A few weeks ago, fellow indie author T. Michelle Nelson put out the call for donations of books for a program run by her cousin, Stephanie Stanfill, a teacher at Graves County High School in Kentucky. I donated a copy of Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins, and yesterday I received this note, which I thought I’d share here. Hopefully, Ms. Stanfill got a lot of books for her initiative.
Greetings from Graves County High School in Mayfield KY! Let me begin by thanking you for contributing to our “Post It Note Promise” campaign. To give you some background, I currently teach in an at-risk center. By at-risk, we mean that we have approximately 80 students that we pull from the main building who are at risk of not graduating for any given reason. Each student here has a unique situation that could inhibit success in high school. Tina aka T Michelle sent me a few signed books for students to receive as rewards. Because we are from a small town with low socio-economic status, the students were overwhelmed at the idea of owning something so “valuable”. I didn’t have enough books for everyone, so essentially students attached a post it note to the book with their promise and signed. Once completed, he or she had earned that particular book. Students have done things like meet benchmark on ACT in reading, be the first to graduate in their family, earn an A or B on national end of course assessment, and obtain perfect attendance for a month. These are huge accomplishments for these students. Most of my students average a fourth grade reading level so just seeing them read the backs of these books is a milestone much less to see them carry them around and read during some down time.
I truly appreciate your generosity in sharing your writing with us. We have had many lessons just from reading the covers and piqued interests in things I never knew these young ladies and gentlemen pondered. Thank you for your literary contributions but most importantly for sharing the love of students and helping to provide opportunities for success. I believe from my heart that teaching is a calling just as writing is. Together we can make a difference in the lives of these students and hopefully break the chain as well as raise their esteem for future success.