My students need multiple copies of the Virginia Reader's Choice books to begin the 2013-14 school year.
The facts are in: if we provide the books; the students will read. Participation in Virginia Reader's Choice literacy initiative tripled in our school, due to the availability of multiple copies of the books this school year. This would not have been possible without DonorsChoose.
Our students are from a culturally diverse, low-income neighborhood comprised of a majority of transient, single-parent households.
There is a strong military presence which adds to the school's diversity. We have more than 84% of our students who receive free and reduced lunch. A similar number of students also receive breakfast in school each day. Literacy is a huge component of our school mission and we have multiple programs in place to improve student reading, from those at a basic phonics level all the way to those reading at high school levels and above.
Our students come from homes that have little to no reading material. Many do not even have a dictionary. Programs, such as Virginia Reader's Choice, allow the students to experience things through books they may never experience in their own lives. Many of our students have never seen the ocean, even though they live less than 12 miles from the oceanfront. It is only through quality books that they are able to broaden their experiences. The books selected for the Virgina Reader's Choice initiative are chosen to encourage a lifelong love of reading for pleasure among students and to honor favorite books and authors. Students who read at least four of the books during the school year may vote on their favorite and are eligible to win prizes at the school level. This past year more than a third of our student body and staff participated in the program.
We are blessed with a technologically advanced school building but the budget has hit our library hard in the past several years and funds for multiple copies of books are nonexistent.
In previous years, we were even unable to purchase copies of all 10 of the books thereby limiting student choice and increasing the time spent waiting for a book to be available. Multiple copies of all 10 books really makes a difference in student participation.
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.