My students need a variety of craft supplies including, but not limited to, decorative paper, ceramic tiles, canvases, ribbons, crayons, shirts, glue, and magnets.
Colleges these days are looking for students who are well-rounded. My students have limited access to diverse opportunities that enrich and broaden their lives.
I work at a middle school school in a low-income neighborhood where many cultures and languages intersect.
As I walk into the lunch room, I hear students chatting in Uzbek, Spanish, or Arabic. I see students of different skin colors linked arm in arm. It's a beautiful display of unity within diversity that is not frequently found in schools across the country. The school is relatively small and located in a bustling metropolis.
Many of my students, though, don't seem to have ventured far beyond the boundaries of their neighborhood. Most students come from families with limited finances and hard-working, overburdened parents.
Our craft club has great ambitions. We don't simply create cute little projects from glitter and glue that remain stuck to the refrigerator only to collect dust. Instead, we hope to seek out ways to utilize previously discarded materials to create new items of beauty and use, fighting against a society that is surrounded by superfluous waste with melted crayon art and braided cloth jewelry. We will dabble with business strategies to offer trendy products that attract a broad clientele, funding our future projects. For example, we will create a range of products to be sold at a holiday craft fair for the school community. It is my hope that these crafting ambitions are a starting point for my students to see how they can contribute to the wider world.
Beyond these aspirations, we do simply enjoy being and creating together.
While we craft, conversation flows. At the middle school age, having a trusted space to take risks, challenge yourself, and engage with others is central to meaningful development and maturity. These students have started out life with so many factors against them, so to have this opportunity to express themselves and take pride in their handiwork fosters the confidence needed to face the challenges of life head on.
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.