Thursday, August 9, 2012

We Need Your Help!!

For most of us the end of August/the beginning of September is an exciting time. We get new shoes, new clothes, new binders and backpacks and get to see our friends again. But this is not always the case. 
I will be teaching 3rd grade at a school in the south side of Chicago. This is an area that is known for its gangs, homicides, violence which all contributes to its well known failing schools. Many of my students are in state custody, are wearing shoes that are 2 sizes too small and have seen things in their short 8 year life that we have only seen in movies. The parents of these children are working hard at low paying jobs to make ends meet but are not able to afford the basic paper, pencils and markers that these students need to start their school year. 
As their teacher, I have put in a great deal of time and money to ensure these students have a comfortable and safe learning environment but I am still finding there is more need here than I am able to compensate for. This is why I am calling upon you. 
The donations received for our classroom will go directly to the education of these children. We need rulers, markers, paper, art paper, pencils, pencil sharpeners, staplers and I could go on. Most schools would have these things on hand, but keep in mind we are looking at a school with 99% of them on free and reduced lunch and only 25% of them passed their state test last year. It is a failing school. Governments do not help failing schools and these schools will continue to fail if teachers are expected to teach without any resources to help. 
My dream is to not only provide the basic needs for this classroom but to purchase items that will greatly increase their learning and growth. An example of this would be a few ipads. These would be used to not only explore math games and phonics games but also to start personal blogs about the books they are reading, we would video tape inquiry projects to share with their class and their parents, we would explore the moon, Greece and the sights of the American revolution on Google Earth. Your donation will also be used to purchase small cd/tape players so these scholars will be able to listen and learn from a fluent reader reading one of their favorite books. A few simple cameras will be bought so we can record our findings as we study soil, rocks, minerals and plants. The students will learn from a local photographer about taking pictures and we will then take pictures for an art show.  Large pillows will be purchased and placed around the room to help students feel comfortable to encourage reading during their independent time throughout the year.
I am so excited about this year and have so many more ideas that I am hoping to make a reality. I know with your support, I will be able to bring learning to life for these kids and encourage them to be life-long learners. If I were to leave the school in the future, everything bought through these donations will stay with these students to influence more under privileged children in years to come.

If you are able to donate anything at all-please check out this website. I know nobody likes to be solicited but My kids will write you the cutest little thank you notes you have ever seen! They need this so bad and I know they will be grateful!

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