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This teacher needs your help!

Ms. Koster from East Elmhurst NY is requesting books through DonorsChoose, the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.

See what Ms. Koster is requesting

Help Promote Literacy for Incarcerated Teens

Help me give my students reading and writing materials so that they can reenter into society more equipped than when they left!

  • $1,996 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

The Kite Zine is a mentorship, story-telling program inside New York's youth detention centers and jails (Rikers, Horizons Crossroads and ACS Close to Home, None-secure and Secure Placement Facilities). The work produced in our class is later published in a magazine that is distributed to the youth's families and circulated inside the center.

Many of my students have dropped out or are more interested in getting a GED than completing high school.

This interruption in education can be life-threatening. We bridge the gap, raising the bar, and provoking our population to think critically, engage socially, and know oneself fully. We show these students what it means to own a voice, their voices, and we put them together to make a statement that interruption is not a finale. I take care to teach them the foundational writing skills that they would otherwise miss out on completely.

My Project

We want to ensure that all our students have something to write with and give them something to stimulate their minds. We reward participation by giving reading materials that help our young students explore and identify the systemic issues that may have resulted in their incarceration.

We believe stories influence people more than statistics ever could and providing books that exemplify this are key.

Students learn how telling their stories allows them to heal while also having the power to heal and teach those around them.

We help students identify what they have been through in the past so they can harness the power to reshape their future. Something as simple as journaling has helped our students break through unhealthy habits--and it especially helped me, their teacher, having been incarcerated myself as a teen. But things to write and learn with are rarely available without programs like ours.

Ms. Koster
Grades 9-12

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
BestSelf Co. The SELF Journal - Planner 2019-2020 - Monthly, Weekly, Daily Planner - Increase Productivity and Happiness - Undated Hardcover - Navy • Amazon Business $22.40 10 $224.00
XIDUOBAO A5 Size PU Leather Colorful Writing Journal Diary Notebook Daily Notepad Cute Travel Journal to Write in with Lined Paper (Set of 8, Random Color) • Amazon Business $39.99 5 $199.95
Between the World and Me • Amazon Business $12.89 12 $154.68
EMITEC Leather Composition Journal Notebook - Classic A5 Wide Ruled Writing Subject Notepad Colorful Hardcover Travel Diary Journals Notebook for Students 100 Sheets/Random Color Set of 3 • Amazon Business $15.95 9 $143.55
Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration • Amazon Business $20.19 5 $100.95
Comix Wide Ruled Composition Notebook 9.75" x 7.5" with Hard Cover, 100 Sheets 8 Packs Assorted 4 Colors (C9000-8) • Amazon Business $28.99 3 $86.97
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness • Amazon Business $16.19 5 $80.95
Understanding Mass Incarceration: A People's Guide to the Key Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time • Amazon Business $12.48 6 $74.88
Composition Notebook: Cute Wide Ruled Paper Notebook Journal | Wide Blank Lined Workbook for Teens Kids Students Girls for Home School College for Writing Notes | Trendy Acrylic Rose Gold Marble Print • Amazon Business $4.99 15 $74.85
Lang Field Guide 2020 Two Year Planner (20991071101) • Amazon Business $7.99 9 $71.91
Criminology: The Essentials • Amazon Business $70.67 1 $70.67
Juvenile Delinquency: Theory, Practice, and Law • Amazon Business $45.00 1 $45.00
Falling Back: Incarceration and Transitions to Adulthood among Urban Youth (Critical Issues in Crime and Society) • Amazon Business $33.95 1 $33.95
Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration-and How to Achieve Real Reform • Amazon Business $27.00 1 $27.00
Comix Composition Book-Notebooks-Wide Ruled Paper 9.75" x 7.5",100 Sheets (Stary Sky) C9000J (6) • Amazon Business $24.99 1 $24.99
Comix Composition Book-Notebooks-Wide Ruled Paper 9.75" x 7.5",100 Sheets (Black Flower) (6) • Amazon Business $19.99 1 $19.99
Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys (New Perspectives in Crime, Deviance, and Law) • Amazon Business $19.69 1 $19.69
Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America's Largest Criminal Court • Amazon Business $18.00 1 $18.00
Boy With A Knife: A Story of Murder, Remorse, and a Prisoner's Fight for Justice • Amazon Business $17.95 1 $17.95
Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools • Amazon Business $15.46 1 $15.46
The Art of Voice: Poetic Principles and Practice • Amazon Business $15.28 1 $15.28
Street Life: Poverty, Gangs, and a Ph.D. • Amazon Business $15.00 1 $15.00
Rethinking Incarceration: Advocating for Justice That Restores • Amazon Business $13.26 1 $13.26
Haiku: The Last Poems of an American Icon • Amazon Business $13.22 1 $13.22
The Ways of White Folks: Stories (Vintage Classics) • Amazon Business $12.51 1 $12.51
More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City (Issues of Our Time) • Amazon Business $11.96 1 $11.96
Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes • Amazon Business $10.98 1 $10.98
A Colony in a Nation • Amazon Business $10.16 1 $10.16
Selected Poems of Langston Hughes: A Classic Collection of Poems by a Master of American Verse (Vintage Classics) • Amazon Business $9.76 1 $9.76
The Mis-education of the Negro • Amazon Business $7.95 1 $7.95
The Mis-Education of the Negro • Amazon Business $6.99 1 $6.99
The Souls of Black Folk (Dover Thrift Editions) • Amazon Business $5.00 1 $5.00

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Total project goal


6 Donors


Donations toward project cost


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Project Activity

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