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by Nicole Whitney, Fairfield CT

This past Christmas season, the tea division had the pleasure or working on a project for a kindergarten classroom at Black Rock School in Bridgeport.

Using a website called Donors Choose.org, teachers like ours are able to set up a donations page for specific projects in their classroom. The exact costs of all materials needed are inputted into the site, and donors can chose any amount to support the project while getting regular updates from the classroom.

Our gift went towards funding a lending library. The students in this classroom are between the ages of 4-5 years old and are extremely passionate and excited about learning. There are many particularly bright students in that classroom. The school that they are in is a Title 1 school in Bridgeport and has limited resources from the state.

Additionally, many of the students in that classroom come from families with low economic status. Many do not have the ability to afford books for their children to keep at home. For this reason the teacher worked to fund a lending library. We are happy to report that this library is a smashing success so far. The students lit up when they learned that they could take a book from one of the bin sorted by fiction and nonfiction, place its nametag by their name and keep the books at home for as long as they like! The kids and their teacher have told us stories of how much they enjoyed reading these books with and to their parents. We hope that additional access to reading helps to spark a love of literacy and learning in these students and many more for years to come.
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