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Press Release

College’s urban teacher conference to feature CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone

Posted: February 16, 2009

(Denver, Colo.) — ´╗┐Metropolitan State College of Denver’s Urban Teaching Partnership (UTP) has secured Geoffrey Canada, nationally recognized for his pioneering work helping children and families in Harlem, as the keynote speaker for its 2nd Annual Great Teachers for Our City Schools: National Summit on Recruiting, Preparing and Retaining Quality Urban Teachers, April 1-3, 2009.

UTP, a collaborative effort of Metro State, Denver Public Schools (DPS) and the Mayor's Office for Education and Children, is designed to prepare and support individuals who wish to make a commitment to teaching in high-needs urban schools. Since fall 2005, close to 250 Metro students have completed the UTP program and many have been recruited and hired by DPS and urban districts across the country. The national summit is a key component of UTP and provides a venue for examining innovative teacher preparation models and sharing strategies that support teaching and learning in high poverty urban schools.

“Securing Geoffrey Canada for our national summit in April is part of our overall effort to identify effective practices that we can use to build and strengthen our urban teacher preparation program in Denver and similar programs across the country,” says Esther Rodriguez, director and principal investigator of Metro State’s Urban Teacher Partnership. “He has developed a nationally recognized comprehensive strategy, the Harlem Children’s Zone, that increases student achievement by fostering meaningful relationships with parents, community advocates and service-based organizations that surround urban schools. The lessons of HCZ will guide our work to prepare teachers to successfully support the educational needs of children in high-poverty schools.”

Since 1990, Canada has been the president and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone, Inc (HCZ). In 1997, the agency launched the Harlem Zone Project, which targets a specific geographic area in Central Harlem with a comprehensive range of services. The Harlem Zone Project today covers 100 blocks and aims to serve more than 10,000 children by 2011. In October 2005, Canada was named one of America's Best Leaders by U.S. News and World Report.

HCZ has become a national model and has been the subject of many profiles in the media including "60 Minutes," "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "The Today Show," "Good Morning America," "Nightline," "CBS This Morning," "The Charlie Rose Show," National Public Radio's "On Point," as well in articles in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, USA Today and Newsday.

To learn more about the Great Teachers for Our City Schools National Summit and the Urban Teacher Partnership, visit


About Metropolitan State College of Denver

´╗┐Metro State is a fully-accredited, four-year institution, serving more than 21,000 students. It has the second-largest undergraduate enrollment in Colorado and is one of the largest four-year public colleges in the nation. Metro State enrolls the highest number of students of color among four-year colleges in the state. It boasts 60,000 alumni, 90 percent of whom stay in Colorado after graduation. Visit Metro State at´╗┐