Tell Them We Are Rising: A Memoir of Faith in Education

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John Wiley & Sons, Jan 6, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 224 pages
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Ruth Wright Hayre grew up in a close, genteel family that had prized learning since the days of the Civil War. At age ten, her grandfather, Richard Robert Wright, led by his remarkable mother, marched 200 miles to attend a school for emancipated slaves in a discarded railroad boxcar in Atlanta. When Union General Oliver Otis Howard came to the classroom and asked what message he should take back north, young Richard responded, in the famous exchange immortalized by poet John Greenleaf Whittier, "Sir, tell them we are rising." More than a century later, Ruth Wright Hayre, like her great-grandmother, would lead children on a life-changing journey to learning. After a distinguished career as a teacher, principal, administrator, college professor, and finally as a member and president of the Philadelphia Board of Education, Hayre's faith in the power of education inspired her to take on her greatest challenge - to create the "Tell Them We Are Rising" program. With that program she issued a challenge of her own to the sixth-graders in two schools in Philadelphia's grittiest neighborhoods: graduate from high school, and she would pay their college tuition. This is the story of the family and traditions that inspired that phenomenal gift, which took 116 boys and girls through six years of public school life on the wings of one woman's determination to make a difference in their lives.

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TELL THEM WE ARE RISING: A Memoir of Faith in Education

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An inspiring if simplistic account of an African-American educator determined to make a difference in the lives of indifferent students. Hayre tells two stories here. The first—of her years as ... Read full review

Tell them we are rising: a memoir of faith in education

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In a "freedom school" in Atlanta after the Civil War, former Union Army general Oliver O. Howard, the school's benefactor, asked the students, "Now, what message shall I take back North?" One child ... Read full review

Contents

Tell Them We Are Rising
1
The Family Tree
19
My Educational Odyssey
37
A Philadelphia Story
49
The Climb to the Boardroom
71
Not What We Give but What We Share
89
The Leap of Faith
95
Getting to Know You
107
The Mentors
129
The Pregnancy Problem
145
Mission Accomplished
155
The Risers
163
What I Have Learned
183
A Final Word
197
Index
199
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About the author (1999)

RUTH WRIGHT HAYRE (1910-1998) was the first full-time African American teacher in the Philadelphia public school system, the first African American senior high school principal, and the first female president of the Philadelphia Board of Education. For her advocacy programs in support of urban teenagers in Philadelphia, Ms. Hayre received honors and awards from dozens of local and national organizations, including the University of Pennsylvania and the NAACP.

ALEXIS MOORE is a journalist and a member of the editorial board of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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