I work at a high school in New York City where we strive to create a school community that recognizes the multitude of experiences and talents that each student brings to the classroom.
They deserve the opportunity to share their stories and voice their concerns.
After all, the youth who are directly affected by our society's challenges have the creativity and the drive to imagine solutions.
In addition to their drive and imagination, our students also have a profound understanding of their own experiences and extraordinary insight into the world around them. And their energy is the stuff that movements are made of.
“I only know that learning to believe in the power of my own words has been the most freeing experience of my life. It has brought me the most light. And isn't that what a poem is? A lantern glowing in the dark.” This is from the book, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, a performance poet who has inspired young people with her personal journey of self-acceptance. Acevedo’s early life mirrors the lives of my students in many ways and that's why it's our goal to bring her story to the classroom.
Acevedo talks about the power of her own words and I want my students to experience that same incredible feeling.
That's why we've planned a poetry reading for after we finish the book. Inspired by Acevedo's words, students will write poems about their lives, their loved ones, and their most daring hopes for the future. They will visit the famous Nuyorican Poets Cafe, workshop their writing with actual poets, and perform those poems on stage. It's an opportunity for them to know and accept the hidden strength that lies in each of them.
My job is not simply to teach, but also to nurture and to build trust. I do this by letting students know that they are seen and heard and that their stories matter. At the same time, it's hard to provide everything that students need with the financial limits that educators are faced with. For those who are able, I hope that you'll help to provide this funding for a book that will allow students to see and love themselves for who they are. After all, these young people are the hearts minds that could carry us into a day.
If you donated to this project, you can sign in to leave a comment for Ms. Jones.
DonorsChoose is the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.
As a teacher-founded nonprofit, we're trusted by thousands of teachers and supporters across the country. This classroom request for funding was created by Ms. Jones and reviewed by the DonorsChoose team.
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.