I have been a Kindergarten teacher in the Cleveland Municipal School system for over 30 years. The school I teach in is located in a very poor neighborhood, where the children come to school both hungry and ill-prepared for school. Most of the kindergartners I work with begin school at least a year behind where they should be, academically. The children generally come from one-parent households, usually being raised by a very young mother with very weak parenting skills. In this neighborhood, children are exposed to crime and violence on a daily basis.
My goal as their kindergarten teacher is to take each child as far as they can go academically, during the year they spend with me. I try to make my classroom a beautiful place for them to come to since most of them do not live in beautiful places. I try to make them feel special by placing their work up for everyone to see. I challenge them by making many learning materials, at various levels to help them grasp new concepts. I print books for the children to use at home to practice the words, letters and numbers that we are learning. My goal is to teach them that learning is fun and, as I mentioned, take each child academically, as far as he/she can go. We learn many new concepts through music and singing, and sometimes through playing learning games! We have fun, but at the same time the children are learning.
I spend at least $3,500 a year on materials for my classroom. That includes copy paper, new games and activities for the children, books, prizes (we have a "special person of the day" everyday and that child receives a prize), treats, construction paper, crayons, pencils and lots of miscellaneous craft supplies. Because my husband recently retired, I can not spend money on the children as I did in the past, so I am appealing to you. Please help me make a difference in the children's lives through your generosity. I would appreciate whatever you could do for us. Your help will definitely make a difference in the lives of these little children. Thank you for whatever you can do for us.