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Mrs. Matthews from Hartford CT is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.

Guest Speaker Research & Reading

Help me give my students the ability to research and learn about their guest speaker by reading her memoir about her experiences from homeless to Harvard.

  • $454 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

My students come from many different countries across the globe. They speak multiple languages and have some incredible life stories that I love to listen to as I learn about each of them. Their experiences are both incredible and harrowing, and yet we all come together in the same classroom to find comfort, education, a positive environment, and unique learning experiences.

What makes these students so special is that they all have something to teach each other, and they always have something to teach me.

Each year, I learn a great deal about my students and about the experiences they've had and the places they've been. In a world where new technology and traditional education is always at our fingertips, it's meaningful for me as a teacher to expose my students to special opportunities, unique trips, and a comfortable setting where learning is evident and expected, and all students will remain engaged so that we can try new things and always remain successful. I hope to engaged disengaged students by giving them reasons to come to school and get excited about learning!

My Project

Our grade nine students and teachers have an amazing opportunity to welcome to our school Liz Murray, author of a New York Times bestseller. Her book "Breaking Night" is a memoir about forgiveness, survival, and her journey from homeless to Harvard. Her true story is harrowing and inspiring, and will touch the lives of many people. Liz Murray will be speaking to our students in an assembly, and then speaking to a small group of selected disengaged students in a smaller, more intimate setting, in order to inspire, motivate, and encourage young people to be resilient. Murray was homeless through much of her high school career, and witnessed her parents using drugs at home, but was still able to later realize her education was a priority. This story line can be a direct motivation to many of our students, especially our toughest population of disengaged students, and can encourage them to come to school.

Reading excerpts and chapters from Liz Murray's memoir, "Breaking Night," will continue to keep all of our students engaged no matter what else might be going on in their lives.

It can teach students to remain resilient and to persevere through any challenges and obstacles. Teachers can read this book as well study it with our grade nine students, and practice close reading and other skills.

The students that will meet with Liz Murray are classified as disengaged- they have low attendance, low grades, and low motivation. Hearing this inspiring story can and will motivate many of them to come to school regularly and become engaged! There are so many reasons that they don't attend school, but hearing from someone in their community who walked in their footsteps and can empathize with them will absolutely provide a chance for them to become engaged again.

Mrs. Matthews
Grades 9-12
  • HPHS Nursing Academy
  • Hartford, CT
More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households

Equity Focus

At this school, more than 50% of students are Black, Latino, and/or Native American, and more than 50% come from low-income households. Learn how your donation to this school supports a more equitable education.

This project will reach 120 students.

3 donors have given to this project.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard • AKJ Education $11.68 30 $350.40

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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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