School: Timpanogos Elementary School, Provo, UT
Teacher: Mrs. Gould, 3rd - 5th Grade Teacher
Project: Help supply students with books to educate them on diversity and inclusion.
On March 13, Mrs. Gould met with her class as normal and said their goodbyes that afternoon when the bell rang without ever thinking they wouldn't meet in the room the next Monday. It was announced after school that day that schools would be closed and learning must be continued online for the remainder of the year. Although Mrs. Gould's students always came to school with a great attitude and ready to learn, she was amazed to see their willingness to learn remotely. The majority of her students come from low-income households. Their parents work long hours during the day and aren't always home to help with homework. Seeing her young students take responsibility for their education and completing assignments without having an adult around had her in awe.
Having a variety of books to choose from allows young readers to explore their reading preferences. With libraries and schools being closed, Mrs. Gould's students currently do not have access to adequate reading material which in turn limits their reading altogether. Getting books into their hands will get them reading. However, it's not just any books that she is trying to get into their hands. The books Mrs. Gould selected for this project include books that teach students about diversity, inclusion, and racism. Students all around the country are currently being exposed to topics that are difficult and sometimes uncomfortable to talk about. Having books that address these topics allows students, teachers, and parents to start conversations that need to be started. By giving her students these books, she can create opportunities for her students to have conversations in a safe environment where they are allowed to ask questions and express their feelings and emotions.
After fully funding the project, Mrs. Gould wrote back to us saying,
Thank you so much for your generous donations of books to my students! I'm so excited to share these books with my students and the important life lessons they'll learn from them!
You've given us books that will create an opportunity to have conversations about these topics. I can't wait to update you on the difference you've made in my classroom.
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