For the Children

Madeline Cartwright, Author, Michael D'Orso, With Doubleday Books $19.95 (257p) ISBN 978-0-385-42372-4
What the inner-city kids needed from the Blaine Elementary School in Philadelphia's Strawberry Mansion district was more than just education--it was food, health care, clean clothes and stability. Told with the aid of D'Orso, a reporter for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot , Cartwright describes her 1979 appointment as principal of the crumbling school with underserved minority children, apathetic parents and a faculty with low expectations. An African American woman motivated by her own early struggles for an education and by an unshakable belief in the restorative powers of love for children, she was unafraid to tackle personally such problems as dirty bathrooms and a cockroach infestation. She had washing and sewing machines installed in the school, involved the children in their school's upkeep and made Blaine an oasis for those whom community resources had failed. Although self-congratulatory in tone, this principal shows that there is hope for even the most seemingly hopeless schools. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
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