I teach a group of amazing high schoolers, who during my first year teaching, have already taught me more than I could've imagined. They are so kind, creative, engaging and brilliant. Our school is located in Brooklyn and our beautiful scholars all have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. That is not what defines them though. Every day, we see them work hard and give their all to everything they do, inside and outside of the classroom.
Having ASD isn't what hinders their learning; it is the lack of resources and supplies that are provided to students in New York City Public Schools, especially those with moderate to severe disabilities.
Our students come from all different backgrounds and many of them are from low-income families that can't always spare an extra dime on school supplies or resources for their children, nor should they.
As many of us have experienced by now, NYC has been hit with a pandemic that has affected all of us not only physically, mentally and emotionally, but financially. Due to the uncertainty and severity of what is going on in the world, especially in our city, the Department of Education has been hit with unimaginable budget cuts for the rest of this school year and the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. What does this mean for our students?
It means that our public school students might not be provided the basic supplies and resources for them to use in the classroom.
It means that their parents will have to worry about whether or not they can afford to send supplies. Our students have been greatly impacted by what has been going on with COVID-19. They have been taken out of their usual routines, which many of the students at my school depend on day-to-day, and it will take a lot of time and patience to be able to transition them back into the classroom from remote learning. It is imperative that we do what we can to give these children the best possible chance at a successful life and it all starts here in their youth.
I want to make sure my students have every opportunity to succeed and that begins with a stocked classroom, being free of the worry for supplies such as paper, pencils, markers, and tissues and placed in an environment that caters to their success. With your help, I can guarantee my promise to them to fight every chance I get to give them every chance they need.
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