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This teacher needs your help!

Mrs. Dines from Dorchester MA is requesting art supplies through DonorsChoose, the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.

See what Mrs. Dines is requesting

Helping Traumatized Students Through Student-Created Peace Areas

My students need : paint, brushes, rocks, and sharpie markers to make peace rocks; VOSS bottles, gemstones, glitter, and glue to create sensory bottles; and mini-books and colored pencils to fill with peaceful words and images.

  • $490 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

I teach middle school ESL to students new to the United States. My students come from Portugal, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Somalia, Cape Verde, and Vietnam. My students are highly motivated to learn, and they are eager to learn all they can about the English language, as having proficient academic English is a marker of success in their new American lives.

A challenge that my students face is managing stressors from immigration and changing family dynamics along with the trauma of living in a completely foreign culture .

Some are refugees, and many are living with family members from whom they were separated for many years. While some students are outwardly frustrated or express the desire to go back home, others internalize their feelings through periods of silence or times when they become extremely unfocused and disconnected.

However, in many ways, they are typical middle school students - energetic, funny, and eager to figure out who they are. Our school is an urban 6-8 in a large city school system. It is a loving place where the staff does all they can for the students, and the students work hard to achieve success.

My Project

My students will paint rocks with symbols of hope and joy and writing inspirational words with sharpies in order to make peace rocks that students can hold in their hands when calming down. VOSS bottles, glitter, glue, and gemstones will be used to create sensory bottles - basically, these are bottles filled with water and floating objects to focus upon to shift from heightened emotions to calm ones. Students will use the mini-books to create peace journals with inspiring images and messages in multiple language in order to have a book to look at when feeling down.

Peace areas, designated tables or desks in each of our program's classrooms, will be populated with peace rocks, sensory bottles, and peace journals to aide students who are experiencing uncomfortable emotions, including anxiety, fear, and sadness.

This project is informed by research found In the publication "Helping Traumatized Children Learn" by Massachusetts Advocates for Children. This research brief recommends that schools create safe spaces as an accommodation that supports children to regulate emotions in order to master social and academic skills. Additionally, key findings from the Born This Way Foundation demonstrate that kind communities, peer support, and mental health resources make a significant impact in promoting wellbeing.

After reading informational texts and research about trauma, students will engage in creating the peace areas through writing and art making. As a culminating step, students will prepare and deliver a presentation for teachers and students in our ESL program about how to use the peace areas in our classrooms.

Through collaboratively learning about mental health and using creativity to support others students in our ESL community, students are creating a kind environment, supporting one another, and gaining awareness of mental health needs.

Mrs. Dines
Grades 6-8

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
00711-1049 - Blickrylic Student Acrylics - Basic Color Set, Pack of 6, Pints • Blick Art Materials $24.61 4 $98.44
20522-2009 - Crayola Watercolor Pencil Set - Assorted Colors, Classpack, Set of 240 • Blick Art Materials $52.31 1 $52.31
VOSS Artesian Water (Still), 330ml Plastic Bottles (Pack of 12) • Amazon Business $8.99 4 $35.96
DT776 - Create-Your-Own Mini Books - Set of 10 • Lakeshore Learning Materials $6.99 5 $34.95
BJ9610X - Glitter Jumbo Jars - Set of 6 • Lakeshore Learning Materials $24.99 1 $24.99
61138-5070 - River Rock Assortment - 1 lb, Big Sky Blues • Blick Art Materials $4.21 5 $21.05
LA868 - Acrylic Gemstones • Lakeshore Learning Materials $19.99 1 $19.99
05144-1249 - Crayola White Taklon Brush Set - Set of 4, Flat • Blick Art Materials $3.93 4 $15.72
05144-1149 - Crayola White Taklon Brush Set - Set of 4, Round • Blick Art Materials $3.93 4 $15.72
21316-0129 - Sharpie Fine Point Marker Set - Assorted Colors, Set of 12 • Blick Art Materials $7.85 2 $15.70
23810-1601 - Elmers Washable School Glue - 9 oz, Clear • Blick Art Materials $4.96 2 $9.92
21407-1001 - Dahle Canister Pencil Sharpener - Single Hole • Blick Art Materials $3.28 2 $6.56
23802-1004 - E6000 Jewelry Adhesive - 3 2/3 oz • Blick Art Materials $5.09 1 $5.09

Materials cost


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Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


2 Donors


Donations toward project cost


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Project Activity

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