I am a 2nd grade teacher at CSR Academy(we took over the charter for WEB Dubois)in Over the Rhine, which is a small area of Cincinnati, Ohio. It has been declared one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the United States. Most of our students live in households that earn less than $20,000 a year. Most of our students have several siblings and live with just their mother or caretaker. At our charter school, we have 100% free and reduced lunch as well as, 100% African American students. Our school is now is it's third year, and our mission is to teach every child, regardless of the socioeconomic situation. We have big goals that all the students are expected to achieve each year, and they are: two years of reading growth and a year and a half math growth. In my classroom 95% of my students have made their big goals in the last two years.
Since we are a charter school and do not receive tax dollars to fund our school, and because of this our students often go without regular school supplies they need in the classroom. I have been paying for school supplies out of pocket for the last two years. Learning tools such as paper, pencils, crayons, notebooks, reading materials,and folders all are supplied by me. My families do not have the extra money to pay for the supplies and my school doesn't have the money to buy them, so it has fallen on me to supply the students with their basic needs. These supplies help my students in their daily lessons. The notebooks are for math and writing journals, the pencils supply the students with a writing instrument, the crayons are used for creative projects, and the notebook paper helps in daily writing assignments. In our school, we do not have a school library, so any reading materials that the students need are found online using a website that I use to print black and white paper books on copy paper. My students would greatly appreciate a book to read in their hands that is colorful and on their grade level. If my class is lucky enough to be adopted by a patron, I would use some of the money to purchase reading texts that are on grade level and interesting. Most of my students do not have a books at home, and I allow them to borrow my books, and they are often not returned. I do not push for them to return them, because I know the book they have taken home may be the only one in their home.
I would like to thank you for taking the time to read about my students. I am very proud of our school, and how we are making a difference in our students and families lives. Thank you again for any support you can give us.