Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Random House Donation!

Amazing news! Our friends at Random House Children's Books have jumped on board with the cause and are donating a box of books to Mott Hall IV Middle School. We give our utmost THANKS to our RH fiends for their generosity and support!!

Facebook event

Check out our Facebook event and see who else will be making it on Sept. 13th.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Book Drive Social - Event Flyer!

Download this flyer in
Spread the word!

  • Music by Mike of TheMusic.FM and ddpesh
  • Writers Caitlin Delohery, Anne Hays, and Tess Taylor read from their favorite young adult literature novels
  • YAL (Young Adult Literature) Open Mic!
  • Free Advice from Felix Morelo
Admission: FREE with book, or $8. Books must be 7th-8th grade reading level and in good condition. All proceeds will go to Mott Hall IV Middle School in Ocean-Hill/Brownsville.

All on September 13th 6-8:30 PM at the CAMEO GALLERY at the Lovin' Cup Cafe.

Suggested Reading

Wondering what kids read in middle school? Here is a suggested reading list to inspire your Book Drive Social donations.

Modern/Contemporary Fiction
  • Hien, Nguyen Thai Duc Doi song moi/Tren dat moi: A New Life in a New Land
  • Adams, Edward B., ed. Two Brothers and Their Magic Gourds
  • Armstrong, William H. Sounder
  • Borland, Hal When the Legends Die
  • Bradbury, Ray Fahrenheit 451
  • Bradbury, Ray All Summer in a Day
  • Buck, Pearl S. The Good Earth
  • Burch, Robert Queenie Peavy
  • Byers, Betsy The Summer of Swans
  • Clapp, Patricia I'm Deborah Sampson: A Soldier in the War of the Revolution
  • Cleary, Beverly Dear Mr. Henshaw
  • Cormier, Robert 8+1
  • Cormier, Robert I Am the Cheese
  • Cormier, Robert The Chocolate War
  • Craven, Margaret I Heard the Owl Call My Name
  • Dorris, Michael Morning Girl
  • Fletcher, Lucille Sorry, Wrong Number
  • Forbes, Esther Johnny Tremain
  • Fox, Paula One-Eyed Cat
  • George, Jean Craighead Julie of the Wolves
  • Gibson, William The Miracle Worker
  • Gipson, Fred Old Yeller
  • Golding, William Lord of the Flies
  • Hamilton, Virginia The House of Dies Drear
  • Hansberry, Lorraine A Raisin in the Sun
  • Hautzig, Esther A Gift for Mama
  • Hinton, S. E. Tex
  • Hinton, S. E. The Outsiders
  • Keyes, Daniel Flowers for Algernon
  • Knowles, John A Separate Peace
  • Kroeber, Theodora Ishi, Last of His Tribe
  • Lawrence, Jerome and Robert Lee Inherit the Wind
  • Lee, Harper To Kill a Mockingbird
  • L'Engle, Madeleine A Wrinkle in Time
  • Lewis, C. S. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • Mathis, Sharon B. The Hundred Penny Box
  • O'Dell, Scott Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • Orgel, Doris Ariadne, Awake!
  • Orlev, Uri The Island on Bird Street
  • Paulsen, Gary The River
  • Paterson, Katherine Bridge to Terabithia
  • Peck, Robert Newton A Day No Pigs Would Die
  • Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan The Yearling
  • Rawls, Wilson Where the Red Fern Grows
  • Richter, Conrad The Light in the Foresta
  • Rose, Reginald Twelve Angry Men
  • Saint-Exupery, Antoine de The Little Prince
  • Salinger, J. D. Catcher in the Rye
  • Saroyan, William The Human Comedy
  • Schaeffer, Jack Shane
  • Soto, Gary Local News
  • Speare, Elizabeth The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  • Taylor, Theodore The Cay
  • Taylor, Mildred D. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. The Hobbit
  • Uchida, Yoshiko A Jar of Dreams
  • White, T.H. The Once and Future King
  • Yep, Laurence Dragonwings
  • Yep, Laurence Child of the Owl
  • Zindel, Paul The Pigman
Classic American Literature
  • Alcott, Louisa May Little Women
  • Cooper, James Fennimore The Last of the Mohicans
  • Crane, Stephen The Red Badge of Courage
  • Hale, E. E. The Man Without a Country and Other Stories
  • Henry, O. "The Gift of the Magi"
  • Irving, Washington The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Selections
  • London, Jack Call of the Wild
  • London, Jack "To Build a Fire"
  • London, Jack Sea Wolf
  • London, Jack White Fang
  • Poe, Edgar Allan "The Black Cat"
  • Poe, Edgar Allan The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
  • Poe, Edgar Allan Tales of Terror
  • Twain, Mark The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • Twain, Mark The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Twain, Mark A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
  • Twain, Mark The Prince and the Pauper
  • Twain, Mark Pudd'nhead Wilson
  • Twain, Mark Tom Sawyer Abroad
  • Twain, Mark Tom Sawyer, Detective
  • Steinbeck, John Of Mice and Men
  • Steinbeck, John The Pearl
  • Steinbeck, John The Red Pony
  • Hemingway, Ernest The Old Man and the Sea
  • Wilder, Thornton Our Town
Classic British Literature
  • Barrie, J. M. Peter Pan
  • Shelley, Mary W. Frankenstein
  • Stevenson, Robert Louis Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde
  • Swift, Jonathan Gulliver's Travels
  • Orwell, George Animal Farm
  • Burnett, Frances H. The Secret Garden
  • Defoe, Daniel Robinson Crusoe
  • Dickens, Charles David Copperfield
  • Dickens, Charles Oliver Twist
  • Dickens, Charles A Christmas Carol
  • Dickens, Charles Great Expectations
  • Dickens, Charles A Tale of Two Cities
  • Eliot, George Silas Marner
  • Doyle, Arthur Conan Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories
  • Kipling, Rudyard Captains Courageous, Kim
  • Wilde, Oscar The Canterville Ghost
  • Bronte, Charlotte Jane Eyre
  • Bronte, Emily Wuthering Heights
  • Shakespeare, William The Taming of the Shrew
  • Shakespeare, William Romeo and Juliet
  • Shakespeare, William Julius Caesar
  • Shakespeare, William A Midsummer Night's Dream
Classic World Literature
  • Cervantes, Miguel de The Adventures of Don Quixote de la Mancha
  • Dumas, Alexandre The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Dumas, Alexandre The Three Musketeers
  • Frank, Anne The Diary of a Young Girl
  • Maupassant, Guy de Best Short Stories
  • Verne, Jules Around the World in Eighty Days
  • Verne, Jules Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • Verne, Jules Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • Wyss, Johann The Swiss Family Robinson

Educating Teachers on the NYTimes

The New York Times attempts to answer the question "what qualifies a teacher to teach?" in their Room for Debate section.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Event on Sunday, September 13th

Book Drive Social is about the simplicity of tapping into your social communities to get work done. In this case the work is supporting the resources of classrooms in New York City. Many schools in NYC are unacceptably underfunded and underresourced, with teachers paying out of pocket for basic school supplies, like books and construction paper. Book Drive Social is a piecemeal effort to bring books to teachers and improve the quality of education for our kids.

We are piloting this concept with a fundraiser on Sunday, September 13th from 6:00pm-8:30pm at CAMEO Gallery at the Lovin' Cup Cafe in Williamsburg.

Admission will be free with a young adult literature (YAL) book or suggested donation of $8. The event will be DJed by the editor of TheMusic.FM and we'll have some emerging writers read aloud passages from their favorite YAL books.

All proceeds will be donated to Christine Casher's 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts classes in Brooklyn.

More details to come. Join us for a great time!

Where are we coming from?

A few weeks ago, I read The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, a great collection of essays published by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence. There's a popular view that the nonprofit model is the answer to worldwide inequality and injustice, and the book pulls the curtain on this potentially false assumption.

Key points of the book:
  • working hard does not mean "complicated" work (e.g., mired in paperwork or RFPs)
  • causes are driven by passion, not careers
  • the revolution will not happen in 1 year, or 2
Which leads to Book Drive Social.

More on paying out of pocket

Six years is forever in the Gilded Age of the Internet, but here are some older pieces on the subject of teachers paying for their classroom supplies out of their own pocket, published by the New York City Council and The New York Times.

NYC Teachers: Paying for School Supplies Out of Their Own Pockets
Teachers Dig Deeper to Fill Gap In Supplies

NYC Public Schools on NYTimes.com

Earlier this week, the New York Times wrote about New York City's public schools improved performance on statewide math and reading tests.

"While statewide passing rates have risen in every grade on English and math tests, New York City’s have gone up even more. This year, 82 percent of city students passed in math and 69 percent in English, up sharply from 42 and 38 percent, respectively, in 2002.

Progress has been made across the city’s diverse neighborhoods: All five boroughs once ranked at the very bottom of counties statewide on virtually every test, but Queens and Staten Island are now among the top counties in elementary school math scores. The Bronx remains on the bottom, though in some cases its gains outstrip those of its peers, because it started so far behind." Gains on Tests in New York Schools Don’t Silence Critics

Also read: Room for Debate: What do School Tests Measure?

The articles raised some legitimate questions on the value of these testing standards and if test-driven curricula short-change students of more meaningful educations. It's hard for me to make a call on that, but I did find it interesting that neither articles explored the issue of discrepant funding and resources across boroughs and neighborhoods in New York City.

I'm not a teacher, but a number of friends teach or have grown up within NYC public schools. It's no secret that our schools are overcrowded and underfunded, with teachers often paying out of the own pocket for necessary school supplies. Or skimping on them, to the detriment of the students.