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Ms. Avashia from Dorchester MA is requesting Technology through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Sometimes You Need to Hear It to Learn It

My students need 5 iPod Shuffles to give them greater access to the civics content present in their textbooks.

  • $345 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My foremost goal as a teacher is to make my class so engaging, and so intellectually stimulating for students that they walk away from 8th grade Civics prepared to engage in active citizenship! I teach at an urban middle school where 90% of my students are students of color, and close to 90 percent are on free or reduced lunch. My students are incredible, thoughtful young people, and I am committed to providing them with the best educational opportunities that I can.

While the content of Civics is inherently engaging for my students, the curriculum we are mandated to use by the district is not. The textbook is dry and difficult for students to access. There are very few hands-on activities to support students in understanding challenging concepts pertaining to how our government works. The curriculum is vocabulary-heavy, and written on an 11th-grade reading level. I do a great deal of work in my classroom to overcome the challenges presented by the district-mandated curriculum. I utilize multimedia, project-based learning, experiential activities and guest speakers to help bring the content alive for students. But because the district imposes city-wide midterm and final exams, and because those exams are entirely based on the mandated curriculum, and because it's important for kids to be successful on those exams (they count as 20% of students' overall grade), there are definitely days when we have to read from the textbook. And on those days, many of my struggling readers experience high levels of frustration, and low levels of comprehension.

I believe that I could better support my students in accessing the content in the Civics curriculum if I were able to make digital recordings of the chapters, upload those recordings on to iPod shuffles, and then make those iPods available to students who felt they needed to both hear and read the content simultaneously in order to understand it. I try to do this at present by having students read in groups, but that both places an undue burden on fluent readers, and can make things awkward for struggling readers. You can pause an iPod, rewind it, and listen to a section again and again if you need to. You can't ask a classmate to do the same. With just 5 iPod shuffles, I could ensure that struggling readers in my classes had access to audio files of every chapter in the textbook. They could listen to these chapters as many times as necessary to fully understand the content. They could do so within a class period, but also could listen at lunch or after school to reinforce their content knowledge. And they could do so without feeling any embarrassment or discomfort.

With your support, my students will be better able to understand how our government works, and what roles they can play in making our society a better place to live. Your donation won't just help my students do better in Civics class; it will also help them to be better citizens of our country, and our world.

Ms. Avashia
Grades 6-8
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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4 donors4 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 84 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
iPod shuffle 1GB (Blue) • Woodwind & Brasswind $49.00 5 $245.00

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


4 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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Project Activity

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