The only sound in this particular classroom at East Palo Alto’s Eastside College Preparatory School is the scratching of pencils on paper and the occasional shuffling of textbooks. This is a high school study hall at 4 p.m., and approximately 20 students are seated at their desks reading. This may not seem like such a big deal – except that these students hail from one of the poorest minority communities in Northern California. And, despite their background, these particular students will...

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