The cost of 50 copies of Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League from Barnes and Noble is $1009, including shipping and <a target="new" href="http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm" onclick="g_openWindow('http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.
I would like 50 copies of this book for my 8th graders. My students are in a gifted program in a very harsh school on the south side of Chicago. They are in school everyday and work very hard to insure their success. The students in this program are given the very hard task of trying to be "salt and light" to the school. They deserve all the materials that they need to be competitive in school and when they graduate. There is an under-appreciation of these types of students because they are not the stereotypical students that one would expect from the south side of the city. Nothing and no one will be able to affect the poverty-stricken schools that are common in this part of the city in the same way that these types of students can.
The book that I chose is fairly recent. It will be easy for my students to relate to this book as they are attempting to become part of a world that may not feel connected or appreciative of them merely because they do not fit the mold that was made for them before they were even born. Reflecting on the idea of how they will fit in to their world will open their minds. We are always talking about the idea of an "epiphany" in class and I work everyday to help them have these moments of understanding. I really feel that this book will give them one of the many epiphanies that they will have in their lives.
I teach in an urban area because of the experience I have had with inner city education. When I was in college, I was hired to "rehabilitate" students who were on probation for failing grades. The students fit into molds that were determined by their socio-economic status. Privileged students would tell me that they failed because they never went to class and partied too much. They would often remark that their parents would make them return home next year because they did not want to pay for another failed year of school.
I had many students from inner city Chicago schools who would approach me and say they have no idea what they are doing in college. They would say that they have no idea how to study; they would say that the textbooks were too hard to read; they would say how easy it seemed for the other students. It was so sad to me, but helped me to see that there is a cycle that will continue unless teachers, students and "the system" work together to begin a positive upward change. So, I push my students; I tell them that they have to have high standards; I pray that I can get them to see that making a difference is something that they have to do for the rest of their lives. I want them to see that I have chosen to do the same thing.
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