Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Desperate Plea for Children's Books!

School started on August 16th, and I would really like to know where all the money the DOE receives goes! My classroom has NO storybooks, only outdated textbooks in horrendous condition and phonics readers, which do not serve the needs of the students. We, as teachers, are not allowed to use the computer lab - ever - and my fellow volunteer and I have not been given access to the library ("You don't want to see our library." is a direct quote from the principal). Tell me, how am I to cover the standards when the textbooks don't teach them, the material in the textbooks is way too complicated for my 4th graders, who are reading WAY below grade level (some at a Kindergarten level), and any access to tools has been blocked?

If anyone is in the position to purchase used children's books at a secondhand shop and ship them to me in a flat-rate box, my students and I would be eternally grateful. Most of them do not have books at home. Most of them cannot tell you the title of a book they love. It's a horrible disservice that's being done in the village of Vatia.

Below are some photos from my clean-up/set-up process and the first day of school:

A stack of textbooks. Note the condition and the missing covers.
A rusted teacher's desk that I am forced to have in my room. It's been covered in cloth and pushed against a wall.
A Vatia eye test... one clean window, one never cleaned (?)
After the deep clean: my reading corner... Do not be fooled by the books - they are ALL Phonics Readers!
The other part of my classroom
Me, in my puletasi (traditional Samoan clothing) on the first day of school


  1. Ok, I am appalled. I guess I did not ever think schools could really be lacking books. On a mission for you this week - will send books. You have your work cut out for you but I am proud to know you, Jen! Love Chris

  2. Jennifer - Nikki and I are rounding up lots of art supplies to send. How many kids do you have in your class (# of boys and # of girls)? Also, do you have access to a pump if we sent soccer balls? It would be easier to send flat balls. I plan to take balls for kids when I go to Zambia next month and just pump them up there.
    Love Chris


Any thoughts?