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  • $552 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Ms. Comtois
Grades 3-5
More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households
  • 4 donors
  • $0 still needed

Raising Pets to Raise Literacy

My students need living organisms, like butterflies, frogs and a Venus Flytrap, and the necessary equipment to care for them, and books to increase their literacy as they read about the plants and animals.

My Students

Have you ever seen a child as they watch a Venus Flytrap snap close on an insect or as they follow a leopard gecko hunt his prey? The excitement and enchantment they feel provides a spark and desire to learn, read, and experience more. I want to use those moments to help me teach.

My students attend an inner-city elementary school that has become a staple of the surrounding Hispanic community.

All students come from poverty with limited resources at home. The school is a safe haven that provides more opportunities than what is currently available to them. About 90% of the students are English Language Learners and speak Spanish with their families. This simply means their academic school language is far behind their English speaking peers when they enter school. Since I am an English language specialist, I work only with those students who require additional help to be on grade level. The school itself is going through many changes. Due to low test scores, another agency has come in to flip our school in hopes to raise the achievement gap. We are using proven, yet innovative, strategies to help the children who have been left behind. Despite their circumstances, I know they all can achieve!

My Project

My main goal will be to provide three literacy based thematic units throughout the school year. A unit on frogs/toads, on the life cycle of a butterfly, and on carnivorous plants. Students will discover new concepts as they watch and experience these living organisms. This builds background knowledge and language the children so desperately need. Due to poverty, children lack fundamental experiences and vocabulary they need to understand the world around them and information they read in books. Research says children should be reading according to their interests. When there is a tadpole right in front of students, of course they are eager to read more about them. We will read, write, and discuss the pets in class and I will encourage self-selected reading outside of class on the topic. Children are reading, learning scientific content, and learning responsibility as they help care for our classroom pets.

These kids deserve more than what they were dealt in life.

They deserve the chance to escape their home life and be a curious child. They deserve meaningful opportunities to read about interesting topics, and they deserve the chance to love school and be motivated to learn. The unique opportunity to bring pets and plants into the classroom truly excites students to discuss, read, and write about the organisms. This will help the children receive the education they deserve.

Read More

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Amphibian or Reptile Tank, 10 Gal • Carolina Biological Supply Company $54.63 1 $54.63
Carnivorous Plant Terrarium, - NeedByDate: 04/01/2013 • Carolina Biological Supply Company $36.05 1 $36.05
BUTTERFLY PAVILION W/PREPAID LM CD FROM MF • School Specialty $28.49 1 $28.49
Frog Eggs, Living, Field Collected, Unit of 50 to 100, - NeedByDate: 01/23/2014 • Carolina Biological Supply Company $25.41 1 $25.41
Repti-Clean Filter • Carolina Biological Supply Company $19.90 1 $19.90
Scholastic Reader Level 1: From Tadpole to Frog • Amazon $3.26 6 $19.56
MAGNETIC FROG LIFE CYCLE • School Specialty $18.99 1 $18.99
Tadpoles and Frogs • AKJ Books $3.64 5 $18.20
From Tadpole to Frog • AKJ Books $2.91 6 $17.46
Zoo Med Combo Reptile Rock Food and Water Dish, Large • Amazon $15.40 1 $15.40
Butterflies • AKJ Books $2.91 5 $14.55
Elizabite: Adventures of a Carnivorous Plant H. A. Rey, H. A • AKJ Books $4.34 3 $13.02
Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), Living, - NeedByDate: • Carolina Biological Supply Company $9.74 1 $9.74
Repti-Clean Filter Replacement Cartridge • Carolina Biological Supply Company $3.18 3 $9.54
Exo Terra Turtle Grass Plant • Amazon $8.63 1 $8.63
BUTTERFLY FEEDER • School Specialty $8.54 1 $8.54
Zoo Med Laboratories SZMCF25 New Zealand Sphagnum Moss, .33-Pound • Amazon $8.46 1 $8.46
MODEL FROG LIFE CYCLE STAGES • School Specialty $6.64 1 $6.64
LIFE CYCLE STAGES BUTTERFLY • School Specialty $6.26 1 $6.26
Tadpole Story • AKJ Books $5.07 1 $5.07
Once There Was a Tadpole • AKJ Books $4.37 1 $4.37
Butterflies • AKJ Books $4.34 1 $4.34
Curious George Tadpole Trouble • AKJ Books $2.91 1 $2.91
Monarch Butterfly (Life Cycles) • AKJ Books $2.56 1 $2.56

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4 donors4 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 90 students.

Project Activity

This classroom project was brought to life by The Walt Disney Company and 3 other donors.

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