Thanks to Build-A-Bear Workshop, I just gave my first contribution to  I’ve never really visited the site before, but I definitely encourage you to.  It seems to be a great way to increase education and help people who truly need it – and who will be our future leaders.

Here is information on the project I supported:

Summer Learnin’…Having a Blast!

Classroom project requested by Ms. M. on Apr 9, 2010

My Students: The long, hot, lazy days lounging during summer. No more papers, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks! But when August comes around again, students stare blankly at the simplest problems on the board, unsure of how to proceed because of three months of no practice!

I teach in a low-income school, where students are classified as “high risk” and “struggling”. Over the course of this school year, my kids have worked incredibly hard to overcome barriers and obstacles to close that achievement gap. However, with the arrival of summer comes the possibility of all our hard work being lost to the rays of sunshine and endless television programs. My students need to extra practice over the summer to keep their skills sharp for next year. For every school break, students receive a packet of homework to complete, which helps them practice essential skills when they’re not in school.

My Project: I am lucky enough to be able to loop with my class next year, meaning that I will have the opportunity to teach the same group of kids that I did this year. In this way, I will have one more year to catch them up to their more affluent peers. However, in order to ensure that we don’t lose more ground, I want to give them a packet of work to hone their skills over the summer. The kids enjoy these packets and always ask me for more. However, I don’t have a way of compiling the packets without binders and reproducible pages for the packets! This is where you can come in and help us! I will reuse the binders as long as they hold up during the school year and the reproducible activities will keep them busy throughout the school year, starting with this summer break all the way through the 2010-2011 school year!

With your extremely generous donation, I will be able to make homework packets for my students for the summer and every school holiday. They will be able to practice reading, writing, math, science and spelling in an organized and manageable way. You will be helping us close the achievement gap and get in the extra practice we need to succeed!

My students need binders for their various school break homework packets and reproducible literacy, math, and science curricula.

About Joel Portman
Network Builder. Diversity and Inclusion Advocate. Social Media Enthusiast. Lover of family, friends, the outdoors, travel, and learning. I have experience working in the healthcare, education, diversity/inclusion, retail, and non-profit industries with organizations ranging in size from five people to Fortune 500. I am an MBA graduate of the University of Denver.

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