The chronic toxic stresses that are a result of living in poverty actually have the power to change the developing brain.
The issues: not having enough, not feeling worthy enough, and not knowing how to obtain and utilize the tools needed for future endeavors.
If these issues not addressed, they can have devastating effects on a child, a family, and a community.
I have spent more than 30 years teaching students of low-SES status. I have made it my personal and career goal to give students tools-educational, emotional, practical and whimsical-to navigate their way through the stresses that are inherent in poverty.
The good news: just as the brain can be negatively affected by chronic stress, it can also be positively charged with new patterns of thought.
I am looking to provide more positive patterns and experiences to my students and with your help, my students will start the new school fully equipped to embark on the journey toward success!
Within the last couple of years, I discovered the Google Apps for Education, now known as G-Suite. I went to trainings and educated myself, eventually testing for and receiving a Level 1 Google Certified Educator Certificate, because I saw in this platform the perfect solution to my students get the digital experience they need-at no cost to them.
ANY student can use Google on any device; even a cell phone will do when there's no tablet or computer available. As their work is stored 'in the cloud,' students can access their work/homework/projects from anywhere. The apps are free. They are user friendly. They include an endless number of education-friendly platforms. They also provide the basic 'office' programs for word-processing, spreadsheets, slideshows, and note-taking. Google has taken steps to level the playing field when it comes to equitable opportunity for all students.
I'm planning to purchase, through your generosity, 10 Google Chromebooks (still price-checking; the average I'm finding for a classroom-sturdy model is about $300) for my classroom. I will teach my students to effectively use the G-Suite of apps in a variety of situations.
The Chromebooks will allow my students to research, to gather and disseminate data, to create presentations, and to use Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies in real-world applications. They will learn basic coding skills. The best part is that whether or not they have computers at home, they will be as close to their projects as the nearest cell phone or library.
If we can start the new school year (August 2017) with these Chromebooks,
*My students will no longer find the lack of a home computer to be a hindrance to their learning.
*My students will be able to work collaboratively with each other, in and out of the classroom.
*My students will take real-world skills with them all the way through high school and beyond, as our District has adopted the Google Platform.
*My students will have at least two fewer obstacles:
1) the tangible one of not having devices upon which they can learn the same skills as easily and proficiently as their middle-class peers, and
2) the social-emotional deficit that comes from feeling unworthy of the same opportunities as those who are more financially privileged.
My name is Robin Frisella and I am the Teacher of the Gifted at Tangelo Park Elementary School in Orlando, Florida. My passion is giving kids every possible chance to successfully make their way in this world, so they can change the world for the better.
YOU can change the world for the better by donating to the purchase of these devices for my classroom. I hope you'll join me in this endeavor. What's better than being a world-changer?
I submit: not much.
Want to change the world?