Today’s guest blogger, Adara Robbins, is 8th grade teacher at YES Prep Southwest, a public charter school in Houston, Texas.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
It’s a tough question. But imagine trying to answer if you didn’t know what your life would look like tomorrow – much less years from now. This my students’ reality.
My 8th graders at YES Prep Southwest face the constant stress of poverty. They can’t be sure where they will sleep tomorrow. They have to take care of younger siblings, leaving limited time for homework. They have few, if any, books at home. With so much uncertainty, it can take a lot of work for them to visualize a future where they will succeed and attend college.
But they will. By the time my students finish high school, 100% of them will be accepted to a four-year college – it’s a graduation requirement.
Many of my students come to me up to five years behind their peers academically. As their teacher, I guide them through a demanding curriculum that brings them up to grade level and inspires a genuine love of learning. Neither could happen without having great books to give them.
Because of First Book, my kids have the books they need to become strong, confident, enthusiastic readers. They’ve grown academically. They get along better with one another. They love and constantly ask for more books. My students are simply happier when they start their day reading.
They also work extremely hard. They attend school from 7:30am to 4:30pm, often staying late for extra help. Their tenacity and determination inspires me to do a better job every day.
All over the country, teachers like me face the challenge of helping kids living in poverty read, learn and succeed. Your support of First Book gives us the resources we need to help kids change the course of their lives.