I teach in a juvenile detention center in Kalamazoo, Michigan. A vast majority of my students come from high-poverty and racially diverse backgrounds. I teach Special Education and my students mainly identify as having Emotional Impairments, Learning Disabilities, or Other Health Impairments. The average stay is about 3 weeks, but some of my students are with us for over 12 months at a time.
When they receive structure from our staff, they build relationships and really strive to be the best possible versions of themselves.
They are inquisitive, thoughtful, empathetic kids whose love of learning is sparked when their basic needs are met. We have had one project funded so far, and it was very encouraging for my students to see there are people who believe in their potential. The resilience my students have built in the face of adversity is amazing, and with the right tools they thrive.
Due to my student’s transient nature, it is very difficult for them to work on building skills in a traditional classroom setting or to have a class of students working on the same content. This is due to the fact that all my students may be in different grades or skill levels. These Chromebooks will allow me to utilize programs to differentiate instruction so each student is learning at his or her own unique pace and level.
My students have really enjoyed conducting research and practicing writing skills that these Chromebooks would ensure they could have access to.
This has struck a love and interest in learning that some of my students haven’t typically had. Because many of my students have missed large amounts of school, these tools will help them to catch up on essential skill gaps. My students will be practicing writing and journalism skills to ensure that they can communicate different ideas in writing across many different subjects and purposes.
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