After a brief break, we are pleased to resume our monthly support for DonorsChoose, a site that curates projects in need of funding that are submitted by public school teachers from across the country. Recently, Nilofer Ali, Resources Manager, chose two projects that were particularly meaningful for her. Below is one of them, with a link to the second project at the bottom of this post.
Name/Location of School: Lafrancis Hardiman Elementary School,
DonorsChoose.org project name: Read All About It
Teacher’s Name: Ms. Calandra
Grade Level: PreK – 2
Subject (if applicable): Social Emotional Learning
Project description: Ms. Calandra was looking for books to read to her students to develop SEL skills while learning at a distance. She states, “Having these books will allow me to better target specific social skills that all students need in order to become better learners in the classroom, better friends everywhere, and better people in the community. Social and emotional skills are something that children need in order to cope with various situations they may be presented with. These books will be read aloud in our Google Meets.”
Why did you select this project?
I started my own teaching career as a Pre-K – 2nd Grade teacher, and I remember the struggle to get books for my classroom library. SEL wasn’t even a thing I had learned about until after I switched careers, but could have used during my teaching days, especially the early ones. Social emotional skills are critical for optimizing students’ well-being and learning now and throughout their lives, so I really wanted to play a part, however small, in supporting this learning.
If the teacher has contacted you since their project was funded, please share their comments:
Dear Westchester Education Services,
Thank You so much for your generous donations! I am so excited to share these books with my students via distance learning and hopefully in person in September! During these trying times, the ability to read a book over Google Meet to my students is so valuable to them. Thank you again.
How did it feel to be able to help fund this classroom’s project? I’m beyond delighted to be able to help young learners explore social emotional learning skills while separated from their teacher physically. Challenges are prime opportunities to support the development of SEL skills, and I commend Ms. Calandra for making the most of this time to continue to help her students grow in powerful ways that will impact their success in the classroom and beyond.