chapter  5
The Scrub Club, by Elizabeth Bloom
Pages 100

Introduction When I began my career as a middle-school social studies teacher in rural Upstate New York, I noticed that students from economically impoverished backgrounds were sure to lag behind others in the classroom and did not participate in school activities such as sports, music, or clubs. I noticed them slipping to the margins, banding together at the back of the class, getting into trouble, smoking in the parking lot before school. They were often the subject of eye-rolling gossip; of stories of teen pregnancies, adult boyfriends, and fi ghts.