Geri Ellner Krim's Finalist Essay

It has been said that "determination, patience and courage are the only things needed to improve any situation." This is only a part of the picture. School supplies should be added to the list.

The majority of my students have a difficult life. They have absent or single parents. They live in a world where gang violence is not something you see on television, but to and from school. Some are responsible for younger siblings and half-siblings. Money is tight. My students still have hopes and dreams of going to college and being a success. That is why they have selected to come to our school.

Our school is the first College Board school created in New York City. We prepare our students, not only for college entrance, but for college success. With all their social and economic handicaps, my students still want to succeed. I see this while I work with our students both in the library and in their classrooms. I also see that they have to improve their use of formal English.

Because of this, I would like to be able to purchase materials from the Reading Resources catalog. I would like to use the materials in my library, some of which would be circulated for the other teachers, and some materials to be used by students. I would like the reading center/chart holder so that I can conduct group library skills lessons. Also, I would like the teacher book resources to be able to work better with those students with reading difficulties. I would circulate the books to other teachers. They, too, can use them with their students. As for the students, I would like to purchase reading incentives, such as the reading ribbons to use as displays featuring our reading stars. With it, I would also like to use the reading posters.

My classroom starts at the library and reaches out to the other classrooms. The library is the hub of the school. Each spoke connects to another classroom. I would like to use the resources I purchase to reach as many classrooms as possible.