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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Author and Scholar Paul Tough Speaks at Old Dominion

Bestselling author and journalist Paul Tough spoke to an audience of almost 200 community educators, social service providers, youth developers, parents and community members at Old Dominion University's Darden College of Education on Feb. 22.

Based on his extensive research, Tough provided insights, strategies and practical suggestions for a new approach to childhood adversity, one designed to help many more children succeed.

"The reason our kids are successful is because we choose to do the kinds of things that will make them successful," said Jane Bray, dean of ODU's Darden College of Education. "Having Paul Tough speak to the Hampton Roads community about how we can best help our children to the benefit of their future learning was a special learning opportunity for faculty, students and community stakeholders."

The talk, which was held in the first floor Multipurpose Auditorium of ODU's new Education Building, was sponsored by Jane P. Batten and the Board of Directors of United Way of South Hampton Roads.

Tough is the author, most recently, of "Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why." The book explores the varied and daunting obstacles faced by children living in poverty in the United States and addresses what they need to thrive. It offers examples of programs and practices that are helping low-income children overcome difficult circumstances. The book concludes with recommendations for practitioners, policymakers and others who want to make a difference.

Tough's previous book, "How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character," was translated into 27 languages and spent more than a year on the New York Times hardcover and paperback best-seller lists. His first book, "Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America," was published in 2008.

Tough is a contributor to the New York Times Magazine, where he has written extensively about education, parenting, poverty and politics. His work has also appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, GQ and Esquire and on the op-ed pages of the New York Times.

On his visit to Norfolk, Tough also held a meeting with community leaders to discuss early brain development and the impacts of childhood adversity and toxic stress on later-life outcomes.

The Darden College of Education prepares students to be education, industry and service professionals through its six departments: Communication Disorders & Special Education, Counseling & Human Services, Educational Foundations & Leadership, Human Movement Sciences, STEM Education & Professional Studies, and Teaching & Learning.

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