Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Helping Out Inner City Children

Hello faithful readers! Today, we have a special guest: Mr. Dirty Lenses from Perfect Eyesight Through Dirty Lenses is here to share a bit of his heart. Will you consider helping out his kids? They really are all worth it...

Well another school year is starting back up. This year, much like the last three years, I went out and bought school supplies for every student that I could possibly have in my classroom. Usually, I despise going school shopping because I hate fighting with soccer moms to get the last purple folder right before school starts. However, this year my wife insisted that I get everything on sale which required me to shop earlier than the last minute. Even with all the sales, I nearly spent $100 just on school supplies for my students.

Some of you may be thinking, “why can’t the students buy their own school supplies?” What some of you may not know is that I teach in the heart of the inner-city. Right smack dab downtown. 82% of the students in our school district live below the poverty level. The state average is somewhere around 35%.

The first day of school for these students isn’t like what I remember as a kid. They don’t come with their new school shoes, flashy backpack, new school clothes, and pride in what their parents bought them for lunch. Many of my students come with a school uniform shirt that was given to them by either a charity or an older sibling. That’s it.

I came back home devastated that I ended up spending that much money and still don’t have the materials to make my classroom theme. That’s when I decided that I need to apply to Donorschoose.org. This is an organization that allows teachers to place their school’s needs online and donors decide to give to these teachers to help fulfill their goal. But as I sat here, trying to plead my students’ case, I got stuck on two words: Donors choose.

Daily, I am frustrated with my students’ situations. How come they don’t get to choose? Did my fifth grader choose to get jumped after school because his dad is in a gang? Did my student choose to have a learning disability because she was born addicted to cocaine? Did my student choose to deal drugs and steal from the local ministry because neither of his guardians have a job and that’s the only way he could eat?

Donors choose. I remember going school shopping with all three of my siblings and $100 in my pocket. My parents gave us the choice pick our own clothes, shoes, and backpack. I remember being so happy on school shopping day. But why? How did I get this choice and my students don’t? What is so special about me that God blessed me with a choice?

If given the choice, my student would choose to be with her dad that’s in jail for robbing a gas station for food. My student would choose to be with her sisters that were moved to foster homes by Child Protective Services. My student would choose to learn without being distracted by thoughts of his parents beating him when he got home.

I get a choice to give a choice. We get a choice to give a choice. I can give a student a choice by providing the best education I can to each student. You can give a student a choice by giving. Please give to Donorschoose.org. Whether it’s for my classroom or another classroom, give these students the opportunity to live a life that they get to choose.

His students really have some unique challenges... If you want to give specifically to Mr. Dirty Lenses classroom, go here.


  1. Thanks for posting Brandon...I have had the same thoughts for the kids in my class, it breaks my heart. I am so happy you found donors choose, I used it last year & thankfully our project was funded. I hope the same happens for your kids!

  2. Hey Kelsey! Thanks for commenting...I love comments! Where do you teach?

    P.S. I didnt know you had a blog!

  3. I am teaching prek in downtown Boston, I love it!!!! I taught 3rd grade in Chicago for 2 years before moving here:)

  4. I've never been to Boston. I'm sure you're loving it though! Especially teaching pre-k...

  5. you are welcome to visit anytime!:) yes & I love my kids, they make me laugh everyday.