info 10.27.09

Donors Choose
Plus: Every Person in New York

As we do once a semester or so, MUG is asking you to help a NYC classroom through DonorsChoose. We're asking in spite of the recession, but because of it, too. There's just not enough money allocated to provide the number of books needed by each city classroom.

Every time we've asked you to contribute, you've done so quickly and generously. To date, MUG readers have aided NYC schools with more than $6000 in donations, helping 370 students.

Today's request is from a city teacher to provide her students with new books, a project that costs $825. Here's what she says:

I teach seventh grade humanities in the poorest Congressional district in the country, in a school filled with some of the most heartbreakingly inspiring children in the world. Nearly 94% of my students qualify for free lunch and all of them are in need of as much extra support and help as they can get.

My students need a classroom library of books that ignites their imaginations and sparks their love of reading. My school does not have the funding needed to update classroom libraries. The books that we currently have are falling apart and antiquated. There is not enough variety to really encompass the many reading levels of my students - many of my students find themselves either reading a book too hard or a book too easy. Even worse, many of my students often struggle with relating to the characters in these novels and become extremely frustrated with the language.

I want my students to be able to fall in love with reading – to actually be so involved in a book during independent reading time that they cannot put it down when it's time to start instruction. I want my students to beg for more time to read because they want to know what will happen next in their books so badly.

My students are diverse in background and complex in mind and spirit. They believe deeply in friendship, brotherhood, fairness, and heart. They have personally experienced how difficult life can be. The texts that I have chosen to create this classroom library embody their many different interests, hopes, and fears. These are novels that my students will believe in and see themselves within the characters. These are novels that will allow my students to escape from the barren coldness of the real world into an imaginary world of magic.

With your generous donations, you will be able to inflame my students into a love of reading and, most importantly, a love of books. Technology is on the verge of driving books into extinction and it has become even more essential for us to remind kids how wonderful it is to hold a book in your hands and to treat it as a dear friend. My students are particularly remarkable little minds, spirits, and hearts and I have no doubt that your small gift to our classroom will be the catalyst to many life-changing experiences in both the real and imaginary world.


Jason Polan started Every Person in New York in March of 2008. He plans on working on the project until it is finished. Look for Every Person in New York on Tuesdays in MUG and daily at Jason's site.

chelsea (from 2007)

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