Be the Dream: Prep for Prep Graduates Share Their Stories

Be the Dream: Prep for Prep Graduates Share Their Stories


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Be the Dream: Prep for Prep Graduates Share Their Stories by Gary Simons

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781565124172
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date: 07/15/2003
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 231,865
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.06(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About 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.

Table of Contents

An Autobiographical Vignette: "To Infinity and Beyond"xi
An Open Letter to Future Generations of Stickball Players at 112 Nagle Avenue from a Trinity School Eighth-Grader13
The Scent of Sawdust18
Going Home28
M'Ethangatha's Gift31
II.The Culture of Prep37
"Esos Muchachos!"41
Prep for Prep and the Construction of Meaningful Democracy53
The Test59
III.Lessons Learned Well and Early75
"I'm a Bidness Man!"79
Doing the Right Thing83
"I Am the Master of My Fate; I Am the Captain of My Soul"91
Fifty Bucks in Your Pocket103
IV.A Place to Belong115
Who's That Smiling Through My Face?119
Questions and Answers123
Golden Boy140
V.The Me Inside of Me147
Heroes and Saviors Need Not Apply151
Staking My Claim171
VI.Navigating the Identity Rapids181
Chasing the Dream185
The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side191
Reflections on the Life of a Young Ambassador198
The Party203
The Inner Work of Carving a Self209
VII.Prep for Life215
"Get on the Bus with a Dog on Its Side"219
Telling the Truth236
A Moral Compass239
Making Pilgrimage to Myself255
A Long Way from St. Ann's Bay271
The Journey of a Thousand Miles280
A Life Worth Living285
IX.Making a Difference295
Julio and I299
Why Is It Okay to Kill Cockroaches but Not Minks?309
Three Moments in the Life316
Interventions with Power327
In the Words of Young Children353
Speech Delivered at Commencement354
Speech Delivered at Commencement358
Submission to the Be the Dream Essay Contest: "Breaking Down a Wall"361
History, Mission & Philosophy of Prep for Prep363
Prep for Prep Participating Schools375

What People are Saying About This

Jonathan Kozol

Intensely moving.. the beautiful stories in this work remind us of the many millions who are left behind.
author, Savage Inequalities

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

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