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Under-Resourced Learners


A carefully selected set of books to enlighten and inform readers on the many issues faced by children from under-resourced environments. Understanding cultural difference, racial bias, and economic disadvantage is essential.  

No one can go back and make a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.

Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Rodney faced incredible hardships in the foster care system and coping with family drug problems and violence. But through sheer determination and the support of some key mentors, Rodney was able to reach for new heights as an entrepreneur and a Yale University graduate.

A New Day One is Rodney’s story of triumph over adversity, filled with valuable principles and life lessons that are sure to inspire readers into action. This story highlights the importance of caring, reliable, long-term mentors and the good such people can bring into the lives of young people facing serious adversities. A “must read,” for all Crossover Academic Mentors and Tutors.

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Bridges Out of Poverty is a unique and powerful tool designed specifically for social, health, and legal services professionals. Based in part on Dr. Ruby K. Payne's myth shattering A Framework for Understanding Poverty, Bridges Out of Poverty reaches out to the millions of service providers and businesses whose daily work connects them with the lives of people in poverty. In a highly readable format you'll find case studies, detailed analysis, helpful charts and exercises, and specific solutions. Crossover Mission works with youth deeply affected by generational poverty. A thorough understanding of the hidden rules of generational poverty will improve your effort to partner with them to create opportunities for academic success. If you do not have time to read the book, this "Poverty Series" PDF may be helpful. It is aimed at teachers but hits most of the main points, though not as thoroughly as the book.

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After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment. Watch Dr. Carol Dweck's TED talk on mindsets available on the Videos page.

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In Sparks, Dr. Peter Benson, a leading authority on childhood and adolescence, describes a simple yet powerful plan for awakening the spark that lives inside each and every young person. Sparks—when illuminated and nurtured—give young people joy, energy, and direction. They have the power to change a young person’s life from one of “surviving” to “thriving.” Grounded in new research with thousands of teenagers and parents, Sparks offers a step-by-step approach to helping teenagers discover their unique gifts, and works for all families, no matter their economic status, parenting situation, or ethnic background. Watch Dr. Benson's TED talk about the value of helping young people discover and develop their "spark." Available on the Videos page.

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Why do some children succeed while others fail? The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs. But in How Children Succeed, Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter more have to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, optimism, and self-control.

How Children Succeed introduces us to a new generation of researchers and educators, who, for the first time, are using the tools of science to peel back the mysteries of character. Through real-life stories—and the stories of the children that educators and parents are trying to help—Tough reveals how this new knowledge can transform young people’s lives. He uncovers the surprising ways in which parents do—and do not—prepare their children for adulthood. And he provides us with new insights into how to improve the lives of children growing up in poverty.

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In a handful of nations, virtually all children are learning to make complex arguments and solve problems they’ve never seen before. They are learning to think, in other words, and to thrive in the modern economy. Inspired to find answers for our own children, author and Time magazine journalist Amanda Ripley follows three Americans embedded in these countries for one year. 

How do other countries create “smarter” kids? What is it like to be a child in the world’s new education superpowers? The Smartest Kids in the World “gets well beneath the glossy surfaces of these foreign cultures and manages to make our own culture look newly strange....The question is whether the startling perspective provided by this masterly book can also generate the will to make changes” (The New York Times Book Review).

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Nineteenth-century African American businessman, activist, and educator Booker Taliaferro Washington's Up from Slavery is one of the greatest American autobiographies ever written. Its mantras of black economic empowerment, land ownership, and self-help inspired generations of black leaders. 

In rags-to-riches fashion, Washington recounts his climb from early life as a mulatto slave in Virginia to a 34-year term as president of the influential, agriculturally based Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Born into slavery, Booker T. Washington was freed when he is nine years old. To help support his family, he worked as a salt packer, coal miner, and house servant. All the while, he longed to become educated and to educate others. Poverty, racism, and other obstacles stood in his way, but he overcame them all.

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In 1949, Florida's orange industry was booming, and citrus barons got rich on the backs of cheap Jim Crow labor. To maintain order and profits, they turned to Willis V. McCall, a violent sheriff who ruled Lake County with murderous resolve. When a white seventeen-year-old Groveland girl cried rape, McCall was fast on the trail of four young blacks and determined to blame it on these young men who came to be known as "the Groveland Boys." 

And so began the chain of events that would bring Thurgood Marshall, the man known as "Mr. Civil Rights" and the most important American lawyer of the twentieth century, into the deadly fray. Drawing on a wealth of never-before-published material, including the FBI's unredacted Groveland case files, as well as unprecedented access to the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund files, Devil in the Grove is a must read for anyone wrestling with race relations in the South and the struggle that still persists today.

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Crossover Mission Training is a division of Ocean East Publishing. The compilation of materials contained on this web site are provided by Ocean East Publishing for use by Crossover Mission, Inc. employees, volunteers, and members.