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

My Students Should See Themselves

My students need books with characters where they can see themselves present.

  • $440 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Many of my students come from high-poverty areas. More than half of our students receive free or reduced lunch. The students are amazing. I have spent the last ten years here, and I could not imagine a better place to be. I choose to drive over forty minutes a day to go to work because I love my students and the atmosphere of the building. I currently teach four sections of 12th grade International Baccalaureate English in a school where roughly 92% of our students are on free or reduced lunch because of economic need. I teach in a major city where the diversity is abound, but

segregation still serves as a dividing line restricting students from experiencing many opportunities.

My school is predominantly Latino with some African-American students who often travel far outside of their own neighborhood in search of better opportunities. I have been lucky to teach in the IB Program, one of

those sought-after opportunities. IB cites itself as a program designed to develop students into “active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right” (

My Project

Recently, I have been reading an anthology called Everyday Antiracism. In this text, many of the essays talk about how best to give our students opportunities, one of which is being read books where they see themselves present. Right now, I am limited to a certain curriculum and the texts at hand which means my students are reading many canonical texts written by white people about white characters. The book room has some Zora Neale Hurston Their Eyes Are Watching God, and I just need another half-set to make sure every student gets this opportunity. When reading a text by Toni Morrison this year, I overheard a student whisper that it was so nice to finally see herself present and language that reminded her of herself. I want to replace one of the canonical white authors in my units with another black author and more black characters to make the units more inclusive to my students.

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

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3 donors3 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 100 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel • AKJ Education $8.46 40 $338.40

Materials cost


Vendor shipping charges


State sales tax


3rd party payment processing fee


Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


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


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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Project Activity

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