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Parkside-Kenilworth wins Promise grant

A Ward 7 community that aspires to create the District's version of the Harlem Children's Zone won a $500,000 "Promise Neighborhood" grant from the U.S. Department of Education Tuesday to move closer to that goal. Parkside-Kenilworth is one of 21 communities nationwide that received a total of $10 million in seed money to help duplicate Geoffrey Canada's Harlem initiative, designed to provide a seamless web of social and educational services for low-income children and families from birth through college.

The D.C. effort is headed by Irasema Salcido, CEO of Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools, which operates a middle and high school campus in Parkside. Salcido has assembled a coalition of local and national players, including DCPS, Children's National Medical Center, Community College of the District of Columbia and America's Promise Alliance to invest in the neighborhood -- which is actually five distinct neighborhoods with 2,000 poor children. City Interests, a D.C. development company, wants to build 1500 units of mixed income housing linked to the Minnesota Ave. Metro station by a pedestrian bridge over I-295. A philanthropy run by the daughter of billionaire investor Warren Buffett wants to open an early-childhood education center adjacent to Neval Thomas Elementary School.

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By Bill Turque  | September 21, 2010; 6:38 PM ET
 
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Comments

I wonder if they provide psychological help for the children and their families also. That would be great!

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 22, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Educationlover54:

I believe it would offer psychological services, if it is patterned after Canada's Harlem Zone. Canada also was on the panel with Rhee following the screening of "Waiting for Superman," last week when she made the "devastating" remark. Canada also has been featured on 60 Minutes.

Even though I find the "reform" movement shallow on many levels, Canada actually might be approaching it with some depth, and might not want to be lumped in the same category as Rhee and Co. His Harlem Zone has most of the wrap around services in his schools,based on what I've read about it, so that the students are fully serviced and most of the problems are addressed BEFORE the students arrive in the classroom. With that kind of attention to detail and comprehensive approach to addressing the social, economic, financial, and psychological needs of the students, he has a right to demand high performance from his teachers with few objections. He obviously does not expect them to be baby sitters -- he puts in place all the other professionals to eradicate issues that might derail progress in the classroom.

I actually like what I see of Canada and, though he often is mentioned as a Rhee-form type, I think it would be a mistake to view him through those lens, even though he is a leader of a charter school.

Posted by: vscribe | September 23, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

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