I like to think of our school library as "The Little Library That Could." Housed in a converted classroom fitted with a circulation desk, air conditioner, and water fountain, the library provides a cozy, joyful retreat for students as they discover and explore the world of children's literature.
My school serves Pre-K through 5th grade students in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.
Many of our families are first generation residents from the West Indies struggling to make ends meet. Eighty-seven percent of our students are eligible for free lunch. The economic downturn has hit our school community particularly hard.
Poverty and unemployment are unacceptably high, while our budget continues to tighten. Further, we must compete with new local charter schools possessing greater resources and more attractive, state-of-the-art facilities. Our dedicated teachers work tirelessly to engage students as these new schools aggressively market themselves to our best and brightest.
Too many of our students come from homes with few books to call their own, yet I am heartened by the tremendous enthusiasm and joy the children express as we explore a wide selection of fiction and nonfiction books together. Students beam as they leave my library with borrowed books to read.
Through the hard work and dedication of our school staff, we were awarded a sizable grant which allowed us to purchase a variety of robotics materials for our pre-k through 5th graders. However, due to the strict guidelines on how that grant money could be spent, were not able to purchase the iPads necessary for programming many of the new robots we received.
Having a very modest school budget, we are left in the awkward and frustrating position of having a new, well-stocked Robotics/Computer Science makerspace which we are unable to fully implement with our students.
The six iPads I am seeking will make a world of difference to our students and teachers!
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