With the world being a difficult place for those of any marginalized background, one of the things those of us who are looking to do something can do is donate to those in need. Thousands of teachers each year ask for a little help with seeking supplies for their classrooms via Donors Choose; organizations that do work with at-risk communities like prison populations seek spare change to advocate for and bring literacy to those groups; and nonprofits that provide necessary resources to empower women and people of color are always hoping for a few bucks to make their vital work possible.
Enter: Friday Fund Days.
Book Riot readers have helped fund hundreds of classrooms over the last few years, and we’ll help bring funds to hundreds more. Each Friday, we’ll highlight two classrooms or other literacy-focused, important projects in hopes you’ll help them reach their goals to bring literature, advocacy, and education to others.
Even if you can’t spare money, any social sharing you can offer to the projects each week absolutely helps: you never know who’ll find it and have the means by which to make the project’s fundraising goals reached. More, you’ll bring awareness to the unmet needs in communities around the world, as well as right in your own back yard.
When all else feels hard or hopeless, remember that you can and do make a difference.
This week’s Projects
Urban Classroom Garden, Bronx River High School, Bronx, NY. $292.
I have the privilege of teaching biology to some of the best students in the Bronx. My students are amazing. They are naturally inquisitive, compassionate and love hands-on activities. They especially enjoy activities that allow them to explore the world around them.
As a science teacher, it is important to keep students engaged in hands-on activities that spark this curiosity and I have found that gardening does just that.
Living in an urban area, many of my students have not had the opportunity to grow flowers or their own food, yet the joy that they express when given the opportunity to do so in the classroom is palpable.
Many of my students have never had the opportunity to get their hands dirty in a garden, but when given the opportunity they love the experience! In the past, I have had my students grow seedlings in the classroom to learn about reproduction, the scientific method and photosynthesis, but we have been very limited in terms of space and supplies.
Having a special, separate space to plant seeds would provide the students with hours of meaningful, hands-on learning.
With this greenhouse they will be able to grow plants and learn about their photosynthetic neighbors year-round. The greenhouse will be used for classroom lab activities, as well as for the gardening club to explore the world of botany.
Giving Hope to Those Without, Roseland Park Elementary School, Picayune, MS. $108.
We just started a new school year and I have already noticed some commonalities among the 60 students in third grade. The majority of students are struggling. We are a Title I public school and our kids have parents who are in jail, great-grandparents that are raising one or more generation, and kids that are being raised in below poverty conditions.
Our kids deserve more.
Through a grant, we make sure they have breakfast and lunch at school everyday. We have kids who walk to school and never miss a day because they may not get a hot meal at home. We send some of our students home with bags of food to get them through the weekend. We offer counseling services to students that need to discuss their home life. However, some never open up.
Some of our toughest students just want to be heard. We listen, advise, give hope, stick with, and hug an awful lot. We are a family to these students and we teach them how to respect instead of disrespect, how to love instead of hate, and how to be safe instead of reckless.
Using headphones to assist below grade level students with reading informational text will allow students to read books online that are on their reading level without being embarrassed by books that other children may tag as “a baby book”. These headphones will allow struggling readers to read along and build confidence when they come to a word that they are not familiar with.
Confidence in knowing how to read can change a child’s future.
Providing some below grade level reading material to our students who are struggling will help them to learn about topics in a way that they can participate in conversations about that topic. Which will build confidence and encourage them to tackle harder reading material a little at a time.
My hope is that with these materials, I will help students that are struggling at home and at school to build more confidence in themselves while at school so they may be able to deal with things that are happening at home.
Whether you can donate a dollar, donate fifty dollars, or donate a share on social media, you make a difference!