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Schools of Hope: How Julius Rosenwald Helped Change African American Education

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  29 reviews
When Booker T. Washington, the famed African American educator, asked Julius Rosenwald, the wealthy president of Sears, Roebuck and Company and noted philanthropist, to help him build well-designed and fully equipped schools for black children, the face of education in the South changed for the better. It was the early 1900s, a time of discrimination, racial segregation, a ...more
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Calkins Creek (first published January 1st 2014)
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3.89  · 
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 ·  62 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Edward Sullivan
Great story about how the wealthy president of Sears, Roebuck and Company and noted philanthropist, heavily influenced by Booker T. Washington, spent millions of his fortune to help build thousands of well-designed and fully equipped schools for black children. His philanthropy also extended to funding black colleges and fellowships to students pursuing higher education. Accessibly written and handsomely designed. I wish the author the author discussed more in the detail the differing education ...more
Children's Literature Centre at FSU
This picture book is beautifully put together, and very informational. Norman H.Finkelstein tells the inspiring history of how Booker T. Washington, the famous African Americaneducator, convinced JuliusRosenwald, president of Sears, to support the building of more than 5,300 well-designed and well-equipped schools for African American students who didn’t previously have schools that were designed with their needs in mind. This book is very high quality, and I would recommend it to any teacher wh ...more
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not everyone would agree with Julius Rosewald's way of education for African American kids. At least he made a difference to thousands of Black students. He provided clean and well-equipped schools where students learn basic academics and vocational training. He even backed some students in higher learning for those who really want to be a doctor or lawyer. Of course, he provide some financial support. However, he got the local community to come together to get the rest of the finances and build ...more
Diego Leal
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Julius Rosenwald is a hero that I want to emulate because of his philanthropic endeavors. I like his style.
This was pretty good. I had never heard of the Rosenwald schools before this book, but in my defense, I am not from the South. I picked it up because the pictures looked interesting and so did the small quotes and statistics. It was an interesting read. At a time when separate but equal meant separate and not at all equal when it came to things like school books and heat and adequate teachers, Rosenwald set out to change all that. I liked that he didn't donate 100% of everything, instead he gave ...more
Whisper Poet
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Schools of Hope gives a different view of the era of segregation by looking at the state of education for African Americans before integration. I found this book to be a very inspiring look at cooperation between races at a time when that was rare. Booker T. Washington inspired Julius Rosenwald, head of Sears, Roebuck and Company, to be a major contributor to build adequate schools for African American children in the South. In turn, Rosenwald inspired communities to work together to raise funds ...more
Jul 08, 2014 rated it liked it
This book truly inspires in readers what it means to do good philanthropically, even mentioning that Gates and Buffet have followed in Rosenwald's footsteps pledging their earnings to charity. To me, the most profound was that he took that money and 1) wanted matching donations so that each community worked toward the goal, and 2) he wanted his money earned spent in his lifetime, not for future generations because it was his money-- that got me thinking about all the rich people in the world who ...more
Sep 23, 2014 rated it liked it
In the early decades of the previous century, conditions for African-American schools in the South were deplorable. Finkelstein reveals a largely untold history of how Booker T. Washington, the famous balck educator, convinced Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck and Company, to support the building of more than 5,300 well-designed and well-equipped schools for this population over the course of twenty years.

This is more than a story of an inspiring philanthropist, it is also a record
Jul 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Story of how Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck, created a charitable fund that provided money for more than 5,000 schools for rural blacks. A little similar to Andrew Carnegie's funding of public libraries, the Rosenwald fund required that money also be put up by local residents. They also provided fellowships for Arican Americans to go to college, and provided new books for libraries and teacher/librarian education. Fund ended 24 years after his death--at his request; he wanted othe ...more
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved the historical photos throughout the book. They depict the Rosenwald schools, the dilapidated buildings they were replacing, students and teachers, and pivotal figures in promoting the Rosenwald Fund activities. I had heard about these schools, but I had no idea how many of them were constructed. Another surprise was the Rosenwald Fund endowment program that supported such famous people as Marian Anderson in pursuing education and training in their chosen fields. Quotes from former stude ...more
Shaeley Santiago
Jun 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I learned a lot from this book about how Sears Roebuck leader, Julius Rosenwald, decided to give away his wealth and helped build thousands of schools for African Americans in the South at a time when education for blacks was not a high priority. His methodology of requiring the community to be involved in the process is a model to how development projects should be carried out. In that sense, this book connected to Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and P ...more
Penny Peck
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-ya
With large b&w photos on nearly every page, this is a quick read and will help young people grasp the importance of helping others. Sears Roebuck co-owner Julius Rosenwald took on the project of funding schools for African-American children in the Jim Crow South in the early 1900's, inspired by his friendship with Booker T. Washington. The schools were separate but at least they were fairly equal, built with local materials, large windows, room for shop classes, privies, and even rooms for t ...more
Diane Ferbrache
Aug 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
When Julius Rosenwald made his fortune as the president of Sears, Roebuck, he made a commitment to use his wealth to help others. One of his biggest influences was Booker T. Washington. When Rosenwald realized the conditions of schools for Black children, he created a foundation to fund educational opportunities and build schools. The result was a scholarship program that created doctors, lawyers, professors and artists, and build over 5,300 schools between 1912 and 1932 all across the South.
Jane Drabkin
Jun 12, 2014 rated it liked it
This tells the wonderful story of how and why Julius Rosenwald built schools in the African-American community in the early 1900s. The story is clearly written by Rosenwald's granddaughter. It is a remArkable story and she cites Rosenwald's writing as well as the words of students at the school. We don't learn much about who Rosenwald was as a person and we don't follow a particular school being built. I am not sure that this book will hold light a fire under students, but it is a good book for ...more
Annie Oosterwyk
Julius Rosenwald was the president of Sears and Roebuck when he made his millions. He generously gave back to humanity by funding worthy causes. One of those causes stemmed from his admiration of Booker T. Washington and his work at Tuskegee Institute. The outcome was partially funded schools for African Americans in the south. The community provided ~2/3 of the equity in their school, which increased their pride and investment in their communities. These schools tried to fill the gap in educati ...more
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others." Booker T. Washington

"Rural schools of all types are poor enough, but the rural negro schools are bad beyond comprehension." Julias Rosenwald

And with those words, he set out with the assistance of Booker T. Washington to change public education for African Americans in the South.

I found this book simply amazing. I had never heard of this gentleman (JR) and am amazed by his endeavors that he took on. I loved his plans as well of havin
5,300 schools were built for 600,000 African-American students; the last one was built in 1932. Julius Rosenwald would donate a portion of the money needed to fund the school, but wanted the community to raise an equal sum, in cash and labor, in order to receive the grant: help people who want to help themselves, not looking for a hand-out. Sometime white landowners donated land for the schools. A former slave even contributed his life savings $36 in pennies "so that his great-grandchildren migh ...more
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This Book Was Given to Me For An Honest Review

School of Hope is an excellent book. It talks about the schools in the south and how the black children basically had none and no education. Julius Rosenwald, took some of his wealth and teamed with others and with his foundation built schools, taught teachers and got supplies in order to teach children. Even after his death people whether white or black continued on in his legacy. This book is so good I read it in one seating. I just wish I could gi
Joan Marie
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Though separate is never equal, this book reveals how Julius Rosenwald, once President of Sears, Roebuck and Company, helped change African American education in the early 1900s. Though text seems repetitive at times, the visual format is appealing in its use of historical photos, inset quotes on black backgrounds and "framing." As always, with Calkins Creek's nonfiction titles, the source notes, bibliography, list of helpful websites, index, picture credits & captions, author's note in the ...more
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Julius Rosenwald, one of the early Presidents of Sears, Roebuck, helped build over 5000 schools for black children in the South. One of the few that has survived is here in my small North Carolina town and it is currently being renovated. This book is for children in grades 5-8 and tells the story of how black children in the South were educated until 50 years ago. Some of the students who attended this school are still here and participating in it's renovation and the telling of it's history.
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
The true story of how Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears & Roebuck, helped Booker T. Washington build schools for African American children in the South in the early 1900s. Well documented and great pictures, it was easy to follow even though it repeated concepts frequently, possibly for emphasis.
Heather Brown
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: elementary, middle grades
An interesting and elegant book about a little-known subject, Schools of Hope is a great resource for learning about African American history. Julius Rosenwald was a white Jewish millionaire that spent much of his money on building schools for African American kids. He had seen just how inadequate and deplorable the few that existed were, and knew he had to do something.
Brenda Kahn
Wowzers! I had never heard of Julius Rosenwald or his fund to build schools in the south. What a remarkable story. The book is beautifully designed, chock full of black and white photos. The narrative flows nicely and provides plenty of historical context.
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
What a remarkable man and I can't believe that with all the reading I do, I had never heard of Rosenwald Schools or his part in the education of African Americans in the early 1900s. And...he also supported certified librarians and school libraries!
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This interesting and gave me some knowledge about African American history that I did not know about. Also gave me information about Julius Rosenwald. I had never heard of him.
Benjamin Zachs
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good quick Read

Not the most well written book, but a great !American story that not many know of. Worth the read . would suggest to those interested in philanthropy
Stephanie Dean
rated it liked it
Dec 25, 2014
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lisa by: CapCh 10-14
An inspiring story of a generous man who changed countless lives.
Michelle Burton
rated it really liked it
Jun 05, 2014
Katherine Sandy
rated it liked it
Feb 09, 2018
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Norman H. Finkelstein is the author of eighteen nonfiction books, mainly for young readers. He recently retired as a school librarian for the Brookline (Massachusetts) Public Schools but continues into his 32nd year of teaching history in the Prozdor Department of Hebrew College. Among his writing honors are two National Jewish Book Awards, the Golden Kite Honor Book Award for Nonfiction and a "hi