Cover image for One day, all children ... : the unlikely triumph of Teach for America and what I learned along the way
One day, all children ... : the unlikely triumph of Teach for America and what I learned along the way
Kopp, Wendy.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : PublicAffairs, [2001]

Physical Description:
187 pages ; 22 cm
Reading Level:
1170 Lexile.
Personal Subject:
Corporate Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LB1776.2 .K67 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The inspiring story of one young activist's visionary effort to revitalize the United States' neediest schools. As a 21-year-old college senior, Wendy Kopp decided to transform the education system in America. From her dorm room at Princeton University, she set about creating Teach For America, a programme that sends outstanding college graduates to teach for two years in the most dilapidated and under-resourced urban and rural public schools in the United States. Since the first group of teachers entered classrooms in 1990, over 5000 TFA corps members have been placed in teaching positions all over the country. With their astonishing classroom success, these young teachers have proven that it is possible for children in low-income areas to reach the same level of academic achievement as children in more privileged areas. One Day, All Children tells the remarkable story of one young woman's tenacious grasp on a seemingly impossible dream.

Author Notes

Wendy Kopp is the founder and president of Teach For America. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

When she was a senior in college, the author had an ambitious idea: Why not try to find a way to extend education to everyone in the U.S., not just the people who can afford to attend school? Teach for America was born, a program that places college graduates in underfunded public schools, where they spend a couple of years passing on their knowledge to people who might otherwise never have a chance to obtain it. In the past decade, 5,000 Teach for America members have been scattered across the country, helping demonstrate that kids who live in impoverished areas can be just as successful academically as anyone else. Kopp recounts their stories in vivid detail in this moving memoir. In an age when we hear constantly about what is wrong with education, the story of Teach for America--a real-life fairy tale in which an impossible dream came true--provides an uplifting, even inspiring, change of pace.--David Pitt

Publisher's Weekly Review

"If at the time I had understood the importance of ensuring the necessary funds before moving forward with new ideas, Teach for America would never have been born in the first place," writes Kopp in this impassioned account of how what started 10 years ago as her bold college thesis has become a pioneering educational program . Her plan to create a national teacher corps by recruiting top college graduates to work in the neediest school districts across the U.S. led to the development of a solidly financed nonprofit organization that has placed more than 5,000 teachers, many of whom have achieved extraordinary academic results. But Kopp's primary aim in this frank, winning and well-timed book is to share what she's learned about bringing underprivileged and underperforming students up to par. For example, she argues that just giving them the same resources that privileged students have is not enough; teachers and administrators need to put in the extra time it takes to change these students' attitudes about their own capability for achieving success. When it comes to structuring and managing schools, she asserts that schools should recruit teachers from a variety of disciplines not just those with degrees in education give them the support they need, pay them well and encourage them to push their students to fulfill their highest potential, which is often far beyond any arbitrary measure of achievement. As an outsider, Kopp has brought a fresh approach to the educational process that has proved effective; her inspiring story will challenge schools and professional educators to take notice, while motivating college seniors and recent graduates to join her team. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Kopp's dream as a college senior ten years ago was to commit two years to teaching at a public school in a low-income urban or rural area. She turned this seeming pipe dream into reality by mobilizing members of her generation to form a corps of graduates called Teach for America (TFA). Since 1990, some 5000 TFA members have been placed into teaching positions in 13 states, drawing high praise from participating communities. In this revealing account, Kopp invites the reader to learn what it took to overcome the endless challenges while describing some of the most difficult as well as funniest moments from the past ten years. This kind of accomplishment rarely adequately celebrated proves that excellence is possible. Recommended for all collections on education reform as well as volunteer movements. Leroy Hommerding, Fort Myers Beach P.L., FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
1 The Thesisp. 3
2 Suspending the Laws of the Universep. 13
3 When Idealism Isn't Enoughp. 49
4 New Ideasp. 73
5 The Dark Yearsp. 77
6 Big Decisionsp. 103
7 Reaching the Light at the End of the Tunnelp. 115
8 Upward Spiralp. 127
9 Taking Stockp. 147
10 Realizing the Visionp. 157
11 The Decade Aheadp. 181