Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer
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

Inspire a Love of Reading with Comic Books, Bronx, New York ($523)

Help me give my students access to graphic novels and comic books to allow students to connect their love of popular culture to joyful reading experiences!

My Students

My middle school students are very active, eager learners in the Bronx, NY. The vast majority of my students are black and Hispanic.

They get very excited by popular culture.

Recently in class, to demonstrate how difficult it is to summarize a long text in a few sentences, I asked them to convince me to watch their favorite TV show in 45 seconds or less. Nearly every hand in every class shot up eager to talk about a show they love.

I often wear shirts relating to Star Wars and superhero movies, and my students feel connected to me because I love what they love. I have talked to kids about video games, comic books, and movies both to connect to them on a personal basis and to help them connect the things they love to what they are learning in class.

My Project

When my students see the small collection of comics and graphic novels that I have set aside for my comic book club, they get very excited and ask to borrow them. I’d like to grow this collection not only to benefit those students in comic book club, but to allow all of my students to borrow them.

I have selected several several titles that have been specifically requested by students (Amulet, Roller Girl, more Batgirl), some titles that I believe students would enjoy reading (Shuri, Runaways, Spider-Gwen, etc),and some titles I think students would benefit from reading to connect to other subjects (March, Maus, Poe).

In comic book club, these titles will also be used as mentor texts to help students create their own short series of comics. Some students are working on adaptations or fan-works of featuring their favorite characters, and others are working on entirely original creations.

Additionally, for many students who struggle with reading, comics and graphic novels are a great way to spark an interest in reading and help them build their reading confidence.

Graphic Novels Make Reading Come Alive for Struggling Readers, Carnesville, Georgia ($355)

Help me give my students graphic novels for a love of reading that can improve their lives.

My Students

My middle school students come from lower income families that struggle meeting the basic needs of housing, clothing, health care and other basic needs. Extra money for books are not available to my middle school students. They love to go to the library and check out books each week, but there are never enough of their favorite ones—graphic novels.

My students average two years behind grade level and need every encouragement to read.

They tend to finish the graphic novels as it keeps their interest.

My Project

In the age of video games and cell phones, reading is a struggle for many students. As a middle school teacher, I try very hard to get them to read and purchase many books with my own money. I would love to be able to have graphic novels for my students because that is what they want to read. Some novels that I am requesting include Dracula, Trapped in a Video Game, Robin Hood, Treasure Island, The War of the Worlds, and Les Misérables.

If graphic novels get my students reading, it’s a must for my classroom.

I hate it when my students cannot find anything that they are interested in reading. Please help me with my goal of my students reading twenty books this school year! Reading changes everything for these students.

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