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From the classroom to a prison cell: One teacher's quest to help a promising student

Aug 1, 2017

"Reading with Patrick" is Michelle Kuo's memoir.
Credit RANDOM HOUSE, PENGUIN RANDON HOUSE LLC, NEW YORK

A decision to join Teach for America brought then 22-year-old Michelle Kuo to the Mississippi Delta. Her hope was to teach American history through black literature. It was a very different life than the one she'd had growing up as the daughter of parents who’d emigrated from Taiwan to West Michigan. 

Kuo had a 15-year-old student named Patrick in her class. His sharp mind and eagerness to learn — and her desire to teach — was the basis of a life-changing connection formed between the two. It was a connection that bridged racial difference and social inequality. But their friendship took a very dramatic turn when Patrick was put behind bars for his role in a deadly fight.  

Kuo joined Stateside to tell us about her new book Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship, which recounts her challenging but rewarding friendship with her former student.

Listen above.

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