I teach sixth grade at Jackie Robinson Middle School in New Haven, Connecticut. Jackie Robinson was named after the first black baseball player to compete in the major leagues. The school was built in 1977 as an architectural prizewinner. Our school mascot is the jaguar. The school colors are maroon and yellow. Jackie Robinson is an inner-city school in the Dixwell/Newhallville section of the city. It has a student population of about six hundred students. The student population at the school is about 90% Black, 7% Spanish-speaking, 3% other. Most of the students who attend Jackie Robinson come from impoverished backgrounds. I grew up in the Newhallville section of New Haven and can relate to many of the struggles inner-city children encounter. Many of the students are faced with tremendous obstacles in their lives. They often do not know how to successfully approach or handle the adverse situations they find themselves in. Some students are not even aware of their plight. Frustration and anger are often a part of their daily lives. Single parent families are the norm. Drugs and alcohol are commonplace. Sexual activity, illiterate homes, low self-esteem, peer pressure, and racism are typical issues. Gangs and violence is a way of proving one's manhood. School, for many, becomes mainly a place to socialize. Most of these students cannot see beyond their circumstances or environment. Many of the students have no positive hope for their future and they are discouraged with their present. How can we expect these children to learn properly when they are dealing with so many issues?