The IN has adopted DonorsChoose.org as way to help Escambia County teachers. Here is a thank you note from one of the teachers we helped:
My class is filled with readers from all different levels, some with learning disabilities. Many of them, even though they are in 5Th grade, have never attempted to read a chapter book. This book is such a good book that it makes it seem like an easy read. It was wonderful to see the higher level readers “partner up” with lower level readers. Many of the students in my class have said that “Bud, Not Buddy” is the best book that they have ever read. They are much more likely to attempt a higher level book after reading this book.
Students often have a hard time selecting a book because they only look at the cover to decide if they want to read it or not. When I first distributed this class set, no one seemed very excited about reading it, even though I told them how great it was. After we read the first chapter, they were all hooked! When we would read together they would beg to read “just one more chapter!” To see students beg to read is the best feeling a teacher can have.
I have used this same book in the past to read as a group in my class. I knew they would enjoy it as much as my past students have. The problem was that my old class set had been used to the point that all of the books were worn out. The old bindings had fallen apart, and sections of the books would fall out. The kids literally had to pile the hunks of pages back together and put a rubber band around them to keep them in one place. Sometimes a student would be missing a whole section. We always seemed to waste so much precious class time assembling our books each day. Having a brand new, intact set has been wonderful. The kids have taken such good care of them. When a student folds the book back, as many people do when reading a paperback book, there always seems to be another student to remind them that doing that is bad for the binding.
I never thought about grade school funding before I became a teacher. When I was in school, I took for granted all of the supplies that we had. I wonder now how all of my teachers acquired materials for projects. My county, much like the rest of the United States, is in an economic crisis. Teachers have lost employment benefits, supply money has been slashed, and in my state all teachers have taken a 3% pay cut.
In my school, we have a run down cafeteria, built in the 1940’s, no indoor physical education building for rainy days, a bathroom shortage, and air conditioning problems that keep us sweating inside for several weeks each school year. In addition, many of our students do not even have a proper pair of shoes to wear. I spend a great amount of my personal money for items for my students and it has reached a point where my pocketbook has been stretched to the limit. I can not even adequately express how thankful I am for all of your donations. It is a very generous thing you have all done, and so very much appreciated.