Sydney Harris's Page
As you probably know, I am currently in my second year of the National Teaching Fellowship with Citizen Schools. Citizen Schools is a nation-wide non-profit that focuses on giving middle school students in urban areas more time in the classroom, more time with inspiring adults, and more time learning 21st century skills in the afternoon hours of their school days. You can find more information about Citizen Schools here: www.citizenschools.org/.
As part of my 2 year fellowship, I teach at the Edwards Middle School in Charlestown, Massachusetts. I work every day with a group of 16 students, who mean so much more to me than I have room to express on this page. With Citizen Schools at the Edwards, our students are not only in the classroom for more time each day, but they also get to learn with volunteers from the community who come in to teach what they are passionate about. For example, I helped support a class in the fall where my students re-decorated furniture and sold all of it to raise money for the Jimmy Fund (an organization they chose themselves). Another class I supported in the fall taught girls self defense moves and strategies for dealing with bullying.
Citizen Schools also provides its partner schools with the resources to take students on field trips all over the city to museums and on college tours. Most Boston public schools are not able to do this more than once a year- our students go off campus once a month. This year, I have had the pleasure of organizing all of our field trips for the Edwards. So far we have taken students to 4 colleges & universities around the city, as well as to the Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium! The picture to the right is me with my team at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in October.
Needless to say, our students at the Edwards are getting so many new and exciting experiences thanks to Citizen Schools and the Citizen Schools network of Teaching Fellows and volunteer teachers.
Because we are a non-profit, Citizen Schools depends upon (tax deductible!) donations from the public to continue supporting urban youth. That's why I created this fundraising page. The money I raise through this effort will be used to expand opportunities for my students, as well as students all over Massachusetts who are enrolled in Citizen Schools. Below is a handy breakdown detailing some examples of just how far your money can go- as you can see, NO donation is too small to make a big difference!
$1 buys a prize to celebrate a student for showing respect, tenacity, pride, courage, or teamwork.
$5 buys supplies for my classroom such as pencils, paper, expo markers, etc.
$10 buys a backpack full of school supplies (calculator, notebooks, pens, pencils, folders, etc.) for students who need them.
$30 funds an entire 6-week unit, taught by a Teaching Fellow, on subjects like Italian Cooking and Culture, A Cappella, Kung Fu, and Creative Writing. (I am currently teaching an Art unit, where students learn to identify iconic works of art as well as create their own!).
$80 funds a full 10-week Apprenticeship, taught by our wonderful Citizen Teacher volunteers.
$100 provides one month of food and supplies for family events.
$300 covers the cost of school buses so that all of our students can leave campus for a field trip.
$500 buys a brand new projector for a classroom! This also comes with the eternal gratitude of Eric Schwartz, co-founder and CEO of Citizen Schools, and a life-sized bronze statue of you in our national headquarters. (Ok that last part might not be real… but I’ll see if I can pull some strings.)
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and thank you in advance for your donation! If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to ask me!