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Unlocking the keys to grit, perseverance and student success

The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel – Alan J. Borsuk

I had an interesting challenge Thursday morning. I was invited to talk for 10 minutes to about 40 kids taking part in a summer day program at All Peoples Church, 2600 N. 2nd St. The program is called Camp Umoja (Swahili for “unity”) and it’s run by a Milwaukee nonprofit called Unity in Motion. The campers ranged from early elementary through high school ages. They spend their days doing a variety of academic and nonacademic things, with an emphasis on reading. I decided to tell them a few things based on a book I read recently (which I’ve been intending to discuss in this space also). Paul Tough’s book, “How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character,” played a big part in making “grit” a buzzword in education circles when it was published in 2012. The book spurred discussion of whether and how traits such as determination, resilience and optimism can be instilled in children. Tough, an author and former New York Times writer and editor, came out with a follow-up book a few weeks ago called “Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why.” It surveys what research suggests about how children develop these valuable traits.”(more)

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