Kindergarteners are full of wonder, excitement, and energy! Which makes my job like that of a circus ringmaster. The school population consists of 83% of students who are eligible for free lunch. Nearly 2/3 of our students are also characterized as English learners. Which makes it that much more challenging to teach them all to read by the end of the school year.
The "friends" in my class are all motivated to learn; however, many of them do not have access to learning resources at home.
Despite the fact that we're located in Santa Cruz, an idyllic oceanfront location, our community is an urban pocket where many families are doubled up in their housing situation, parents work multiple jobs, and the cost of living is skyrocketing. Yet, my "friends" are resilient and have big dreams for their future. I receive just $200 for my classroom budget for the year and as a new teacher, I'm still developing my "toolkit" of materials and resources to help my "friends" learn to the best of their abilities.
By providing this variety of art supplies, it will allow my kindergarteners to go past the world of crayons and markers and really develop their artistic skills. For kindergarteners especially, art is a powerful way for kids to express all of the complicated feelings and emotions they have when their words may fail them. Engaging in hands-on art has also been shown to positively impact students' literacy and math skills.
My friends already love any opportunity to doodle, draw, or craft and I can't wait to provide them with real artistic tools and supplies to feed this passion.
These tools will provide them with an introduction to art that could feed their souls for a lifetime. They will also push my ability as a teacher and enable me to build high quality art projects into my instruction.
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