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Download The Bridge to Brilliance: How One Principal in a Tough Community Is Inspiring the World Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Bridge to Brilliance: How One Principal in a Tough Community Is Inspiring the World Audiobook, by Rebecca Paley Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rebecca Paley, Nadia Lopez Narrator: Nadia Lopez, Adenrele Ojo Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2016 ISBN: 9780451485335
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The inspirational account of the creation of a pathbreaking inner-city middle school in Brooklyn, New York, by the magnetic young principal who rocketed to national fame via Humans of New York

When thirteen-year-old Vidal Chastanet told photographer Brandon Stanton that his principal ,“Ms. Lopez,” was the person who most influenced his life, it was the pebble that started a whirlwind for Nadia Lopez and her small, new public school in one of Brooklyn’s most wretched communities. The posting on Stanton’s wildly popular site Humans of New York (HONY) went mega-viral. Lopez—not long before on the verge of quitting—found herself in the national spotlight and headed for a meeting with Obama, as well as the beneficiary of a million-dollar IndieGoGo campaign for the school. Here is her first-person account of what it took to get to that moment.

Mott Hall Bridges Academy isn’t just a hallway inside a typically underserved public school in one of New York City’s most underprivileged communities—it is a school that glows with energy and excitement. Lopez tells the kids every day that they’re extraordinary and that she loves them. When trouble stirs, she asks: “Would I have been proud to see what happened in that classroom? No? Then why did it happen?” She tells her teachers: “Don’t tell me our scholars can’t learn; because if you can’t teach them, then I’ll come teach your class for a couple of weeks.”

Everything was an uphill battle—to get the school launched, to recruit faculty and students, to solve a million new problems every day, from violent crime to vanishing supplies, but Lopez illustrates how leadership often means just picking the right people to support you. In middle school, one year lost with an unengaged teacher is a year that can send a kid down a terrible path. And then, of course, there is the educational system itself, how “teaching to the test” is an enormous problem, particularly in schools with kids who are already disadvantaged and underprepared.

The Bridge to Brilliance is a book filled with common sense and caring that will carry her message to classrooms far from Brooklyn. As she says, modestly, “There are hundreds of Ms. Lopezes around this country doing good work for kids. This honors all of them.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Offers a valuable depiction of what it takes for principals and teachers to reach children in the most troubled communities…[Lopez’s] book will give readers even more reasons to ask what we as a society are doing to support the thousands of educators who labor in obscurity, trying to help the nation’s most vulnerable children.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Any devoted educator or engaged student will recognize Adenrele Ojo’s voice: empathetic, emphatic, and passionate. In other words, Ojo’s voice sounds like that of a fine teacher. This quality is appropriate for a performance that captures Lopez’s experience as an acclaimed principal…Ojo’s performance is precise and clear. Her interpretation is true to the intent of any diligent educator; she is caring yet focused as she bends her voice around extraordinary episodes on Mott Hall Bridges Academy…This audiobook is enjoyable, especially for those who appreciate an inspiring story.”

    AudioFile

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About the Author

Rebecca Paley is a Brooklyn-based author whose work on beauty, culture, and fashion has appeared in the New York Times, People, and numerous books.

About the Narrator

Adenrele Ojo is an actress, dancer, and audiobook narrator, winner of over a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards for narration. She made her onscreen debut in My Little Girl, starring Jennifer Lopez, and has since starred in several other films. She has also performed extensively with the Philadelphia Dance Company. She works as the general manager of Tupu Kweli Theatre Company in New York.