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Ms. Gilchrist from Chicago IL is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Believe It or Not – Teens Like Non-Fiction!

My students need 30 high interest nonfiction books including titles from "Animals Up Close" to "How to Be a Vampire: A Fangs-On Guide for the Newly Undead" that will motivate them to read.

  • $511 goal

This project expired on January 17, 2011.

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

“There’s nothing to read!” I have heard that said by many students when I ask them to read a book. What I’ve learned is that the statement is a shield from the truth. Give a child a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not book and they no longer struggle to read. They can’t put the text down.

Step inside my classroom.

You will see hard-working, diligent students trying to overcome the struggles of living in Southwest Chicago. Most of my 35 students are Latino, and many of their parents immigrated to the United States to provide their children with better education. Most of my students learned English as a second language, and their parents speak only Spanish. In addition, nearly 1/3 of my classroom has been diagnosed with a learning disability. It’s difficult to find texts that lower level readers have access to, but high-interest, non-fiction texts may be the solution. The use of pictures and graphics in non-fiction allows both my ESL and LRE to access the text. They discover much without having to struggle with language they don’t understand. More importantly they LOVE reading interesting non-fiction. My students are not able to go to the library, let alone a book store. With budget cuts and economic struggles, their access to quality books becomes more limited.

My Project

Don’t believe the hype! Students like to read when they find the right text. Last year, I purchased some non-fiction texts like 100 Most Disgusting Things. When I received the box during class, the kids wouldn’t rest until I opened it. I heard comments like, “Look at the cover – what is he doing?” After adding the books to the library, I watched the students devour them. One student in particular had a learning disability and struggled during independent reading. As I watched him show a classmate pictures and explain things, I realized the power of non-fiction. That book enabled him to be like everyone else in class. It didn’t matter that he was reading at a 2nd grade level; he was able to understand the text. It is that leveling power of non-fiction that I want to be able to bring to my students. Because these books are often full of pictures, I cannot afford to purchase many of them. This grant would enable me to bring 30 different non-fiction texts to my students.

How does a teacher transform “there’s nothing to read” into “is it time for reading”?

Non-fiction is the answer. Non-fiction texts use pictures, captions, graphs, charts and bullets to make the text accessible for all students. In my classroom, non-fiction is a necessity. With 8 students with learning disabilities and 10 ESL students, my students need to find texts that they CAN read. This grant will enable me to put a book in each child’s hand, a book that the child wants to and can read.

Ms. Gilchrist
Grades 6-8
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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3 donors3 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 75 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Ripley's Believe It or Not!: Creepy Stuff Mary Packard, Maria Barbo (Editor), Leanne Franson (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble $4.26 1 $4.26
Ripley's Believe It or Not: Special Edition 2009 Manufactured by Scholastic Inc. • Barnes and Noble $12.98 1 $12.98
Ripley's Believe It or Not! Seeing is Believing Geoff Tibballs • Barnes and Noble $19.79 1 $19.79
Ripley's Believe It or Not! Planet Eccentric! Geoff et al Tibballs • Barnes and Noble $22.69 1 $22.69
Ripley's Believe It or Not!: Extraordinary Animals Staff of Ripley Publishing • Barnes and Noble $17.05 1 $17.05
Ripley's Believe It Or Not!: Prepare to Be Shocked! Geoff Tibballs • Barnes and Noble $23.51 1 $23.51
Ripley's Believe It or Not!: Taking Life to Extremes Staff of Ripley Publishing • Barnes and Noble $17.05 1 $17.05
Ripley's Believe It or Not!: What Are You Like? Staff of Ripley Publishing • Barnes and Noble $17.05 1 $17.05
Ripley's Believe It or Not: Expect the Unexpected Geoff Tibballs • Barnes and Noble $22.69 1 $22.69
Ripley's Believe It or Not: The Remarkable Revealed Geoff Tibballs, Jo Wiltshire, Rebecca Miles (Editor) • Barnes and Noble $23.51 1 $23.51
Seventeen Mega Traumarama!: Real Girls and Guys Confess More of Their Most Mortifying Moments! Seventeen Magazine (Editor) • Barnes and Noble $6.79 1 $6.79
Seventeen Presents... Traumarama!: Real Girls Share Their Most Embarrassing Moments Ever! Seventeen Magazine, Megan Hess (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble $5.93 1 $5.93
Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland Sally M. Walker • Barnes and Noble $19.61 1 $19.61
Farts Crai S. Bower, Travis Millard (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble $10.22 1 $10.22
Freestyle Soccer Tricks: Tricks, Flick-ups, Catches Sean D'Arcy • Barnes and Noble $12.14 1 $12.14
Manga Tips: The Pocket Reference to Drawing Manga Yishan Li • Barnes and Noble $6.79 1 $6.79
Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful, and (HIV) Positive Marvelyn Brown, Courtney Martin • Barnes and Noble $2.84 1 $2.84
How to Be a Vampire: A Fangs-On Guide for the Newly Undead Amy Gray, Scott Erwert (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble $12.16 1 $12.16
Jonas Brothers Forever: The Unofficial Story of Kevin, Joe & Nick Susan Janic • Barnes and Noble $12.14 1 $12.14
Inked: 42 People, 42 Stories Carey Hart, Chris Palmer, Bill Thomas (Photographer) • Barnes and Noble $18.63 1 $18.63
Are You Afraid Yet?: The Science Behind Scary Stuff Stephen James Omeara, Jeremy Kaposy (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble $8.50 1 $8.50
Would You Rather...?: Gross Out: Over 300 Disgusting Dilemmas plus extra pages to make up your own! Justin Heimberg, David Gomberg • Barnes and Noble $8.50 1 $8.50
Would You Rather...?: Weird, Wild, and Wacky: Over 300 All New Crazy Questions Plus Extra Pages to Make Up Your Own! Justin Heimberg, David Gomberg • Barnes and Noble $8.50 1 $8.50
Would You Rather ...? for Kids Justin Heimberg, David Gomberg • Barnes and Noble $8.50 1 $8.50
I Can't Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous and Obscure Larry Smith (Editor), Rachel Fershleiser (Editor) • Barnes and Noble $7.68 1 $7.68
The Robert Pattinson Album Paul Stenning • Barnes and Noble $11.59 1 $11.59
100 Most Disgusting Things On The Planet Anna Claybourne • Barnes and Noble $6.83 1 $6.83
Grossology and You Sylvia Branzei, Jack Kelly, Jack Keely (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble $8.54 1 $8.54
Alive: The Living, Breathing Human Body Book DK Publishing, Jilly MacLeod (Editor), Philip Fitzgerald (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble $20.51 1 $20.51
Animals Up Close Igor Siwanowicz (Photographer) • Barnes and Noble $16.23 1 $16.23

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2 Donors


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Project Activity

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