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Mrs. Wallace from Saint Louis MO is requesting Classroom Basics through DonorsChoose, the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.

The Write Stuff: Pencils for ELs

Help me give my students pencils and a sharpener to complete writing assignments and improve their writing.

  • $223 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

In the hallways of the south city neighborhood middle school where I teach, you will hear my students' voices. Some are speaking Spanish as they stand at their lockers getting their books for their next class. Others call to each other in Arabic, making after school plans to play soccer in the neighborhood park. Still others whisper in Swahili or Somali as they hold hands on the way to lunch, their colorful skirts flowing out behind them. Over the din of students talking, you will also hear English. English is the language spoken by the students from the neighborhood whose whole families grew up in St. Louis. English is also the language that connects us all and makes all our international friendships possible.

Our school is truly a gem because we have so many students from all over the world and many who were born here in Saint Louis all learning together and building relationships.

Our students come to our school for a variety of reasons and from many different places, but all of them share a desire to succeed.

My Project

For the past few years, I have ended the school year by creating projects in which I request Black Warrior pencils and pencil sharpeners. They always arrive at the beginning of the following year and I get to greet the kids on the first day of school with fancy new pencils and new sharpeners. I extol the virtues of the Black Warrior pencil: The Best Pencils in the World, and describe them in hushed tones reserved for the most sacred of things. My students really get into it and in the days to come, frequently come up to whisper, "Can I have a Black Warrior pencil?"

My students often do not come to school with the basic supplies they need to learn.

This is just not something they have and I refuse to let something so small as a pencil stop them from learning each day.

When I tell them that people who don't know them bought these pencils and sharpener for them to help them learn, I see the change in them almost immediately. They are gentle with the new sharpener and more respectful of each other while using them. They are more thoughtful about what they write and I see them sitting and looking up, deep in thought, their Black Warrior pencil poised to add another brilliant thought to their paper.

Daily writing practice is essential for my students. They must practice their language every day in order to progress and grow their English proficiency. These pencils make them want to write, rather than dread writing. They truly are magical.

Mrs. Wallace
Grades 6-8
Nearly all students from low‑income households

Equity Focus

At this school, more than 50% of students are Black, Latinx, and/or Native American, and more than 50% come from low-income households. Learn how your donation to this school supports a more equitable education.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Paper Mate Mirado Black Warrior Wooden Pencils, No. 2 Soft Lead, Dozen (2254) • $3.31 35 $115.85
Quill Brand ClassMate Heavy-Duty 6-Hole Electric Pencil Sharpener, Blue (21833-QCC) • $40.79 1 $40.79

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


7 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


match offer


Match offer toward project cost


Match offer to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Excluded support for DonorsChoose


Still needed View calculationHide calculation


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Project Activity

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