Monday, July 15, 2013

HELP! Teacher in desperate need of school supplies for students

Nate Harrington is a resident of Congress Heights and a dear friend. He is always so committed and generous with donating his time and resources for our community. Nate teaches U.S. History to 8th graders at G. James Gholson Middle School in Landover, Maryland. If you can, please help Nate help his students with some much needed school supplies. It is a worthy cause. If you can, please spread the word.

Go HERE to learn more about this fundraiser and to make a donation online. 

They say the pen is mightier than the sword, but my students often lack pens or pencils. 
I teach U.S. History to nearly 200 8th graders. I emphasis reading, writing, critical thinking, study skills, and character education. 
My students are predominantly African-American, and most qualify for free or reduced lunch. 
For a variety of reasons, many do not come to school with adequate supplies.
Lack of materials should never get in the way of learning, so I give pens and pencils to students who need them. The school provides minimal supplies, so I spent hundreds of dollars a year from my own pocket just for the basics.
My students need pens, pencils, tissue paper, stress balls, and color overlays to help with reading. I've discovered from my summer reading two new teaching tools: 
In "Teaching Outside the Box: How to Grab Your Students by Their Brains," LouAnne Johnson explains that reading is physically uncomfortable for many students because of the glare created by black print on glossy white paper. Transparent overlays of various colors have been shown to dramatically to improve the reading enjoyment and achievement for these students. 
In "The Mind of Boys" Michael Gurian recommends giving stress balls for students who have a lot of energy or have trouble concentrating. Squeezing on them is a great way for kids to fidget and expend physical energy without disturbing their classmates. As a kid diagnosed with ADHD, I found them very helpful. 
My dream is to start out the year with a healthy stockpile of supplies and not have to worry about constantly running out or running up my own credit card balance.
I'm also excited to try out innovative tools to help my underachieving students.

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