As many of you know, my sister is an amazing kindergarten teacher in Rockville, Maryland, an extreme-poverty suburb of Washington, DC. Minutes from where our President lives, my sister's students live in substandard housing. Most are on the Free Lunch program and many don't have proper clothing or food. But my sister teaches these kids to read, write, spell, do math, and makes sure they are all at a 2nd/advanced 1st grade level by the year's end. Last Friday I was a Special Guest Reader - I read a book about father's day and led a writing activity where the children wrote letters to their dads telling them why they loved them, and every 5 year old student knew exactly how to write a letter (date, heading, body, greeting, everything!) and most wrote more legibly than adults I know, with proper spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, which is again more than I can say for so many adults. When school's out though, some of these kids go home to places where they have practically nothing (we're not talking computers - we're talking no books, no pencils, no paper, no crayons, not even a teddy bear) and school is the one place where they learn and grow both academically and socially, to have materials to learn/play with, to make friends and to be treated with kindness and respect they deserve as much as advantaged kids.
If you happen to have a ten-spot to spare and want to spread a little karma, head over to this site: http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=576614&challengeid=56195 and give my sister, Ms. H., a boost. For those of you who've sent over books, she's been incredibly grateful and if you'd like to donate to help the future readers and bookcrossers of America, that would be amazing. If you want more info about my sister or her school, feel free to PM me.