Her learning marked her as different in her neighborhood and her home. And that was the conundrum she presented to the benefactor driving her home for summer break from the last day of school on Thursday.
Her family lives in one of the roughest housing projects in Washington, D.C. But for the past three years, the 15-year-old ninth-grader has been attending the SEED School in that city, which meant she lived at the school five days a week, except in the summer. It is a boarding school of the type that a core group of influential Milwaukeeans wants to establish here — providing remedial and college-prep, wraparound services that cocoon students from tough family and neighborhood circumstances so that they may better acquire the academic and life skills to succeed.
This girl represents one of the reasons Milwaukee and state leaders should get behind this proposal, contributing to a capital campaign that must raise $30 million to $60 million in private money and injecting a commitment in the governor’s upcoming budget for direct state funding in 2011.
“Ms. Poole, I’m concerned,” the girl said, as Lesley Poole, the schools director of student life, tells it on the day it happened. “I think I’m getting smarter and know more than anyone in my house, and that’s unfair to my mom. I know more words than she does. . . . I can out talk her.”