by Charlie Leck
What can I say? My buttons are bursting with pride. She was an honors graduate from Colgate University in 2007 and she could be out in the world making the big and bountiful bucks.
Instead, she got turned on to TEACH FOR AMERICA and ended up being sent to Harlem to teach in an under resourced school up around 135th Street in Manhattan (Harlem).
But, this is not a blog about her; this is about the rest of our family and many of our friends. A couple of times now, when we’ve put out the distress call, they responded big time and came to her aid and I’m as proud and thankful as a guy could be about that.
A couple of weeks ago, through an on-line program called DonorsChoose.org, Cynthia put out this call.
"Reading, writing and history, oh my!
"Schools across the country faced dramatic budget cuts this year and for my 7th grade students this meant combining two classes into one in order to free up some much needed funds. As a result, for the 2009-2010 school year English and Social Studies have been combined to form Humanities. With only 4.5 hours a weeks in my classroom students are struggling to learn all there is to know about reading, writing and the history of the United States from the first civilizations through the Civil War.
"In an effort to increase student learning and help students make connections between everything they are learning we will be reading four historical fiction novels. Unfortunately, the school only owns two of these! With no money left for books I'm reaching out to you all for help purchasing the book 'Before We Were Free,' by Julia Alvarez. A story of a young girl growing up in the Dominican Republic during the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, this book will give my students a better understanding of the central role democracy and freedom play in the U.S. and what life can be like without these things. In addition with a large number of Dominican students in my classroom it will give them a chance to learn about an often forgotten time of pain and terror in their own homelands.
"My students need 96 copies of the novel 'Before We Were Free' by Julia Alzarez in order to learn about government and freedom. The cost of this proposal is $668, which includes shipping for any materials requested and fulfillment."
“I can’t fully express how thankful I am about this project being fully funded. It was remarkable how quickly action was taken to ensure my students are able to grow as readers and thinkers, even in times of need. It has been a challenging year, but the speed at which this project was funded reminds me that people are there to help. I’m sure that my students will as thankful as I am when they first crack open their personal copies of ‘Before We Were Free!'
"In closing, I would like to give thanks a bit early this year to each of you who took an active step toward raising the level of education my 96 students will receive this year.