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Trenton Special Ed Classroom

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Positive Atmosphere, Positive Behavior and Adequate Materials Count!
My students need a fresh, clean environment with adequate high interest teaching materials in order to encourage learning paired with increasing positive behavior. Quite often they are surrounded by negativity and violence and that becomes their norm.

My Students
Have you ever had the pleasure of working with students in an urban school district who make your heart smile? Did you know that school may be the only structured and stable setting these students may have? Have you had students who can't even go outside to play because of the fear of getting shot? This is the climate and culture of where I have been called to teach.
My students are a combination of diverse learners in an urban area, who are ESL/bilingual/Special Needs learners. Many have experienced trauma in their lives and have had difficulty in school as a result. Chronic Absenteeism, poor test scores and budget cuts have been a problem in my school. Violence has also taken a toll on the community. These students are our future and I would like to teach them that violence and negative behavior is not the answer by implementing a mindful classroom focusing on building positive character traits and fostering a safe, appealing environment where authentic learning can occur.

My Project
These materials will be an incentive for my students. Last year, my school ran out of paper by Winter Break! The burden of supplying materials then falls on the teachers. This lack of proper funding impacts these middle schoolers emotionally and educationally. “Am I not worth being able to have pencils, paper or even toilet paper at the school?” said a student within his heart. This has a negative impact on these children and feeds into their mindset, “Whelp Miss… I’m from the Hood!” and they give up like a self-fulling prophecy. They all deserve so much more! They all need to have their basic educational needs of met so that the stress they experience is erased.
I believe I make huge differences with my students each year. I want to be able to do even better. I am a Special Education English Teacher for 7th and 8th grade pupils. My students have shown growth in that they can be respectful, be responsible and be ready for school. Their reading and writing skills have improved. Regardless, I know my students deserve to have clean, painted walls devoid of vandalism and working blinds for the windows. They need to have white boards and dry erase markers in order to learn through direct instruction. We need high interest-low reading leveled books and novels that will build the students schema for learning. I feel if I had some financial help in this endeavor that I can create even a MORE powerful program than in years passed. I encourage you to donate that which is laid upon your heart so that we together can make a difference in the lives of these children regardless of where they live and what their socioeconomic situation. It is up to us to help mold positive citizens of America. Please help.


Stacey Oliver
Trenton, NJ

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