Inclusive Classroom Donors Support 26 Educators Cultivating Classroom Equity

Inclusive Classroom Fund donors and the F.I.S.H. Foundation joined forces this year to make a huge impact in advancing classroom equity, donating a total of $17,600 to support classrooms and schools across the nation. 26 teachers and principals received funding to cultivate equity in their schools, helping over 650 students.

Equity in education is a hot topic right now, but what does an inclusive classroom really mean? An inclusive classroom addresses inequity in education on the basis of race, ethnicity, family background, sexual and gender identity, ability, or any personal or social circumstances. 

Many educators find that historically standard classroom supplies aren’t enough to give every student  a fair shot at a great education. The teachers and principals tackling the issue of classroom inequity work relentlessly and creatively, often with little funding, to meet the diverse needs of their students.

One teacher we funded is Suzette, from Wellington, Florida. She told us that her outdated library has had “no budget for at least ten years” and doesn’t adequately represent her students of color. 

The Cooperative Children’s Book Center found that only 7% of the children’s books published in 2017 were by or about people of color and native people. That means tracking down and buying books for students of color takes research and funding. Prioritizing diverse voices is crucial to student success, and teachers know it. 

“Our students of various races, sexualities, genders, disabilities, and neurodiversities deserve to see themselves reflected in the stories we read. We must work diligently to create equitable representation in classroom literature. We can target our book buying with your help.”

Suzette – Wellington, FL

Intentionally bringing representative voices into the classroom not only gets kids invested in reading—it also shows them their stories matter. The gifts of generous donors made it possible for Suzette to revamp her library and will benefit students for years to come.

Above a student gets lost in a book beside the #ReadWoke section in Suzette’s library. #ReadWoke was started by Library Media Specialist Cicely Lewis. It challenges students and schools to read books that shake up the status quo and highlight diverse voices.

Congratulations again to Suzette and the other incredible educators cultivating classroom equity. And, a warm thank you to Inclusive Classroom Fund donors and the F.I.S.H. Foundation who make all of this possible. Without your support, many students would not have access to the classroom materials they need to feel important and fully participate. 

If you would like to support classrooms like Suzette’s, please consider a gift to the Inclusive Classroom Fund today. 

We are thrilled to announce the following 2019 Inclusive Classroom Fund recipients:

  • Jill Byrd – Luhr Elementary School – Louisville, Kentucky
  • Courtney Nygaard – South St. Paul Secondary – South Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Julia Hamels – Union East Elementary School – Cheektowaga, New York
  • Meghan Hess Shamdasani – South Tech Academy – Boynton Beach, Florida
  • Suzette Calderon – Wellington High School – Wellington, Florida
  • Susan Searles – Hilliard Elementary – Houston, Texas
  • Emily Soper – Monhagen Middle School – Middletown, New York
  • Rose Paterson – Jerry L White Center High School – Detroit, Michigan
  • Camellia Termini – Belen Middle School – Belen, New Mexico
  • Guinnevere Geyer – Bridgestone Intermediate Center – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Michelle Doyle – Oak Valley Middle School – San Diego, California
  • Arsenia Tate – St Margaret Of Scotland School – Saint Louis, Missouri
  • Carlene Johnson – Crookshank Elementary School – Saint Augustine, Florida
  • Heather Modrow – East Ridge Elementary School – Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Janette Kiso – Da Vinci Connect – Hawthorne, California
  • Ashley Dockett-Giles – Vansville Elementary – Beltsville, Maryland
  • Denisse Ochoa – PSJA North Early College High School – Pharr, Texas
  • Francesca Fowler – Pecan Springs El – Austin, Texas
  • Nikita Gibbs-Nolen – Markham Elementary  – Oakland, California
  • Jennifer Freeman – KIPP Academy Charlotte – Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Julie Grutzmacher – Lane School – Houston, Texas
  • Kara Cowdrick – Charles Brant Chesney Elementary – Duluth, Georgia
  • Leslie Costley – Cowell Elementary School – Denver, Colorado
  • Sierra Brown – Ginter Park Elementary – Richmond, Virginia
  • Stacy Walther – Enrico Fermi School Performing Arts – Yonkers, New York
  • Christopher Tran – ArTES Magnet School – San Fernando, California