PTSA Gifts Teachers New Sets of Novels

Newly+novels%2C+like+I+Am+Not+Your+Perfect+Mexican+Daughter+were+gifted+to+English+teachers%2C+who+now+are+able+to+provide+the+literature+to+their+students+or+integrate+them+into+their+curriculums.+

Photo Courtesy of Jessica Geyer

Newly novels, like I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter were gifted to English teachers, who now are able to provide the literature to their students or integrate them into their curriculums.

Sandhya Ganesan, Co-Editor-in-Chief

In tandem with the SJHHS Academic Foundation, SJHHS Parent Teacher Student Association secured $9,500 to pay for newly district approved novels for the English and Social Science teachers’ classroom libraries.  

The PTSA used their membership fees as well as additional donations from the community to fund their effort. Additional funding was also sourced from donations made at the student store that go towards teacher grants, which are made for projects like book giftings.  

“Donations made and proceeds from the student store are historically used to provide teachers resources or resources that enhance their classrooms which directly benefits all students, through teacher grants. Although this was one of the largest grants we have done, we hope to provide more departments something like this in the future,” said Geyer. 

This project was taken on as a response to concerns expressed by students about novels they were reading in class.  Students of color have voiced that they have difficulty identifying with the characters in mandatory readings. It was hard for them to find meaning in the stories as they were mostly reflective of the white experience. 

It was intentional work and with the help of student run clubs, SJH Against Racism and SJHHS BRIDGES club, we were able to work closely with the teachers to expand their libraries and provide more relevant material that addresses some of the challenges students are facing today,”

— Jessica Geyer

Teachers were given opportunities to request books from lists of titles for their own classroom libraries, and were encouraged to keep in mind the diversity in their requested selection. This was done in hopes to allow both the teachers and the students’ voices to be heard through the project.  

“It was intentional work and with the help of student run clubs, SJH Against Racism and SJHHS BRIDGES club, we were able to work closely with the teachers to expand their libraries and provide more relevant material that addresses some of the challenges students are facing today,” said SJHHS PTSA president, Jessica Geyer. 

With the impressive amount of funding secured, the PTSA purchased 880 books for both the English and social science department. 

While the project was successful, and teachers received their books right as school began, there were obstacles the project had to overcome. Due to shipping delays, the books had arrived the Monday before school started, August 13, so the delivery to classrooms has been slower than anticipated. 

 

Despite the challenges, Geyer hopes to continue to work with student voices on campus as well as the teachers to address their concerns as PTSA president through more organized projects.