GingerSass

adding ginger to your sass

GingerSass - adding ginger to your sass

Hi

I feel oddly compelled to post something here tonight, but I don’t have anything to say.

So hi.

Here’s a meme. It was one of the first ones that popped up when I Googled “memes.” (I think it’s kind of accurate as to where my teacher mind is right now.

Also, check out this workshop by one of my favorite blogs/ instagram accounts to follow, FosterMoms. This is far more worthy of being posted on here than Alan from The Hangover.

Back to my ramblings. I’m so ready for it to be summer. I’ll be nannying this summer, moving this summer, and trying not to move much off the couch when I’m home this summer. I’ll also be wearing sneakers a lot, which is something I’ve invested a lot into lately. A LOT. Like I own multiple pairs of shoes that could be considered sneakers that weren’t bought at Payless. If you’ve followed this blog for awhile, you’ll know why this is shocking. (I still suck at exercising, btw.) BUT, back to the importance of this unimportant paragraph, I’ll be wearing comfortable shoes and breathing a bit this summer.

I’m excited.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend. <3

An Open Letter to the Woodbridge BOE

A little bit of background for all of you that have no clue what’s going on:

The Woodbridge Township School District Board of Education has voted to eliminate ALL school librarians for the 2017/18 school year.

A public hearing has been scheduled by the Woodbridge Township Board of Education to discuss the 2017/18 school year budget on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 7:00 PM at Avenel Middle School, 85 Woodbine Avenue, Avenel, NJ.

LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD!!!!

——

Dear Woodbridge Township School District Board of Education,

My name is Kailynn, and I am a proud resident of Woodbridge township. I am also a high school English teacher in NJ. While I am not yet a parent, I am truly concerned about the state of Woodbridge Township’s public schools, and the impact the Board’s decisions will have on both current and future Woodbridge Township School students.

Through the New Jersey Library Association, I recently learned that Woodbridge Township School District Board of Education has voted to eliminate all school librarians for the upcoming school year. This would be a devastating blow to not only the youth of our town, but to our community as a whole.

Literacy in America has been on a steady decline for the past few years. As a fourth year English teacher, I have seen my students enter the 11th grader with less and less proficiency in their reading and reading comprehension skills. While I may not be a statistician, I am an English teacher. Every day I see how my students have grown through out the school year. I believe I large part of this growth is the fact that I have made it a priority to have my students read independently at least once a week. Without the availability of a library or a friendly librarian to help them find a book that interests them, my students certainly would not be reading on their own. I am horrified to even imagine what their education would be like without the opportunity to develop key literacy skills. The removal of all school librarians would leave an irreparable hole in the education of our township’s youth. It would be simply shameful for the Board to allow this to happen, let alone support such a preposterous idea.

The students of our township deserve the very best. After all, the vision statement of our school district is to “engage the entire community in instructing and inspiring our students to be successful and significant beyond our classrooms.” Without the support of a school librarian, how can we even begin to come close to this vision?

School librarians do more than organize books. They teach our students to be avid learners, to research topics of interest and importance to the world, and to become better citizens of the world. School librarians create strong educational bonds with teachers in order to help students discover digital and print resources, as well as help develop research projects. Curriculum is further enriched by the knowledge and expertise of school librarians.  To destroy these positions would be a tragedy.

Woodbridge Township School District claims that their mission statement “is to develop, through a technology infused curriculum, life-long learners who are responsible citizens prepared to make positive contributions to the global society. We are committed to engaging all members of the community in the process of providing a learning environment that fosters interdependence, embraces change and values diversity. “ If the school district is so determined to develop life-long learners and responsible citizens, the district should undoubtedly keep their school librarians. Getting rid of such vital members of the school community would be a complete travesty, and a disappointment to both the school community and the Woodbridge community as a whole.

Our students deserve better than this. I want them to read. I want them to succeed. I want our students to do well in life. I’m sure you feel the same. After all, any teacher or parent’s goal is to see their student succeed.

Before I end this note, I hope that you will consider the following facts about literacy in America.

  1. 2/3 of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare. Over 70% of America’s inmates cannot read above a 4th grade level.
  2. 1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read.
  3. Kids who don’t read proficiently by 4th grade are 4 times likelier to drop out of school.
  4. As of 2011, America was the only free-market OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) country where the current generation was less well educated than the previous.
  5. Nearly 85% of the juveniles who face trial in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, proving that there is a close relationship between illiteracy and crime. More than 60% of all inmates are functionally illiterate.
  6. 53% of 4th graders admitted to reading recreationally “almost every day,” while only 20% of 8th graders could say the same.
  7. 75% of Americans who receive food stamps perform at the lowest 2 levels of literacy, and 90% of high school dropouts are on welfare.
  8. Teenage girls ages 16 to 19 who live at or below the poverty level and have below average literacy skills are 6 times more likely to have children out of wedlock than the girls their age who can read proficiently.
  9. Reports show that low literacy directly costs the healthcare industry over $70 million every year.

(Facts from “11 Facts about Literacy in America.” DoSomething.org | Volunteer for Social Change. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 May 2017.)

I truly hope that you will consider the severity of the Woodbridge Township School District Board of Education’s vote to eliminate the remaining three school librarian positions. Not only do these esteemed educators deserve better, but so do our students. It would be a disgrace to be a part of a township that supports setting up current and future generations for failure with the removal of school librarians.

Thank you for your time, service, and consideration.

Sincerely,

Kailynn

 

 

I’m really bad at saying thank you.

For close to 2 months, I’ve been trying to find the words to say to thank the amazing individuals who sent books my way for my classroom and #Booksgiving.

I’ve literally been trying to write about my reaction to this year’s #Booksgiving for 3 weeks now. Every time I open my phone to upload the pictures I want to use, I come dangerously close to crying. 

Just know that I love each and every one of you who found me through The Bloggess, and I’ve spent a decent amount of time these past few weeks randomly getting teary eyed and showing my wife the HRC and Ms. Marvel and Amy Poehler and Issa Rae and dozens of other books you all have graciously donated to my classroom library.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

I still can’t think of anything that isn’t rambling to say thank you with.

I’m really bad at saying thank you.

So, instead, I’ll share some facts. (I promise they’re not alternative.)

  1. So many books were donated to my classroom this Booksgiving that I actually had to go out and buy another bookshelf for my classroom. (Thanks for the $17 hook up, Walmart.)I then had to put said bookshelf together, WHICH I’VE DONE BEFORE THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Unfortunately, I kind of struggled putting this bookshelf together. My students started calling me “Barbour the Builder” and singing “Can she fix it? No she can’t!” They said this with love, and, much to their surprise, after a week long struggle, I finally got the bookshelf together. Can she fix it? Yes she can!
  2. Two weeks ago, after finally putting together said bookshelf, I started organizing my library. The big shelf the school gave me is for a hodge podge of everything. The one little shelf is for poetry only. The Barbour the Builder Bookshelf is a little different. My students and I had a conversation that went a little bit like this over it:Me: “Okay, I just put star stickers on all my poetry books so put all the starred books in the poetry bookcase when you’re done. These other books were all donated through this thing called #Booksgiving. The new small bookshelf is going to be where they go, the “The World Sucks But You Don’t” bookshelf, or something like that, cuz that’s why I requested all these books for you.”Student: “Ms. B., you have dinosaur stickers, right?”Me: “Yea, why?”

    Student: “Put dinosaurs on those books. We’re tough, but unlike dinosaurs we’re never gonna be extinct.” 

    You bet I got a little teary eyed over that.

  3. I’ve been adamant this year that my students have 2 choices if they finish their work early. They can either write and submit a creative piece for the school literary journal I run, or they can read a book. This has led to students spending more time on their work, students actually engaging in creative writing, and, to my biggest surprise, students actually reading. (In my 4 years of teaching, it’s usually only been a few students that actually are reading.)I’ve also told each of my classes that I’m willing to play matchmaker and set them up on a blind date with a book if they tell me a little bit about what they’re looking for/ what their mood is.It’s been working out really well. I even set up a student in a long-term relationship with Ms. Marvel!

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is thank you to all of you who donated and believe in the literacy of teenagers.

You’re the best.

PS A few people have reached out to me and asked if there’s any way they can donate to my Donor’s Choose project I mentioned in my comment on Jenny’s blog. I actually made a new project. Today is #BestSchoolDay, and any donations made today will be matched by Aspect Ventures. It’s a shot in the dark, but I’m trying to fund 4 ipads for my classroom so that my students can make visual and audio poetry for National Poetry Month. If you can’t donate today, but can in the next 7 days, please use the code “LIFTOFF,” as donations up to $50 will be matched using that.

So. If you’d like my students to make some pretty creative visual and audio poetry for you, please check out iPads for National Poetry Month 2017! Thank you!