In the Deep Heart's Core by Michael Johnston

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Since its inception in 1990, Teach for America has educated more than a million students in low-income school districts across the nation, winning praise from leaders and activists across the political spectrum and recently being hailed by President Bush as a model for public service in the twenty-first century. In the Deep Heart's Core is the story of one young man's experience in the TFA program -- and the story of how a new generation is reaching out to give hope to the students society has forgotten. In 1997, Michael Johnston joined the Teach for America program and went to the rural Mississippi Delta -- the "deep heart's core of the South" -- to become an English teacher in one of the poorest school districts in the nation. At Greenville High School he would come face-to-face with a racially divided world in which his African-American students had to struggle daily against a legacy of crippling poverty and the scourges of drug addiction and gang violence. Johnston tells the story of his own education as a teacher through the experiences of the students whose lives he touched and inspired along the way -- from a charismatic class clown whose window of opportunity for earning a diploma is quickly shutting, to a vocational carpentry student who comes to find his voice as a writer -- and how they would inspire him to devote his life to public service. Compassionate, eloquent, and profoundly moving, In the Deep Heart's Core is an unforgettable book. "A compelling and important moral witness to education efforts today." -- Robert Coles

About Michael Johnston

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Johnston earned a master's degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he cofounded New Leaders for New Schools, an educational nonprofit that recruits and trains principals to place in at-risk urban schools.
Published August 6, 2003 by Grove Press. 240 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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What makes Johnston's account noteworthy is his ability to move beyond making generalizations about impoverished schools and students.

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