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Confronting Racism, Poverty, and Power

Classroom Strategies to Change the World

By Cathy Compton-Lilly
Foreword by Patrick Shannon

Catherine's book will challenge your assumptions and practices, helping you build on the positive things children add to the classroom, and demonstrating how teachers can and should act to close the academic gap.

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Myth # 1 Parents are content to live off welfare.
Myth # 2 Parents are caught in a cycle of poverty.
Myth # 3 Poor households are vacant of print.

These are among the many myths about poor and diverse families. Catherine Compton-Lilly refutes them with the best data available—the lives of her students and their parents. But she doesn't simply dispel the myths. She demonstrates how teachers can and should act to close the academic gap for which families are largely blamed.

Compton-Lilly represents children and adults who confront racism, poverty, and power on a daily basis. They are people whose brains function well, who display keen moral character, and who belong to cultures that support learning of all sorts. And they bring to their home and the classroom many strengths, including a wealth of knowledge and experience about literacy. Compton-Lilly draws on her research into the role of family and urban life to debunk the assumptions about poor and diverse populations. Then she offers specific instructional strategies and practical critical literacy projects that connect families and communities to classrooms and schools. These projects work particularly well with urban learners. They also can be adapted to recognize or respond to any kind of community in which a school is based.

Both thought-provoking and action-oriented, Compton-Lilly's book will challenge your assumptions and practices. It will help you build on the positive things children add to the classroom. It will help all of us recognize the contributions of parents in ways that respect their experiences and their lives.

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