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However, Tough’s portrayal of Geoffrey Canada’s passion to change the prevailing perspective that I share with millions of other people in America made me sit up in awe, curious to find out if his grand plans for Harlem’s children will work. His promising idea begins with very early interventions, even as early as from the womb, and to empower parents with the right skills to raise their children well. Canada is interested in combining educational, social, and medical services to help all children to grow up with the right foundations regardless of their family’s socio-economic status (4). He envisions that the only way to solve the problem of poverty in America is to “transform every aspect of the environment that poor children were growing up in; to change the way their families raised them and the way their schools taught them as well as the character of the neighborhood that surrounded them” (19-20). It would seem like a tall order, but come to think of it, it does make sense to start a-fresh with people who are appropriately trained to combat poverty as they grow up to be intelligent, compassionate and productive citizens.
My mindset before reading this book was that it is society’s fault that poverty is so widespread. The cause of the deterioration of morals is mainly due to people’s need to acquire their basic needs from a society that does not give them enough opportunities to live a high quality of life just because they are poor and uneducated.
This book has caused in me a paradigm shift that problems should be addressed from the grassroots level, in this case, from childhood or earlier on. To be dependent on society or government would only be setting oneself for failure if one does not do anything out of his own initiative. Children should develop their skills early on so they can be self-reliant. Tough echoes this: “Skill begets skill; learning begets learning. Early disadvantage, if left
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