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

Soft Spot for Nikki G.

The cost of various collections of Nikki Giovanni's poetry from Barnes and Noble is $182, including shipping and <a target="new" href="" onclick="g_openWindow('', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.

  • $182 goal

This project expired on January 1, 2007.

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Since I began teaching in Engelwood, on Chicago's South Side, I have had my car vandalized, my tires slashed, seen a teenager with a gun, and saw someone drive away after hitting a three legged stray dog. Needless to say, I've become hardened quickly. The same can be said of my students. In attitude, dress, and demeanor, they are the "street smart" kids from afterschool specials. Slowly, though, I've discovered that even the toughest student has his/her soft spots. For many of my fifth graders, it is poetry. Specifically, the poetry of Nikki Giovanni. We have dissected her words. We have scrambled them, mumbled them, shouted them, and come back to school believing that the theme is something else. I have seen my students more gentle with Nikki Giovanni's picture books than they are with their own siblings. A few of my students came with me to hear her read her children's poetry and I almost cried when one stood up and asked a question about her favorite adult poem. Ms. Giovanni recited it right there and blew us all away. Not surprisingly, Nikki Giovanni's poetry is nowhere in our restrictive, scripted curriculum. My kids and I have been working out of my single anthology of poetry all year and we all know that if it were checked out overnight, it would never return to school. This grant is a request for more of the literature of our 'soft spots,' several volumes of Nikki Giovanni poetry for our classroom. Funding this grant would not only provide hours of ferocious reading but enhance one of the only safe spaces for my students to discuss feelings, emotion, and vulnerability.

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 90 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998 Nikki Giovanni • Barnes and Noble $22.45 1 $22.45
The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection Nikki Giovanni, Read by Nikki Giovanni • Barnes and Noble $19.80 1 $19.80
Sun Is so Quiet Nikki Giovanni, Ashley Bryan (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble $16.15 1 $16.15
Shimmy Shimmy Shimmy like My Sister Kate: Looking at the Harlem Renaissance through Poems Nikki Giovanni • Barnes and Noble $16.15 1 $16.15
Blues: For All the Changes: New Poems Nikki Giovanni • Barnes and Noble $13.50 1 $13.50
The Prosaic Soul of Nikki Giovanni (Perennial Classics) Nikki Giovanni • Barnes and Noble $13.45 1 $13.45
Ego-Tripping and Other Poems for Young People Nikki Giovanni, George Ford (Illustrator), Foreword by Virginia Hamilton • Barnes and Noble $9.85 1 $9.85
Spin a Soft Black Song Nikki Giovanni, George Martins (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble $5.35 1 $5.35

Materials cost


Vendor shipping charges


State sales tax

3rd party payment processing fee

Fulfillment labor & materials

Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


1 Donor


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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Project Activity

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