Growing up in an urban area plagued by economic inequality and violence, my students have a lot working against them just to make it into the classroom. But that doesn't stop them from coming. These 7th and 8th graders are well-aware of their unfair circumstances, and instead of making excuses for themselves they decide to show up to school with the hope that their education can be the difference their lives deserve.
Many of the future professionals in my classroom are slowly beginning to imagine their world beyond elementary school.
As the young adolescents they are, they begin to lay out their next years in their mind, and determine what they must do to make those visions as bright as possible. Although they may not know exactly what they want to do with their futures, they know it best begins with their elementary school graduation and the pursuit of a high school degree.
The students in my classes have had trouble developing a love for books, which to me is no small tragedy. As teenage African Americans living in an impoverished community, these students have a lot going on. Add in the troubling social climate of the world and the limitless access to it all through technology and it's easy to understand why they may not find it in them to want to pick up a book. However, with the right books, I believe that can change.
With these books, my class library could offer a range of powerful characters, settings, and stories that would resonate with students that deserve to see their lives reflected in an accurate, honest, and understanding way.
As it currently stands, many of the books I can offer are outdated and out-of-touch with my students. These additions would transform that section of the room to one that would draw these kids in and pull them into a world of comfort and belonging, all the while improving their academic abilities.
If you donated to this project, you can sign in to leave a comment for Mr. Cassillo.
DonorsChoose is the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.
As a teacher-founded nonprofit, we're trusted by thousands of teachers and supporters across the country. This classroom request for funding was created by Mr. Cassillo and reviewed by the DonorsChoose team.
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.