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

Poetry is Freedom.

The cost of these poetry books and tapes is $165, including shipping and <a target="new" href="" onclick="g_openWindow('', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.

  • $165 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

I tell my kids that I love poetry. I tell them that it's freedom from structure and convention. I challenge them to create a poem: right here and now. The pencils begin scratching. With high hopes, I look over bent shoulders. "Roses are red, violets are blue.." I'm not kidding. I wish I were. I work with fifth graders on the south side of Chicago. They are battered daily with visuals of poverty, crime, destitution, and danger. Few have safe outlets in which to express their reactions to their surroundings. I truly believe that in poetry, they would find a much needed sense of freedom. Our school lacks diverse models of poetry. Beyond Langston Hughes and his well worn, 'Dream Deferred' poem, my students can name very few African-American poets. They tell me earnestly that poetry MUST rhyme and have never heard of anyone who weaves Spanish and English into one verse. To teach and discuss poetry as an outlet for expression, I need more volumes of diverse, quality poetry. I crave books that I can lend to the students and audio recordings of REAL authors reading REAL poems that they REALLY wrote. These are the same students who believe Chicago is its own state. Geography is a constant struggle because of its seeming irrelevance to survival in this neighborhood. Poetry will give voice to the countries studied by my 90 Social Studies students and serve as models and muses for my voracious 5th grade Reading class. Sandra Cisneros, Naomi Shihab Nye, Billy Collins, Eloise Greenfield, Maya Angelou, and Nikki Giovanni are amongst the diverse poets whose works, both written and recorded, are sought through this grant. By funding this grant, you bring spirit into a form of expression that has thus far been lifeless for my urban students. Please help them embrace poetry as freedom: from both structural and societal standards.

Ms. Griffith
Grades 3-5
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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1 donor1 donor has given to this project.

This project will reach 80 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
He's Got the Whole World in His Hands Kadir A. Nelson, Kadir Nelson (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble $15.29 1 $15.29
A Maze Me: Poems for Girls Naomi Shihab Nye, Terre Maher (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble $15.29 1 $15.29
The House on Mango Street Read by Sandra Cisneros • Barnes and Noble $13.49 1 $13.49
Sailing Alone around the Room: New and Selected Poems Billy Collins • Barnes and Noble $12.55 1 $12.55
Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes David Roessel (Editor), Arnold Rampersad (Editor), Benny Andrews (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble $11.96 1 $11.96
And Still I Rise: A Selection of Poems Read by the Author Maya Angelou, Diego Rivera (Illustrator), Experiments by Maya Angelou, Read by Maya Angelou • Barnes and Noble $10.80 1 $10.80
This Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from Around the World Naomi Shihab Shihab Nye, Naomi Shihab Nye • Barnes and Noble $8.09 1 $8.09
My Black Me: A Beginning Book of Black Poetry Arnold Adoff (Editor), Various • Barnes and Noble $6.29 1 $6.29
Honey, I Love and Other Love Poems Eloise Greenfield, Leo Dillon (Illustrator), Diane Dillon (Illustrator), Leo and Diane Dillon (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble $5.39 1 $5.39
Spin a Soft Black Song Nikki Giovanni, George Martins (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble $5.35 1 $5.35

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Fulfillment labor & materials

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Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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1 Donor


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Project Activity

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