My middle school students are deeply interested in learning and hopeful that they can make a difference in the communities they represent. They want to fit in and do well in school. They love mirrors and lip gloss and aren't shy about sharing their thoughts. My middle school students are not the statistics you read and hear about in the media. Despite ongoing violence in and around Chicago, my students participate in kindness challenges, tutor younger grade students, and assist teachers during their recess.
These eager to learn students can quickly become the lonely and unhappy when their basic needs and cultural expectations are not met.
This lack directly interferes with their learning and ability to be the leaders we desperately need in our society.
Our school has an enrollment of 942 , Pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade students. Approximately 10% of the student population receives special education services. Ninety-four percent are considered low-income and receive free or reduced meals at school throughout the day.
While most of my students enjoy coming to school, the unpredictable home lives of some make it difficult. A lack of basic needs of clothing and food has a direct and negative impact on students' attendance, social emotional growth and academic achievement. These basic humanitarian items of food (fruit snacks, Kellogg's Special K Original, Nature Valley Oats, and Honey Granola Bars) clothing (scarves, gloves, and hats) and hygiene items such as deodorant and toothpaste will encourage my students to see school as a safe and nurturing place where their academic, social and personal needs are met and that people are concerned about them. My middle school students aren't shy about their needs and share them often. Because basic needs such as hunger aren't always clear cut, I plan to have an open pantry in one of my closets where students can take food or clothing they need. This project will increase students' attendance, academic achievement and encourage students to learn in an atmosphere of trust and respect. It is difficult for those who don't get their basic needs met to reach dreams.
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