Dear Mr. Rosenwald guide

IMG_8837Dear Mr. Rosenwald: The School that Hope Built  Ill. by C. Gregory Christie

First-person poems in the voice of a fictional narrator tell how sharecroppers build a school in the 1920s. New paperback edition has back matter with primary sources. Themes: segregation, sharecropping, Rosenwald schools, Booker T. Washington, Black/Jewish cooperation, education.

  • SCBWI Golden Kite Honor
  • NAACP Image Award Finalist
  • 3 starred reviews: Kirkus Reviews, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, School Library Journal



  1. Write poems in the voices of sharecroppers or Rosenwald School students.
  2. Write a thank-you letter or poem.
  3. Write a dialogue between Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington.
  4. Find average incomes and product prices from the 1920s.
  5. Design a floor plan for a dream school or home.
  6. Make rock candy.
  7. Host an open mic where students read poems from the book, as well as original poems related to themes in the book.
  8. Send home bookmark/discussion guide for families.
  9. Do a WebQuest:;; www.nps.rov/bowa/index.htm;
  10. Watch a doll dance like the one at the box auction.


Rosenwald school locatrion map

  • Map showing locations of Rosenwald Schools (above)
  • Fisk University’s searchable database of locations and photos of Rosenwald schools
  • Pamphlets of Rosenwald School plans
  • List of Rosenwald Schools in North Carolina (There were more than 2,500–the most in any state.)
  • National Public Radio audio on Rosenwald Schools and their namesake
  • Online biographies of merchant/philanthropist Julius Rosenwald (below left) and educator/civil rights leader Booker T. Washington (below right)
  • Lesson plan from Scrabble School Preservation Foundation

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