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Mr. Robert J. Boyd from La Jolla CA is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.

Another Country: Modern Classics Reflecting Diverse Cultures in the Classroom

Help me give my students the opportunity to explore these thoughtful, moving novels that document the experiences of young people who, like them, are from such varied and diverse cultures and backgrounds.

  • $823 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

My classroom is a place for exploration, a place where I am greeted every day by a diverse and intellectually-hungry group of students (180 total in 5 classes), all of whom are making their way along a personal and, at times, confusing journey to beginning to understand who they are and what their place in this world might be.

My goal is for my classroom to serve as a doorway to possible answers and, perhaps more valuable, to even more questions, acting as a sort of literature-centered cutter on the seas of Fate… kith and kin to both Dante and Odysseus in our journeys to make sense of our part in the human drama, to both Don Quixote and Colonel Aureliano Buendia in our plaintive searches for a salve to help soothe the wounds wrought by the plight of the human condition.

These explorations are rooted in both classic and contemporary literature that is engaging, challenging, provocative, enlightening, and, ultimately, unforgettable, and are more often than not conducted by my students in Harkness Table-style discussions, a style of discussion that moves the onus of exploring the heart of what a text might mean from the teacher to the students themselves.

My Project

Like every student in high school in the U.S.A., every student at my school is exposed to a number of the classics of Literature before they graduate. There’s great wisdom in that, because there are very real and obvious human reasons why these novels (The Great Gatsby, Huckleberry Finn, Les Miserables, etc.) are considered classics – everything from their plots, the characters’ struggles, to even the very language used to present the novels themselves (i.e., the startling beauty of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s language).

This canon of classic literature, though, is dynamic, not static, and so new titles are slowly but continually added to it as the years pass, as more recently-printed works begin to take root on their own paths to becoming time-honored classics themselves.

The problem? This changing canon, one that has become more expansive and, in many ways, more sexually and culturally relevant to more of today’s students, is almost never accurately presented to these self-same students in their classrooms.

This project is an attempt to bring some of these modern classics into my classroom. Yes, because they are great novels, but also because they are more reflective of the diverse cultures and backgrounds of my students. Moreover, they all deal in some way with young people who find themselves in the midst of an existential struggle: that is, they are all in some way a reflection of some of the students in my classes and, by extension, all students in school as a whole.

If travel broadens the mind and opens our hearts to new cultures and different ideas, these novels can be seen as more intimate travelogues into the lives of the kind of young people that my students either bump into around campus or else see as they look in the mirror at themselves.

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8 donors8 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 180 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
The Namesake: A Novel • Amazon Business $14.39 12 $172.68
Kafka on the Shore • Amazon Business $13.11 12 $157.32
Americanah • Amazon Business $11.89 12 $142.68
Middlesex: A Novel (Oprah's Book Club) • Amazon Business $10.99 12 $131.88

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6 Donors


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Project Activity

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