I teach in an elementary school situated in a community characterized by a high number of apartments shared by multiple families in some cases. Most of the children that sit in our school’s fifth grade classrooms are of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity. We are a Title 1 school whose students require extra support and resources to further develop their literacy skills. On average, the students begin the school year anywhere from one to three years below grade level. The family structures of these students run the gamut from single-parent homes to multi-family living arrangements as well as extended families living together.
It is my hope that through experiences outside the four walls of a classroom my students will further develop their literacy rates. My experience has been that these families do all they can to encourage and support their children as students. Tough economic times as well as other societal variables make it difficult for these curious and resilient students and their families to pay for extracurricular activities, which could actually expand their experience base. As
I have secured two opportunities for my students to travel to UCLA on a Sunday afternoon and on a different school day to Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History as we build a college and career awareness culture and work hard to diminish the all too real achievement gap at Orange Grove Elementary School in Anaheim. I have 50 tickets top attend a UCLA-USC basketball game but no transportation. We have looked into the cost and for one bus from our own District the school is required to pay about 1100 dollars because it is a weekend. This particular trip to this university to visit the campus and watch a the Bruins take on the Trojans in a men’s volleyball game would impact 45 students and 5 adult chaperones.
The museum is affording almost 100 students in 5th Grade and 10 chaperones the opportunity to visit but they are requiring a very reasonable fee of approximately $500 while again two buses for this many students, teachers, and other chaperones would cost our school over $900, or $450 per bus on a school day.