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Mrs. V. from Swannanoa NC is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

The Civil Rights Experience Through Someone Else's Eyes

The cost of 40 copies of The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963, and the accompanying teacher's guide and audiobook from AKJ Educational Services is $387, including shipping and <a target="new" href="" onclick="g_openWindow('', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.

  • $410 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

I am writing to request a classroom set of one of the best adolescent novels ever written, The Watsons Go To Birmingham - 1963, by Christopher Paul Curtis. I recently changed school systems, and I taught this novel in my previous school, but my current school does not have it as a class reading set. I am a 6th grade middle school teacher in a rural area in Western North Carolina, but many of our students hardly ever leave the community. I teach an integrated Civil Rights unit, and The Watsons Go to Birmingham brings the Civil Rights Movement to life as the Watsons travel from Michigan to the deep South in 1963. It gives my students a glimpse of an African-American family that is not unlike theirs in many ways. Middle Schoolers hook into the loving characteristics of the family, as well as the deviant behaviors of the character Byron which motivate many of the decisions that are made by the members of the Watson family. Then after they grow to love the family, they are faced with the cruel realities of the time in which the Watsons lived. Christopher Paul Curtis created a work of art when he wrote this book. I have never been able to teach my Civil Rights Unit without it. I have never read any other text about the Civil Rights Era that just reached out and grabbed at the heart strings of my students like this one has. We look at primary sources from the time period, we hold Paideia sessions on Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech, we even visit the website that features the four girls who were killed in the 16th Street Curch bombing, but without the book it isn't nearly as effective. I have been waiting, searching, and hoping that my book club would run a special on this novel, and I was going to purchase a class set myself, but unfortunately it hasn't. It is a resource that would be read and enjoyed from year to year by all my Language Arts and Social Studies students.

Mrs. V.
Grades 6-8
More than half of students from low‑income households

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5 donors5 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 50 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 -- Audiobook • AKJ Educational Services $28.34 1 $28.34
Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 -- Teacher Guide • AKJ Educational Services $10.85 1 $10.85
Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 • AKJ Educational Services $5.67 40 $226.80

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How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


5 Donors


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Project Activity

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