A suggestion for Geoffry Canada
Sent to the NY Times, October 12
Geoffrey Canada is doing in Harlem should be done in all schools: Give all children the advantages middle-class children have ("Lauded Harlem Schools Have Their Own Problems," October 12).
Mr. Canada recognizes that poverty is the problem, a view supported by studies showing that American children from middle-class homes attending well-funded schools have among the highest test scores in the world.
Mr. Canada has identified some crucial factors: health care and safety. Here is another: Children of poverty have little access to books at home, in school, and in their communities, which means they do little reading on their own, which is a major reason their school achievement is low.
Test scores of Harlem Children's Zone schools have been disappointing. Improved school and classroom libraries with books children like to read, time set aside for free reading, and librarians who understand children and children's literature could change this dramatically.