Born to Rise: A Story of Children and Teachers Reaching Their Highest Potential
Deborah Kenny was a young mother of three small children, seeking to make sense of her life's purpose amid the despair of her husband's untimely death, when she decided to devote herself to radically reinventing public education. "Born to Rise" recounts a journey that led Kenny to risk her life savings to open schools in Harlem while proving that even children living in poverty could learn at a high level. Students enter Harlem Village Academies several years behind grade level, but in just a few years they are transformed, ranking number one in New York State - and among the highest in the nation - with 100 percent of eighth graders meeting proficiency standards in math, science and social studies. How did they do it? Now, for the first time, Kenny shares the groundbreaking strategy that took ten years to develop: how to revolutionize schools by changing workplace culture.
She reveals the secret to creating a powerful culture that attracts the most talented people and brings out their passion and highest performance - a culture that produces stunning student achievement results, sky-high parent satisfaction, and teachers who regularly use words like "in love" and "magical" to describe the workplace environment. "Born to Rise" is the moving and strikingly honest account of Kenny's deeply personal dream: to pursue social justice for our nation's most vulnerable children. Part memoir, part manifesto, it is a hopeful and practical exposition of what it takes to create schools, where the staff lights up with entrepreneurial drive, and where students are nurtured, challenged, and inspired to reach their highest potential. It is a must-read for anyone who cares about children and the future of this country, as well as for leaders who want to understand how to motivate their employees.