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Literary Activism

Friday Fund Day: Drop Some Dollars and Help Some Classrooms

Abigail Clarkin

Staff Writer

Abigail can often be found holding a book in one hand and an ice cream cone in the other. When she is not devouring stories (or dessert), Abigail trains for marathons and writes poetry about growing up with eight brothers and sisters. She enjoys working in marketing for a real estate developer and creating Instagram content for fun (@marathonandmunch) about all the tasty eats found in Providence, RI.

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

1. Mirror Mirror on the Wall Reflect Books for us All, Louisville, Kentucky ($451)

The Project

“We need books by diverse authors like Jason Reynolds and Benjamin Alire Sáenz, who is a master at capturing the authentic voice of teenage boys. These are the kind of authors the students beg to read. How do you get students reading? Have high-interest books for them to read. Help me have these books available to my deserving students.

Together we can make lifelong readers.

My students need to get off the screens and explore the world through reading. Reading is a life skill that will serve them always and anywhere life takes them. Help me inspire tomorrow’s leaders.”

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola YoonOver half of the student body attending this school come from low-income households. The students need to see books that reflect them, their culture, and the world outside of theirs; some of the wonderful titles Ms. Spicer is requesting are The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, and A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi.

Click here to donate to Ms. Spicer’s classroom.

2. Books are Mirrors, Providence, Rhode Island ($540)

The Project

“Students should read books that reflect themselves and the people that they know. These books would enhance the diverse library that I strive to create. All of these books have been chosen with my students in mind. Students will be able to choose books, which will help them continue to enjoy reading both independently and with their families.

With these new books, my students will be able to choose from a variety of books that will allow them to read about people with whom they share similar experiences.

In order for my students to grow as readers, they need to increase their reading stamina. The best way to do this is for my students to have a large and diverse classroom library. My students have enough ‘window’ books. They need to have ‘mirror’ books.”

Nearly all the students in this classroom are from low-income households. Many students receive free or reduced lunch, and the school has an increasing population of students who receive English as a Second Language service. Their teacher, Mrs. Faford, is requesting books such as Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina and The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family by Ibtihaj Muhammad.

The lives of students can be impacted by your generosity; donating to or simply sharing their classroom needs on social media can make such a huge difference. Thank you for being part of their learning journey.