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Literary Activism

Friday Fund Days: Drop Some Dollars & Help Some Classrooms

Christine Hoxmeier

Staff Writer

Christine Hoxmeier can usually be found hard at work in her beloved home of Austin with a cup of coffee in one hand and a taco in the other. She spends her free time reading, writing, and dreaming of a teleportation device so she can visit her friends spread across the globe on a daily basis. If it were possible to live inside one Disneyland attraction for the rest of her life, Christine would cheat and choose to split her time between It's A Small World and The Enchanted Tiki Room. She prefers to communicate in CAPSLOCK and with gifs. Twitter: @aramblingfancy

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 non-profits 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

A Tornado Destroyed Our Library…Help Us Rebuild It! Dallas, TX ($721)

Help me give my students books to rebuild our classroom library! After the tornado that ripped apart our school, we have no more books for our students.

My Students

Imagine being immersed in a new country, a new language, and a new culture during the first year of your high school experience. My students came to this country as newcomers two years ago–many of them enduring long and somewhat traumatic journeys in order to get here. They are currently in their third year of the country working hard to learn English. Almost all of these students are from seriously impoverished families, but that does not prevent them from working hard in their studies in order to acquire the language.

Collaborative learning is an essential component to our ESL 3 classroom.

Students in my classroom are inquisitive, compassionate, and dedicated. These language learners need books that connect to their lives, but are also at their reading level. My students are eager to learn, curious about the world, and need practice with the language. Their dedication, passion, and willingness inspire me to be a better educator.

My Project

On Sunday, October 21, 2019, a tornado ripped through parts of North Dallas and destroyed homes, businesses, and schools. My High School was one of those schools. The damage was so bad that all of the teachers and staff had to be relocated to a new campus nearly 10 miles away. As we try to regain our footing in the new campus, we are slowly realizing the levels of loss of our books. While the community has been so generous with donations of supplies and materials, we have no books for our classroom library.

What was once a flourishing library of over 500 books has diminished to nothing.

My students read these books every day in class—reading was an integral part of our daily lessons. Please join me on my quest to recreate our classroom library. I have selected the titles that were the most popular for my students. We would be so appreciative of your support–anything will help us at this point.

Readers and Writers: Creating a Flexible Workspace, Salinas, CA ($903)

Help me give my students a comfortable and inviting place to listen to books and then write their own

My Students

My 28 1st graders are inquisitive, energetic, and love learning. They come from hardworking families that want their children to learn and succeed. My parents have entrusted me to teach their children and help them reach their full potential.

My “kids” are eager to learn and are on the path to greatness despite where their zip code.

Our school is in a high poverty, high violence part of town. 98% of the students at my school are English Language Learners. Everyone qualifies for the free lunch program.

Each child in my classroom absolutely loves learning, although the method and environment in which they learn best vary greatly. I try to incorporate a variety of learning strategies, group work, and alternative seating and learning options to ensure that each student’s needs are met. They are truly an incredible group, and I am so lucky and thankful to have a new group of learners that are excited and ready to learn each year!

My Project

Making sure students are comfortable is an essential component in motivating them to engage in their learning. I have noticed amazing differences in my students when they are given a choice in their seating. They almost always make good choices about where they sit, are more engaged, and get more work completed than when they are just sitting at their desk.

The products that I have selected will help my students by giving them additional seating options to make more effective learning choices.

The pillows are large and cozy and will allow students to sit anywhere in the classroom. These will be extremely beneficial for some students that just need to get the wiggles out. The comfy floor seats will allow for additional comfortable floor seating options. They are lightweight and can be easily used in many areas of the classroom. Students will also use the round table for collaborating on their writing and with the radio, for a listening to books.

I have seen how choice can positively affect my students work and demeanor and hope that the additional options will help us grow even more!

Whether you can donate a dollar, donate fifty dollars, or donate a share on social media, you make a difference!