I teach in a rural, public elementary school with 400 students, grades 4K-6. Many students choose to participate in sports, Destination Imagination, music, and band. We keep our class sizes small, with 16-20 students in each classroom in grades K-3. In this way, we can offer as much personal attention to each child’s needs as possible.
My students are sweet and full of potential, but the poverty level is high, with a 52% free and reduced-price lunch population.
Nonetheless, my school tries very hard to afford all students the same opportunities, no matter what social or economic situation may exist in their lives. All students are offered free breakfast, and we have a peer mentoring program run by our high school students that attends to the primary students' social-emotional needs and offers free supper as well.
Personally, I take time to get to know each child in my classroom as a whole person. My goal throughout the year is to understand their academic strengths and weaknesses as well as their character strengths and weakness. I love being their friend, teacher, and hopefully a role model.
Our school is very lucky to have a program that supports students in need. These students can be homeless, in foster care, living in a hotel, living with family members or have other needs that puts them at risk for being successful in school. The program was originated and is run by high school students who serve as role models and mentors to elementary aged students in need. The high school mentors meet with their buddies every day after school and sometimes during the school day. Their goal and focus is to help the students care for themselves both physically and emotionally, plus the elementary students are fed snacks and supper before leaving for the night. Both mentor students and younger students interact and form a bond that will be used to support the younger student throughout his or her school years.
This project will supply the children in this program with a comfortable place to sit during our very important sharing time.
At the start of each program and throughout the program, the students are encourage to share and build bonds by talking and playing games together. At this time they are sitting on a hard, cold, tile, cafeteria floor. This project will give our students a soft and clean spot to sit while they share, learn and listen to each other. There will be enough cushions afforded through this grant so that each child will have their own spot to sit. Then at the end of the program, the cushions can be easily stacked for use the following day! Thank you for considering our project and helping our students participate in comfort!
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