My awesome second graders come from a very low socioeconomic background, with the majority falling below the poverty line. They are mainly English language learners (72%) and many of them live in homes which house multiple families under the same roof. The median income is well below poverty level. Some of these seven and eight-year-olds have the sole responsibility of taking care of their younger siblings while their parents are working, with many parents working more than one job. Others are latchkey children. This is especially true for my motel and homeless students. Living in world where you have to pack up and move on a weekly or monthly basis is not a stable and ideal environment for anyone, but especially more for children.
Our school is Title I and 80% of the children receive free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch.
In addition to the many challenges that these hard-working students face, they also are coping with the fact that our school is situated in a high crime area with frequent gang activity. My children have extremely limited access to technology in their homes, yet with all these obstacles, my students come to school with much enthusiasm and an eager desire to learn.
I am very passionate about bringing art to my classroom on a weekly basis. As a 2nd grade teacher for 19 years, every Friday is our happiest day because it is “Art Day". My students look forward to this day because this is the time when their creativity comes alive. I see students that struggle in reading and writing but when it comes to art, they can create the most amazing art pieces that makes everyone envious. This in turn, increases these students’ gumption and motivation to learn. That is why I will never stop teaching art to my students. Although, the last couple of years have been a challenge for me due to our school budget cut. It is getting harder to purchase art materials. However with your help, I would love my students to have access to watercolors, a variety of paint brushes and color pastels so that they can create, explore, interpret and have the freedom to express themselves through art. Won’t you please help support and bring art to life?
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