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Ms. Iyer from Oakland CA is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Culturally Relevant Classroom Library

Help me give my students a range of relevant books to build their literacy and their curiosity so that they can better understand themselves and the world, and build vital skills. These books will be read this spring.

  • $585 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Our school serves students in grades K-8 and provides rigorous academics, quality teachers and a safe and supportive learning environment. Our students and their families live in an area where high rates of poverty, gun violence, and drug use mean that our students face a multitude of obstacles on a daily basis in their pursuit of education.

Despite the challenges that many of our students face, they are incredibly motivated to succeed, and our school is one of the highest performing middle schools in East Oakland.

Many of our students come from Spanish speaking families, and over 30 percent are English Language Learners, which gives them a unique bilingual and multicultural perspective on their own education. Our goal is to prepare our students with the skills necessary for success in high school and college.

The 8th-grade Humanities classroom is a space for students to grow and clarify their voices. They need to cultivate a love of reading, build literacy, and grow their critical thinking and analysis skills.

My Project

Our 8th-grade classroom library is in need of an update. Students read in and outside of class daily, which helps them to build both a love of reading, and the literacy skills they desperately need to become the great readers, writers, thinkers, and speakers that they are growing into. About half of my students read multiple years below grade level, and about a third of students are English Language Learners; they need every tool they can get to work through the multitude of barriers they face to accessing a high-quality education. These books will give them a range of literature that they will use every day - both "mirrors" of their own lives, as well as "windows" to the experiences of others.

Most of the books that I am requesting for my students were requested by my 8th-grade students - many of the kids have breezed through much of our existing classroom library - graphic histories, sports novels, poetry books, and they are hungry for more.

The majority of these books are for students' daily independent reading - these are books at students' independent reading levels that will build their curiosity and their schema as readers, and it is vital that these books reflect their interests, passions, and wonderings. Other books are to add to our class materials - some additional copies of Young People's History to update our class text set so that each student has a copy of our anchor text to read during history lessons (we use these texts about twice a week). All of these books will be used by our kids this spring.

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Ms. Iyer
Grades 6-8
More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households

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3 donors3 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 63 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
A Young People's History of the United States: Columbus to the War on Terror (For Young People Series) • Amazon Business $13.69 10 $136.90
SprawlBall: A Visual Tour of the New Era of the NBA • Amazon Business $17.79 1 $17.79
The Water Dancer (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel • Amazon Business $16.80 1 $16.80
Red at the Bone: A Novel • Amazon Business $15.69 1 $15.69
The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song From Every Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated, and Deconstructed • Amazon Business $15.68 1 $15.68
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Young Readers’ Edition: Everything American History Textbooks Get Wrong • Amazon Business $14.91 1 $14.91
Internment • Amazon Business $13.79 1 $13.79
Tupac: Tupac • Amazon Business $13.37 1 $13.37
Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks • Amazon Business $13.19 1 $13.19
Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orisha) • Amazon Business $11.99 1 $11.99
They Called Us Enemy • Amazon Business $11.59 1 $11.59
Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha) • Amazon Business $10.43 1 $10.43
The Rose That Grew From Concrete • Amazon Business $10.26 1 $10.26
Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began (Pantheon Graphic Library) • Amazon Business $9.99 1 $9.99
With the Fire on High • Amazon Business $8.99 1 $8.99
The Autobiography of Gucci Mane • Amazon Business $8.99 1 $8.99
The Bluest Eye (Vintage International) • Amazon Business $8.68 1 $8.68
Ball Don't Lie • Amazon Business $7.99 1 $7.99
Jumped • Amazon Business $7.97 1 $7.97
The Sun Is Also a Star • Amazon Business $7.80 1 $7.80
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Pantheon Graphic Library) • Amazon Business $7.41 1 $7.41
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter • Amazon Business $7.39 1 $7.39
Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return (Pantheon Graphic Library) • Amazon Business $7.29 1 $7.29
Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card • Amazon Business $7.23 1 $7.23
Mexican WhiteBoy • Amazon Business $7.19 1 $7.19
Lu (4) (Track) • Amazon Business $6.89 1 $6.89
The Complete Rhyming Dictionary: Including The Poet's Craft Book • Amazon Business $5.99 1 $5.99
As Brave As You • Amazon Business $5.79 1 $5.79

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Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


3 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Excluded support for DonorsChoose


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Project Activity

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