I’m writing with a very special request for you to support a campaign that is both personally meaningful to me and I think also reflective of the moral and pedagogical values of many of the folks who read this blog.
My wife Lyndsay is a fifth grade teacher at Citizens of the World Elementary School in East Hollywood, CA. This year she has been working to create a “culture of reading” in her classroom (based on principles from educational psychologist Daniel Willingham’s excellent book on the subject) and is now reaching out to ask for support to fund a small classroom library reflective of the diverse community of learners in her classroom. Lyndsay has selected several books (her school does not have a school media specialist) that would be amazing additions to her permanent classroom library, and will make a huge impact on the lives of children who love to read. As such, she’s asking for financial support to build this library. Here’s more info in her own words:
I teach in a busy 5th grade classroom at a diverse by design public charter school in Los Angeles. The mission of my school, and my classroom, is to provide curiosity-driven learning while also teaching Social Emotional Learning, Social Justice, and bridging differences. A typical day will involve students bouncing on their yoga balls as they work in groups on a problem-based inquiry lesson sequence. When there’s conflict, students can be overheard using I-statements and taking the time and space they need for themselves in the peace corner until they’re able to come back focused to their work. Restorative Justice Circles and Morning Meeting facilitate a deep sense of community and understanding that no one individual is without the influence of the rest of the community. Together, we strive everyday to show up as our best selves and support each other along the way.
I’m trying to build my library to be more reflective of the diverse community that I serve. If you’re able, please donate to these really amazing kids.
For the next seven days, if you use the code LIFTOFF, your donation will be doubled (about to $50).
You all rock!
And here’s her description of the project in full:
Our classroom is built of diverse students that are capable of perspective-taking, listening to other people’s stories, and exploring the ways that we as citizens of the world have an obligation to reach out and help others.
My students don’t want to wait until they’re older to bridge differences, they do it now.
They are able to perspective-take and discuss the ways our culture shapes our perspective, including naming the varied aspects that go into constructing an Identity. My kids are invested in learning to work together by respecting what makes us each unique individuals and committed to making the world a new and more understanding world.
My classroom is comprised of a diverse group of kiddos and I want to make sure that all the books that are offered in the library are reflective of this diversity and are inclusive of all the type of people represented in my classroom community.
Literature is a wonderful way for these culturally aware kids to hear other’s stories as well as having their own stories affirmed.
Having a diverse offering of authors, characters, and situations better reflects the world we live in. Especially in these times where certain populations are being marginalized, I want to ensure that all of my students feel reflected by our classroom library and feel empowered to share their stories.”
If you click on the donation link, you can see the specific books your donation will fund, and where your money will go directly. It would be amazing to me and to so many students if this project is able to receive full funding, so please, dear readers, consider reaching out to support this awesome cause. As Lyndsay mentions – or the next seven days, if you use the code LIFTOFF, your donation will be doubled – so even “small” donations can help put a book in a really deserving child’s hands.
Thank you so much for considering!