· Our first goal is to raise $500.00 to buy 62 books from the student wish list. DONE!!! THANKS TO YOUR SUPPORT!!! IN JUST 3 DAYS! NOW ON TO THE DREAM GOAL:
· Our dream goal is to raise $5,000.00 to purchase 280 current nonfiction books in the areas of science, math, technology, weather, animals, and biography. Our students are curious and hungry to read, and they are grateful for any support!
Described from the outside, Grass Valley Elementary School in Oakland, Ca might seem to fulfill a stereotype: federal high poverty designation, 70% of our students qualifying for free and reduced lunch, ageing textbooks with missing pages, field trips to local museums that can’t happen because we can’t afford the bus…the list could go on. But that would be described from the outside.
Here’s what parents who’ve experienced Grass Valley Elementary from the inside say: · “A place where a black boy can thrive…” · “I am a social worker… [and want] to let everyone know what a great school my daughter attends…It’s about dedicated experienced teachers who want to help our children, and give them the tools to think strategically and be successful (not just pass tests)! · “Great school, great location (deer appear daily) and a rich afterschool program.”
Here’s what the kids say…every morning after the pledge allegiance: “….I have the power to make my people proud… Listen to this, I am a reader, a writer, and a student scientist! I am a scholar. I am a teacher. I may be a child, but I am your future leader. I can be as free as an eagle… and yes, I believe I can soar!”
We have so many assets: our 286 beautiful students – 99% children of color, an awesome principal, teachers and staff who go beyond the call to reach our kids, an incredible aftercare program, a vibrant PTA, a heavy-lifting Dads’ club, dedicated parents and you! reading this page…exploring how you might help!
Our focus right now is books for our library. For many years we had no library and no librarian, and then a neighborhood mom volunteered for 3 years, 50 hours a week, frustrated that our school lacked the resources her own child’s school enjoyed. Now she is on staff part time – still working 50 hours! And largely self-funding as many books as she can afford for the library.
Here’s Ms Pierson’s passionate request and some background for it:
Our students love to read!! One 5th grade boy said “I wish I had two heads so I could read two books at a time”! Most of our kids depend on the school library for books to read. Due to severe budget cuts, our public school did not even have a library until 3 years ago. We’ve worked hard to keep it open and get books into the hands of students who do not have access to books.
Our students take special pride in their library. 30 students come at least once a week, often many times each week, to shelve books and help the library teacher with other tasks. And there are more students on the volunteer wait list! Students flock through the library doors before, during, and after school to get books, and circulation has gone up 42% since last year. The library is truly the literacy hub of the school, and the place where students can access resources they need to be successful in life.
But we do not have enough books to meet student demand. Wait lists are very long for popular books, and too many students cannot get the nonfiction books they request. The kids are excited about science but our average science book is 15 years old. Our kindergartners and first graders wanted to read about storms after we had one but there was only one such book for early readers on the shelves. We do not even have enough dinosaur books to go around!
We receive no funding to buy books. Students have done their best to raise some funds but our library teacher bought most of the popular new books out of her own pocket. We would very much appreciate donations of any amount to purchase books for our library. Our first goal is to raise $500.00 to buy 62 books from the student wish list. Our dream goal is to raise $5,000.00 to purchase 280 current nonfiction books in the areas of science, math, technology, weather, animals, and biography. Our students are curious and hungry to read, and they are grateful for any support!