East New York

Author of book on charter school movement to speak in Brooklyn

Brooklyn BookBeat: ‘A Light Shines in Harlem’ Pays Homage to Movement’s Brooklyn Roots; BPL Event Slated for Nov. 12

October 30, 2015 By Samantha Samel Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Award-winning journalist Mary C. Bounds will speak about her book “A Light Shines in Harlem” on Nov. 12 at the Brooklyn Public Library. Photo courtesy of Mary C. Bounds
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“A Light Shines in Harlem” (Lawrence Hill Books), by award-winning journalist Mary C. Bounds, explores the charter school movement and its formative years in New York in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The state’s first such schools, which came into existence in 1999 in Manhattan, were actually based upon an after-school program in the East New York section of Brooklyn.  

Bounds will appear in Brooklyn to speak about her book on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch (the Dweck Cultural Center at 10 Grand Army Plaza).  

In her book, Bounds tells the story of financier Steven Klinsky, who wanted to honor his older brother, who had succumbed to a rare congenital disease at the age of 29, in a way that furthered the family’s intense interest in education. In 1993, Klinsky teamed up with Brooklyn Community Services to start the Gary Klinsky Children’s Center at P.S. 149 in East New York, which provided local students with an extra three hours of fun, “clubhouse”-style academic study at the end of each school day.  

The program rapidly expanded to other public schools around Brooklyn, and has now served thousands of students over the past 20 years. When the New York charter school law was passed in the late `90s, Klinsky saw it as a way to extend the benefits of the Brooklyn after-school model into the full school day. He was instrumental in the creation of the Sisulu-Walker School in Harlem, one of the three original charter schools in New York and the only one that has survived. While the book focuses on the early years of the Harlem school, it pays homage to the Brooklyn roots of the movement.

Bounds will also appear for readings on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 3 p.m. at the Cambria Heights Library (218-13 Linden Blvd., Cambria Heights) and on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 11 a.m. at the Langston Hughes Public Library (100-01 Northern Blvd. in Corona).

Attendance is free of charge. Books will be available for sale and signing. Additional information about the book is available at www.alightshinesinharlem.com.


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