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Ms. Arbeiter from Chicago IL is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Mapping [Y]Our Sacred Space

My students need copies of Ceremony so that we can begin reading at the beginning of the school year and dive into our themes of identity, borders, and belonging.

  • $1,064 goal

This project expired on December 10, 2018.

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

“Humans don’t make our stories, it’s stories that make us human (paraphrasing Amiri Baraka); it’s not until we know the stories of each other that we embrace our humanity." -Ezra Hyland, Ph.D.

Stories allow us to discover our shared humanity.

Our students are buzzing with energy, curiosity, and enthusiasm for pursuing their passion as creative writers, dancers, actors, visual artists, and musicians. A diverse group of artistically talented young people from every ward in the city, our students' commute might be as short as fifteen minutes or as long as two and a half hours. As a school, we work to create a truly inclusive community and recognize that we must move beyond diversity and strive for equity. We begin by encouraging every individual student to embrace their identity as a Scholar-Artist. It is vital that students have books in their hands so that they can see how through sharing their individual stories and reading other people's stories, we learn from each other's experiences and discover our shared humanity.

My Project

"Ceremony rises to greatness and can easily stand as one of the two or three best first novels of her generation, a book that has been startling and moving readers in their thousands for more than a quarter of a century." -Larry McMurtry

I continually work to find works of literature that will resonate with my students and build their capacity as readers.

I just finished reading Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony, and it is "that book"--one of the most beautifully written novels I have ever read.

I intentionally chose Silko's Ceremony to be the first novel my seniors will read in English class this year to provide inspiration for mapping sacred space--as individuals and as a collective community. Additionally, this book provides a way to strengthen my seniors' reading skills as they learn how to navigate a non-traditional narrative structure; Silko's elegant writing weaves oral poetry throughout the nonlinear and fragmented story of Tayo, an army veteran who returns to the reservation suffering from PTSD. But this is not a story about one man's brokenness.

Rather, Silko's novel is about excavating history, connecting with ancestral traditions, and healing ourselves and our communities.

Isn't this exactly what we want for everyone?

Ms. Arbeiter
Grades 9-12
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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15 donors15 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 77 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Ceremony: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) • Amazon Business $11.18 77 $860.86

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


14 Donors


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Project Activity

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