My students are 6th, 7th, and 8th grade newcomer English language learners who arrived in the United States less than a year ago. Just as they were starting to get acclimated to living in a new country and learning in a new language, school closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The students that will benefit from this project are sharing devices and broadband with multiple children in their houses.
While they try their best to complete their learning online, it's quite a challenge to do homework when you are competing for access with your many siblings and cousins.
These students are remarkable adolescents and deserve the chance to realize their dreams.
Seven weeks ago, my students and I said goodbye on a typical Thursday afternoon and wished each other a nice long weekend. Since then they haven't been back in school. Most of my students are fortunate to have tablets from DonorsChoose or laptops borrowed from school and the Internet connection at home that allows them to go online and connect with their classmates, teachers and distance learning. The rest are continuing their education via generic, district-made packets.
Although some of my students are able to participate online, there is one critical tool that none of my students currently has access to: books.
Our school library and public libraries are closed, and few of my students have shelves lined with books in their rooms. Even with middle schoolers, there is only so much video game playing and social media scrolling they can take without getting bored.
With this project I plan to put books in the hands of my middle school newcomers to keep them occupied, entertained and working on their literacy skills while school is closed. The list of titles in this project is curated to meet my students' reading levels and interests. (As you can see, a great deal of my students are soccer fans!) Computers, tablets, wifi, and broadband are important tools during this crisis, but I want my students to spend time with the ancient technology of books.
By donating to this project, you will help put books in the homes of middle school newcomer English learners. You will give them something screen-free to do during the day and help them feel loved and connected.
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