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Jan 26, 2010

"Education is the movement from darkness to light." --Allan Bloom

Rooster Valentini: Getting Kids to School

The sun hangs low in a cold morning sky, blasting Russell 'Rooster' Valentini's eyes as he steers the battered red minivan he calls ''The Beast'' east into Allentown. Valentini cannot put down the visor to block the glare because 13 parking tickets will rain down on his head. So he squints as he heads to the Salvation Army Hospitality House on Seventh Street to look for students he hopes he does not find. Pulling up outside the emergency shelter, Valentini hops out and plugs the meter. ''Thirty minutes,'' he says. ''That ought to do it.'' Inside, he finds Lisa Ortiz, 30, who lost her job after giving birth to her fourth child, then could no longer make rent payments and now needs a place for her family to stay. Finding shelter is the Salvation Army's job. Making sure Ortiz's children go to school is Valentini's job

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