Monday, November 28, 2016

Books for Guatemala Garage Sale: Thanks for your support!

The grade 1 class hosted a successful garage sale fundraiser on November 21st, raising $171!  We would like to thank everyone who helped us and supported our garage sale!  This grade 1 project was in support of a Global Read Aloud Gives Back project to benefit El Buen Samaritano community center in Jocotenango, Guatemala. Our profits will be used to buy books for their center.  

Grade 1 students and their families volunteered to work shifts at the garage sale during our parent-student-teacher interview day.  The grade 1s did a great job of collecting used toys, books and clothes to donate for the sale.  I think it is really special that my students chose to sell some of their belongings to help others!

When we were back in class on Tuesday morning, we were excited to count up our money.  The grade 1s counted how many of each type of coin and bill, printed the numbers for each and then counted by 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s and 20s to determine the subtotal for each.  To calculate our grand total, a small group worked together using base ten blocks representing the dollar amounts.  Once we determined how much we had raised, our class selected books from the book drive fundraiser page and ordered them for the students in Guatemala. 


Friday, November 18, 2016

Books for Guatemala Garage Sale

As I explained in this post, our grade 1 class is hosting a garage sale fundraiser in support of the Global Read Aloud book drive for El Buen Samaritano community center in Jocotenango, Guatemala.  We would like to invite any local blog readers to support us by coming to shop on Monday.  If you are interested in personally supporting the cause, visit the Palms & Souls organization website or the GRA Gives Back Book Drive site. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Books for Guatemala Garage Sale : Our First Project

Our class took part in the Global Read Aloud (GRA) this year.  This year, the Global Read Aloud is partnering with a nonprofit organization, called Palms & Souls,  to organize a book drive for a school/community center in Jocotenango, Guatemala. Each year, I provide opportunities for students to engage in project-based learning that addresses real-world problems or makes a difference for others.  When I read about the partnership between GRA and Palms & Souls, I thought it could be a great starting point for a Grade 1 project.   I decided to tell my grade 1s about how students participating in GRA were working together to help students in Guatemala.  We were even able to "meet" some of the kids there by reading about them on the GRA blog!

When it was put to a class vote, the grade 1s decided that they would be interested in contributing to the book drive.  We began by brainstorming ways to fundraise and, once we decided on holding a garage sale, we created a to-do list to guide our project.  We decided to hold the garage sale during parent-teacher-student interviews, so that many families would already be coming to the school.  One of our next tasks was to ask our families for help.  We completed the letter to our families as a shared writing activity and I added a short teacher message and sign-up form to the note before students took the letter home. 

GRA founder, Pernille Ripp, shared the following information on her blog:

"Who is behind Palms & Souls?
Educator, Reidun Bures...and her husband Ryan,  traveled to Guatemala for their honeymoon in 2014, never dreaming that they would end up founding a nonprofit. They write, “We spent a week volunteering at El Buen Samaritano community center in Jocotenango. The community center provides healthy meals, primary education, tutoring, school supplies, and a safe place to play for 60 students. We left the center with a sense of awe and love for all they were doing. But we were also disturbed after seeing the enormous barriers these people faced to bettering their own situations.”

What is the problem in Jocotenango?
In Guatemala, school is only compulsory through 6th grade. Less than 40% of students make it past middle school. Our nonprofit, Palms and Souls, is committed to changing that narrative.  We are partnering with El Buen Samaritano to help them meet some basic needs of the students, but so much more is needed.  These kids need the one tool that has been shown to improve overall academic performance and lead to enriching lives. They need books!"
Ripp, P. (2016, August 18). Global Read Aloud. Retrieved November 16, 2016, from