Tell Them We Are Rising: A Memoir of Faith in Education

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tell them we are rising

"The inspiring story of how one woman gave back."?Ed Bradley

"This is a heartwarming story about struggle, survival, and achieve ment. If we didn't know people like this in our lives, we would want to invent ...

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1997 Hardcover First Edition; First Printing New in New dust jacket 0471126799. Has bookplate of the mayre foundation on f. E. P.; Mylar covered; 8vo 8"-9" tall; 224 pages.

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Tell Them We Are Rising: A Memoir of Faith in Education

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Overview

tell them we are rising

"The inspiring story of how one woman gave back."—Ed Bradley

"This is a heartwarming story about struggle, survival, and achieve ment. If we didn't know people like this in our lives, we would want to invent them. What more could one ask? A good story told with a deft hand."—William H. Gray III President, United Negro College Fund

"An inspiring account of an African American educator determined to make a difference in the lives of indifferent students."—Kirkus Reviews

"Tell Them We Are Rising is a wonderful, inspiring story of service, commitment, generosity, love, and hope. It is written with the humor, wisdom, and grace of a bygone era, yet spiced with the ultramodern savvy and the future-oriented vision of a twenty-year-old. What an extraordinary woman! What an extraordinary life!"—Chaka Fattah U.S. Representative (Pennsylvania)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1988, Hayre, a retired educator and school administrator, told an audience of parents and teachers at a graduation ceremony at an elementary school in inner-city Philadelphia that she would cover the tuition of every child in the class who graduated from high school and was accepted at an accredited college. She called her program "Tell Them We Are Rising"a quote from one of her ancestorsand called the children her Risers. The book, coauthored with Moore, a member of the editorial board of the Philadelphia Inquirer, is divided into two parts: the story of Hayre's life and career in education and an account of the Risers program. Though her life story is inspiring, it would have profited from lengthier treatment; many important and interesting events are dealt with only briefly. But the second half is riveting. Hayre stayed personally involved with the Risers during their school years, setting up weekly "Risers' Club" meetings and a mentoring program. The book presents the children's individual stories and reports in a clear-eyed manner on the triumphs and failures of the program. Throughout, Hayre's personal philosophy of life and of education shows through. If at times her tone seems a bit arch, one feels she's earned the right to be blunt. Highly recommended. (July)
Library Journal
In a "freedom school" in Atlanta after the Civil War, former Union Army general Oliver O. Howard, the school's benefactor, asked the students, "Now, what message shall I take back North?" One child, Richard Robert Wright, answered, "Sir, tell them we are rising." Three generations later, in 1988, that child's granddaughter, Ruth Wright Hayre, brought his response to life by pledging to provide college tuition for all 116 sixth graders from two elementary schools in Philadelphia. Hayre illustrates here her belief that a "key indicator for school success" is "the support and guidance of some significant adult," whether parent or mentor. She shares her joys and sorrows in recounting the experiences of the original 116 students during the six years in which she served as their mentor. This is a story of the belief that one person can make a difference. An inspiring account; recommended for most education collections.Annelle R. Huggins, Memphis State Univ. Libs.
Kirkus Reviews
An inspiring if simplistic account of an African-American educator determined to make a difference in the lives of indifferent students.

Hayre tells two stories here. The first—of her years as teacher, principal, administrator, college professor, and president of the Philadelphia Board of Education—is too sketchy to be of much value. But the unfolding story of the "Tell Them We Are Rising" program deserves a wide readership. At age 80, in June 1988, Hayre met with 116 Philadelphia sixth-graders and promised them that she would pay their college tuition if they graduated from high school. During the next six years, 22 became unwed mothers, 5 had run-ins with the criminal-justice system, and 16 dropped out. None of this is surprising, since, she notes, "poverty, violence, and abuse informed the geography" of a substantial percentage of the Risers, who live in "the grip of a culture that ranks instant gratification above delayed rewards." What is impressive, though, is how the intervention of one remarkable person, along with mentors and parents, made a difference in the lives of so many. Khalil, for example, born heroin-addicted, abandoned by both parents, and left back in school twice, began getting As and Bs, and was accepted at Morehouse College. Hayre learns many valuable lessons from her Risers. They include the importance of finding alternative methods for educating at-risk youth; the value of establishing one-to-one relationships with caring, responsible adults; the necessity for parental involvement; and not least, the need for such inventive programs as "Tell Them We Are Rising." (Coauthor Moore is on the editorial board of the Philadelphia Inquirer.)

The author can be a little too harsh on teachers, as when she implies that they need to be held more accountable for the anger and indifference felt by so many black males. But here she offers a clear plan, hope, and a challenge to inner-city youth and their educators.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471126799
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/1997
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

RUTH WRIGHT HAYRE (1910-1998) was the first full-time African American teacher in the Philadelphia public school system, the first African American senior high school principal, and the first female president of the Philadelphia Board of Education. For her advocacy programs in support of urban teenagers in Philadelphia, Ms. Hayre received honors and awards from dozens of local and national organizations, including the University of Pennsylvania and the NAACP.

ALEXIS MOORE is a journalist and a member of the editorial board of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Table of Contents

"Tell Them We Are Rising." Root and Branch: The Family Tree.
My Educational Odyssey.
A Philadelphia Story.
The Climb to the Boardroom.
Not What We Give but What We Share.
The Leap of Faith.
Getting to Know You.
The Mentors.
The Pregnancy Problem.
Mission Accomplished.
The Risers.
What I Have Learned.
A Last Word.
Index.
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