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Ms. Russo from Dorchester MA is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Developing a Literacy of Self

My students need young adult books that reflect the difficult choices they have to make and will engage them from page one.

  • $187 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

"When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young." - Maya Angelou

My students are on the brink of figuring out "who" they are.

They are seniors, all having recently immigrated to the United States looking for a fresh start and in search of a "better life." We spend much time exploring who we are as writers, readers, and thinkers, but also people. They have all made a big transition, often leaving parents behind, and are ready, willing, and able to learn more about America, its' people, it's culture - and how they fit here in this new land. I believe that it is important to teach students to know their hearts and use their minds well. My goal is to prepare my kids to live productive, socially useful, and personally satisfying lives with an academic program that stresses intellectual development and social involvement. I have worked hard to develop a strong curriculum that places great importance on learning how to learn, reason, question, and investigate. It is only through these crucial critical thinking skills that they will grow.

My Project

Each day we have time for independent reading. This is a time when I tell my students, "It's okay to pick up and put down twenty books until you find one that you will really enjoy reading." I've learned that the secret is to provide enough choices for students and to know students well enough to help them find that one book that they will finish. I've witnessed my students take off and read book after book when provided with a protected space that is quiet and filled with reading. When this happens, the reading vibe in the room is so contagious that students influence each other to read and even reluctant readers become page-turners! Independent reading has the potential to give students a personalized path to explore literature and expression. If students are engaged in their reading and care about their books, their enthusiasm drives their work and pushes them further as readers.

Just as Maya Angelou said, this experience holds the potential to give my students that "literacy of self." Our school does not have the resources to create a library, and our classroom library needs some new tales.

Thank you in advance.

Read More
Ms. Russo
Grades 9-12
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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3 donors3 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 35 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Kinda Like Brothers • Amazon $14.21 1 $14.21
The Lost Boy: A Foster Child's Search for the Love of a Family • Amazon $10.30 1 $10.30
Otherwise (Gravel Road) • Amazon $9.95 1 $9.95
Kendra • Amazon $8.99 1 $8.99
A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive • Amazon $8.34 1 $8.34
Bad Deal (Surviving Southside) • Amazon $7.95 1 $7.95
Lock-In (Night Fall) • Amazon $7.95 1 $7.95
The Fight (Surviving Southside) • Amazon $7.95 1 $7.95
Shattered Star (Surviving Southside) • Amazon $7.95 1 $7.95
Benito Runs (Surviving Southside) • Amazon $7.95 1 $7.95
Beaten (Surviving Southside) • Amazon $7.52 1 $7.52
The Prank (Night Fall (Quality)) • Amazon $7.23 1 $7.23
Plan B (Surviving Southside) • Amazon $7.00 1 $7.00
Dance Team (Surviving Southside) • Amazon $6.59 1 $6.59
Full Impact (Surviving Southside) • Amazon $6.57 1 $6.57

Materials cost


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Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


2 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


match offer


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Project Activity

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