More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households
$0 still needed
Publish or Perish! At-risk Teens Need Paper
My students need 30 packs of copy paper for publishing projects.
My at-risk students write constantly. When we read a short story, they follow up with a written reflection or a short story of their own; they create anthologies of their short stories. Every poem we read, they write a poem in response; they compile and bind their poetry into books to give away. They write at least one major essay a month.
Why so much writing? Because understanding the conventions of the written word is perhaps the most important work-related skill I can provide. Through exposure and practice, the idiosyncrasies of the English language are demystified.
Additionally, the ability to analyze and express thoughts and emotions may be the most important life skill I can help them hone during their time with me. The frustrations of being an at-risk teen are vented in constructive ways; rather than battling society (and themselves), they do battle with the written word.
The prize they win is often tangible: like I said, I have them compile their writings into books, anthologies, "zines", and whatever other publishing product I can think of that will make their writing "real."
The problem is, we need paper. In these uncertain economic times, and with our state facing budget shortfalls, schools across Oregon are implementing spending freezes. In some cases, that means no more printer paper. In other cases, it means paper use will be severely restricted.
Please don't allow that to happen with my students. We need to continue to provide them with ample paper to learn and practice the writing skills necessary to lead happy, successful lives. And we need to guarantee that they can publish their best work, so that their thoughts don't perish on a computer screen but go with them when they leave my class.
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