This week I was lucky enough to visit Garfield Elementary in Southeast Washington, D.C., where just about all the students meet the requirements for the free and reduced-price federal meal program.

Two years ago, Garfield was one of the lowest performing schools in the city. At the beginning of last year, Kennard Branch, who had been assistant principal, became principal and is bringing with him all the lessons he learned in North Philadelphia as a teacher under the redoubtable Barbara Adderley.

One of the first things he tackled was the lack of books at Garfield. Teachers had been making paper photocopied books for kids to read. “When you see a fifth-grader reading a book made of folded paper,” he said, his words trailing off at the painful memory.

Read the full article on The Huffington Post Education.