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Ms. Russo from Bronx NY is requesting Technology through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Documenting The American Dream vs. The American Reality Part 1

The cost of one digital camera and three compact flashes of 256MB each from Highsmith is $617, including shipping and <a target="new" href="" onclick="g_openWindow('', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.

  • $617 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

I am an eleventh- and twelfth-grade special education teacher at Fannie Lou Hamer School in the South Bronx. Our school has been teaching "at-risk" students in a successful learning environment for 10 years. High percentages of our students enter high school performing below state averages in math and reading, but leave our school admitted to city and state colleges. I believe that it is important to teach students to know their hearts and use their minds well. We prepare them to live productive, socially useful, and personally satisfying lives with an academic program that stresses intellectual development and social involvement in our society. I have developed a strong curriculum that places great importance on learning how to learn, reason, question, and investigate. This semester, I have designed a humanities course entitled "The American Dream". Students spent the first part of the semester coming to conclusions about their definition of The American Dream, and how that definition changes over time. Currently, students have been studying immigration patterns in history through the examination of documentaries. We have explored the photography of Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine, analyzed a Human Rights Watch Film entitled "My American Girls" and listened to an audio recording of "Ghetto Life 101," made by two students in the Chicago projects. We have looked at each of these documents through the lens of an essential question: "What is the American Dream vs. The American Reality?" Now, the students must complete a project that is two-fold. First, they must write an oral history of an immigrant answering the essential question. Second, they must choose a medium we studied (photography, film, or audio) to document The American Reality in their community. Their final exhibitions will not only serve as pieces for their graduation portfolios, but will awaken the eyes of many to the current conditions of "the other half". Through this process, students will understand that they are capable of making a positive change and that history is happening in the present. In completing this ambitious project, my thirty students would benefit greatly from 1 digital camera and extra memory cards, which would allow them to complement their written work with visual art, as well as create a personal keepsake that will be theirs for years to come. I want to give students the chance to create a valuable and meaningful piece of history.

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

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2 donors2 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 30 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Canon A80 PowerShot Digital Camera • Highsmith Inc. $327.36 1 $327.36
Compact Flash, 256MB • Highsmith Inc. $105.60 1 $105.60

Materials cost


Vendor shipping charges


State sales tax

3rd party payment processing fee

Fulfillment labor & materials

Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


2 Donors


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Project Activity

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