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Mrs. Heist from Dunkirk NY is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Proposal Part 1: Preparing ELLs for the English Regents Exam

My students need 10 copies the novels "Buried Onions" by Gary Soto and "The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros. I am also requesting the SparkNotes guide and audiobook on for "The House on Mango Street".

  • $230 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

I have been teaching grades 9-12 ESL and Spanish language in a small city school district for 24 years. The majority of our ELLs are Hispanic and hail mainly from Puerto Rico, Mexico and Guatemala. We have also had the pleasure of teaching students from Laos, Vietnam, Poland and Albania.

Teaching English Language Learners in a low income small city school district is challenging at any grade level but, when students come to us as teens in grades 9-12 with little or no English language proficiency, they face almost incomprehensible obstacles. Research shows that it takes an average of 7 years to become fluent in interpersonal language. Our high school students have at best 4 years to become conversant AND academically proficient in English. In that time frame they must meet all NYS graduation requirements if they want to earn a high school diploma. Those requirements include a six hour exam in written academic English! This year I have two students who are attending U.S. schools for the first time, are beginning level in English language proficiency and were juniors in their home country. They were disheartened to find out that their high school careers here will probably include an extra year or more of classes and a long list of exams that are part of graduation requirements. All too often potential graduates give up after several attempts at the Comprehensive English exam.

It is beyond coincidental to me that our principal informed us of this opportunity from Donors Choose at the same time as I have found a set of materials specifically designed to guide our ELL students in meeting what is often their final obstacle to graduation - the Regents Comprehensive English Language Exam. The company Attanasio and Associates, Inc. has developed GETTING READY for the ENGLISH REGENTS ESSAY that correlates with three novels. This material is designed to provide ELLs with practice for the English Regents Exam when used in conjunction with three specific novels. I am able to purchase a few copies of the "Getting Ready..." book but not the novels that go with it. I need and have added to my cart, 10 copies each of two of the titles that work together with "Getting Ready..." They are: THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET (plus the audio book and Spark Notes for it) and BURIED ONIONS by Gary Soto.

If it is devastating to see the students' dreams of graduation crushed at the final hour. I can't begin to imagine how the students themselves feel with the exam standing between them and graduation. Your support of this project will provide culturally insightful and inspirational literature that students can relate to and use on Part IV of the English Regents exam. Supporting this project will help move perspective graduates away from crushed hopes and onto a direct course toward graduation and beyond. Please help them overcome this one final hurdle.

Mrs. Heist
Grades 9-12
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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1 donor1 donor has given to this project.

This project will reach 10 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
The House on Mango Street Sandra Cisneros • Barnes and Noble $8.76 10 $87.60
Buried Onions Gary Soto • Barnes and Noble $6.25 10 $62.50
The House on Mango Street Sandra Cisneros, Narrated by Sandra Cisneros • Barnes and Noble $6.21 1 $6.21
House on Mango Street (SparkNotes Literature Guide) Manufactured by SparkNotes Editors, Sandra Cisneros • Barnes and Noble $4.45 1 $4.45

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Project Activity

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