Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer Reading: Whatever It Takes

Cheryl Pollock recommended this book at a collaboration presentation sponsored by the Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay late last year. In the presentation, Pollock shared the success of the Y’s Community Learning Center program at Sulfur Springs Elementary School. Before starting the program, after a year of research, the Y selected the Harlem Children's Zone, discussed in this book, as a model for the Sulfur Springs program. The Harlem Children's Zone is a community-based program that serves 17,000 children in a 100-block area of Harlem in New York City.

Except for the concept of finding board members with extremely deep pockets, you will not find any answers here about how to fund your programs. However, if you seek moral support for solving an enduring, multifaceted, challenging problem, which many nonprofits do, or if you wish to help end “the cycle of generational poverty”, Paul Tough’s book will give you insight into the thinking and actions of the Zone’s leader Geoffrey Canada. Along with sharing five years of investigation, the author who is the former editor of the New York Time Magazine, shares history, related research and the background story on recent efforts to end poverty.

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