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Mr. Barbero from New Haven CT is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Thanks for the Memoir-ies: Community Through The Kite Runner

My students need 30 copies of The Kite Runner in order to teach the power of memoir and have students create their own memoir sketches that match its power and vividness!

  • $739 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

At our school, we face the challenge of being a bottom 5% school and 40% reading achievement on the CAPT tests. I taught this book in a credit retrieval class and never had so much success getting students to read a full novel, let alone one that is 360+ pages. I believe in the power of this book!

HHS is in an impoverished area of New Haven, CT, several miles, but a world apart from Yale and other more affluent areas of the city.

Our kids are good kids for the most part. They are deficient in their reading skills due to many factors, including a lack of intrinsic motivation, lack of parental support due mostly to a transient population, parents who work multiple jobs to make ends meet, and in general, a culture that does not read. I believe students want to learn and can learn. I've seen that books like The Kite Runner have the power to reach across cultures and motivate students, even ones who are not willing readers. This donation would allow us to build a unit around students' own lives, a unit where they would use this novel to identify what makes a great memoir and then write one. Be it poetry or personal narrative, our students have stories to tell of struggle and overcoming the odds. Reading this book in class will be a vehicle towards this end.

My Project

At HHS, we've begun a Literacy Committee, based on models of similar schools, in order to turn around our poor reading achievement. We are dedicated professionals who have the best interest of our kids at heart and want nothing more than their success and improvement in reading comprehension and fluency. I've read two memorable memoirs recently: The Kite Runner and Push. These novels have the power to grip students and to teach them what a great memoir can do. I choose the Kite Runner because our kids know so little of life beyond their neighborhood. I've seen how students in a credit retrieval class (students who had previously failed English as freshmen) devoured this book independently and engaged in riveting conversation. Our library only has 10 copies, so having a class set of 30 will allow us to begin the year, in which my goal and our goal as a committee and school is to build a culture of readers. I know no memoir with the power to teach and captivate like this book.

As a teacher with kids like ours, you get one opportunity to grab them.

I believe the first few days of school are our one window to get the kids to buy into you as a teacher and you as a person. Putting The Kite Runner in front of them will let students know that we are a community of readers with high expectations. By them reading this book in class daily, we will build this community of readers, thinkers, and writers who will learn the power of my #1 maxim: Everyone has a story to tell.

Read More
Mr. Barbero
Grades 9-12
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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2 donors2 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 81 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
The Kite Runner • AKJ Books $19.46 30 $583.80

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2 Donors


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Project Activity

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