My classroom is fill with bright, enthusiastic and excited students who love learning. They love reading, Malala Yousafzai, multiplication challenges and of course, Fortnite. Not only are they learning the 3rd Grade curriculum, but they have the added challenge of learning English as all of my students are newcomers from the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Puerto Rico or raised in Spanish speaking households. They have huge dreams for the future: software developer, video game designer, librarian, and a slew of teachers, soccer players and police officers. We are a loving, bilingual bunch and ready to do amazing things.
As hungry as my students are for learning, they often come to school with very hungry bellies.
80% of my students come from economically disadvantaged families and about 30% of the students in my class are currently homeless. It is next to impossible for a student to have every opportunity to learn and participate while they are focused on their hunger pangs. While I have been providing snacks and making weekly BJ wholesale runs, my supplies are running low and it's difficult to keep up.
I teach in a 3rd Grade, Spanish Sheltered English Immersion classroom, meaning that all of my students are English Language Learners. Many are newcomers from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Colombia. They are bright, incredibly driven students who are hungry for learning and deserve the world. They are friendly, kind and super loving kids. Many want to be teachers, doctors, veterinarian and, of course, video game designers. I call my students my "nenes" because they aren't my students, they're my kids and my life.
As hungry as my students are to learn, they come to school hungry and are unable to bring in a snack during our long, academic filled morning.
All of my students receive free breakfast and lunch and for many, that is their only substantial meal for the day. Out of our whole school population, 91% of students are high needs and 20% of students are homeless- and that's just the ones we know about.
Stocking up our snack drawer not only insures that students have snacks throughout the long school day but they also have snacks to take home and for their long bus ride - for many it can take almost an hour to get home after our extended school day.
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