I teach at a therapeutic special education school serving approximately 82 students who have been unable to succeed in a general education setting due to intense emotional and behavioral needs. 100% of my students receive free lunch, making our school one of the highest poverty schools in the district. Our school is located in an old warehouse, but I am determined to help my students reach beyond their current circumstances, with the hope of eventually returning back to their neighborhood schools and in the general education environment.
Despite so many hardships, my students are incredible children with boundless potential.
Most of them have faced difficult home lives and traumas that as a result greatly affect their behavior. However, I truly believe that through my teaching and with the right materials, they can change for the better and reach their full academic, social, and emotional potential.
Across our school district, most students in the general education setting either bring a snack from home with them to school, or they are provided one from their classrooms. My students currently do not have access to these materials.
Many of my students come to school without their basic needs met, and this can manifest itself with severe behaviors and a resistance to learning.
Because of both our unique student population and our unique school, my students are not provided with snacks throughout our school day, and it has become so necessary to feed them that us teachers are currently paying for them out of our pockets. While they are provided with a breakfast and lunch throughout the school day, many times they either don't care for it, or it is simply not enough. Additionally, if a student is hungry at other times besides meal time throughout the school day, they need to have nourishment that will allow them to continue learning. My students already come to school with severe behaviors and struggling academics (many are currently working two and three grade levels behind), so the lack of snacks only adds to their struggles on a daily basis.
The snacks I'm requesting are healthy but also tasty. The popcorn is only 100 calories, which is enough to provide them with sufficient energy while also being a nutritious snack. The Rice Krispy Treats will be used as reward snacks, but they are "minis", so there is not too much sugar in them. The pretzels and goldfish are also healthy options and tasty.
Ultimately, the funding of this project will make my students one step closer to having the same opportunities as other children. I truly believe these snacks will lead to more positive behavior, which is the goal for all students!
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