Supporting Our Schools

Supporting Our Schools: Unifying Us With Culturally Responsive Curriculum

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NBC and Telemundo CT are proud to be Supporting Our Schools. This year may look a little different for a lot of students and teachers but the need for supplies is still there.

For 30 years, Karlen Meinsen has taught science and literature. She told NBC Connecticut that donorschoose.org is a great outlet for her to get the supplies she needs for her students.

'Boundless Grace' is one of the books that students are able to read inside Ms. Meinsen's class.

"DonorsChoose is such an important resource for teachers especially teachers in urban school districts," said Meinsen. "I've used DonorsChoose before and it has allowed me to get resources for my classroom such as a classroom rug, so I can bring students up to the rug for a class meeting."

Meinsen is a fifth-grade teacher at Celentano Bio-Tech Health and Medical Magnet School in New Haven and also mentions that DonorsChoose allows anyone to donate money to help fund teachers projects.

"It's important because our district doesn't have the resources available to get us those extra things for our classrooms," said Meinsen.

Several diverse pictures books are already inside Ms. Meinsen's class but she is looking to expand her classroom library for her students.

The fifth-grade teacher's latest project is entitled "Unifying Us with Culturally Responsive Curriculum" which has a goal of providing her students with books written by diverse authors and that has characters that look like them, too.

"Often times our children aren't able to think about a positive future, and our black and brown children especially have really been disadvantaged in our society," said Meinsen. "There are so many positive role models and positive people out there that our children can read about."

Meinsen is looking for your help through donorschoose.org to provide each of her students with copies of books written by and centered around diverse individuals.

"It's important to have them read books that are written by black and brown authors and there are so many accomplished authors," said Meinsen. "Traditionally, literature has only shown black and brown characters that are criminals or victims of crime that live in a disadvantaged area and that's simply not the reality for many communities of color."

Meinsen also believes these books can help her students develop and reach their goals in the future.

"I want my children to read these books and I want them to aspire to be either an author or whatever they want to be when they grow up and know that they can do whatever they put their mind to," said Meinsen.

NBC Connecticut's Dominique Moody, (l), Karlen Meinsen (middle), Karen McNulgy, (r) talk about the importance of donorschoose.org

Karen McNulgy is a literacy coach at Meinsen's school and says the donations are crucial for schools, teachers and students.

"As a literacy coach, I definitely spend about a thousand dollars a year," said McNugly. "With the donors choose option, teachers are really able to think about what they need in their classrooms and write a project for it."

If you would like to support a classroom project in your town, or if you're a teacher and want to find out how to submit a project, you can click here.

If you would like to donate to Ms. Meinsen's project, you can click here.

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