Grant County teacher launches campaign to fill sterile shelves

Image via ‘Bucks for Books’, GoFundMe

QUINCY, Wash. — Improving a child’s literacy could open up a whole new world of possibilities for them. That’s why a Grant County middle school English teacher is turning to the community to help fill her empty bookshelf with books to help her students fall in love with reading and writing.

Vanessa Castro teaches language arts to seventh graders at Quincy Middle School, a staple of this rural central Washington community. She says many of her students struggle to read. Some struggle to find a genre they are interested in while others have not grasped the importance of literacy.

However, a big part of the problem is that her class only has a limited selection of books to choose from. In fact, Castro says she only has about 20 random books for the whole class. Additionally, many of these books are picture books that will not properly challenge the reading level of an average seventh grader.

“Students have asked me if I can get books they like for my class because our library doesn’t have what they want,” Castro said. “Our library is small and few titles are offered, except for the classics.”

After extensive research, Castro discovered First Book Marketplace, an online retailer that sells books at a discount to schools and teachers. Castro selected 100 books that she believed would engage her current class and many more in the years to come. The grand total came out at $733.

Since his budget is limited, Castro created a GoFundMe campaign to provide a brand new library for his students. Five days into the campaign, just one person donated a total of $20 to reach the goal of $725.

If you would like to visit the campaign or make a donation, click here to find out more.

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