295
Julio and I 299
Why Is It Okay to Kill Cockroaches but Not Minks? 309
Three Moments in the Life 316
Interventions with Power 327
Epilogue 339
In the Words of Young Children 353
Speech Delivered at Commencement 354
Speech Delivered at Commencement 358
Submission to the Be the Dream Essay Contest: "Breaking Down a Wall" 361
History, Mission & Philosophy of Prep for Prep 363
Acknowledgments 373
Prep for Prep Participating Schools 375
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2008

    Truly inspiring

    As a college graduate with a master's degree, this book made me realize that there are so many young people with potentially bright futures who will never get the chance at higher education because of a lack of resources or mentoring or both. This book also shows the powerful, transforming effect of education when strategically placed in the lives of young people who have the ability and desire but not the means or connections to make it without the intense preparation that Prep for Prep engenders.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2004

    The Best Book Known to Mankind

    We are Prep for Prep alumnae and we are proud of our founder for writing this amazing book. It made us cry with happiness and pride.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2003

    A definite must read!

    As a graduate of Prep, I am glad that Mr. Simons has decided to let some of my fellow Prep alumni talk about how Prep has changed their lives and given them the opportunities that they could only dream of. Anyone that has been through the program can tell you how difficult it seemed at times, but the rewards are so worth it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2003

    A must read

    This is book that everyone should read especially young adults going into college. Reading the experiences of the writers of this book are throughly inspiring and encouraging to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2003

    Excellent Documentation

    This book is important in providing evidence of Prep for Prep/Prep 9's value in transforming lives and raising up a new generation of leaders whom I am sure will be the ones to bring social and political change to make America a better place. This is truly a testament of how one person's dream can become a reality lived out in the lives of all Prep for Prep alumni. A great book and a must read!

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