Torrey Maldonado, Author and Teacher, Visits Paul Cuffee Middle School

Author Torrey Maldonado speaking to
our middle school students

Torrey Maldonado, author of the gritty debut novel, Secret Saturdays, spent a day with Paul Cuffee Middle School students.

Chosen as one of 2012’s Top Ten ‘New’ Latino Authors to Watch (and Read), Maldonado spoke to the assembled school relating his hardscrabble upbringing in Red Hook, a section of Brooklyn, New York that was described as the “Crack Capital of the World” when he was a young boy.

He shared the hard moments and the inspirational ones, ones that led him to become the first immediate family member to attend college and to return to teach middle school in his former neighborhood.

In preparation for Mr. Maldonado’s visit, the entire Middle School read his novel so that the students would be aware of his work.

Later in the day he conducted writer workshops in individual classes. His message, the power of words to transform a life, helped the students understand how he changed the trajectory of his life.

Sixth grader, Omorinola Oladosu reflects, “The lesson that [he] taught us is that writing a book can be an emotional process. The time [he] took to answer our questions had a different effect on every one of us. The effect that it had on me was how much effort it takes to overcome obstacles in your life.”


Average Class Size: 20
Current Enrollment: 820
Students of Color: 96%
Female Students: 51%
Male Students: 49%
Free/Reduced Price Lunch Eligibility: 82%
Multi-Language Learners: 19%
Students Receiving Special Education Services: 13%
Total Employees: 168
BIPOC: 45%
Female Employees: 75%
Male Employees: 25%