Be the Dream: Prep for Prep Graduates Share Their Stories

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Gary Simons
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 374 pages
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Twenty-five years ago, an elementary school teacher in the Bronx had a vision: No bright, determined, spirited child should be left behind because of the circumstances of race or poverty. Out of that vision, Prep for Prep was born, to identify gifted children and provide them access to a first-rate education. Thousands of these students have graduated from America's most demanding universities and gone on to become leaders in their communities. Thirty-five of them have written about the experience - an experience that changed their lives. Their stories offer indisputable proof that education empowers people to do great things

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About the author (2003)

Gary Simons founded Prep for Prep in 1978 and served as executive director until June 30, 2002. During those years, he turned a 25-student program into one with over 2,600 students and alumni. Mr. Simons, now vice chairman of Prep for Prep, is currently focusing on ways that the organization can serve a larger number of deserving young people, while developing an updated curriculum that can be offered to students beyond Prep's own ranks. Mr. Simons earned a B.A., cum laude, in history from Harpur College (now SUNY Binghamton) and a masters degree in psychology from Teacher's College, Columbia University. While at Teacher's College, he was appointed a fellow in the Graduate Leadership Education Project in Gifted Education; it was as a Fellow, and under the guise of fieldwork (and the auspices of Teachers College), that he launched Prep for Prep. While at Teachers College, Mr. Simons continued to teach full-time at P.S. 140 in the South Bronx. During a 12-year period, he taught each of the elementary grades.

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