This and that…

November 18, 2008

I want to share a book…

Filed under: education,Post-secondary,Support Services,Vermont Tech — learningspecialist @ 11:31 pm

The last few weeks, I have been reflecting on  the work of Ruby Payne and how her research might inform our practice at the post-secondary level. Recently I heard Mary Childers, author of Welfare Brat: A Memoir speak at a conference, and I have since finished her book. It is  much like reading a first person account of Payne’s research.

A review from the American Library Association:

“Childers describes her journey from a childhood growing up on welfare in the Bronx, one of seven children with four different fathers, to her life as a consultant with a Ph.D. in English literature. Her family had no phone and occasionally no electricity, and little food; and their mother often disappeared, leaving Mary in charge of her younger siblings. Something in Mary and her sister, Joan, makes them realize that they must break the cycle of poverty, and that the key is education. Mary is placed in accelerated programs, completing junior high in one year, and entering high school in 1966 in the tenth grade. Along the way she babysits to earn her own money, joins a gang until she perceives their hatred of minorities, experiences racial hatred herself after Martin Luther King’s assassination, and eventually gets a full scholarship to a small college in western New York. Remarkably free of bitterness as she matures, Childers begins to focus on how hard her mother tried, instead of how often she failed.”

Deborah Donovan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

I recommend the book as vacation reading. Have a wonderful, healing and happy Thanksgiving!



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