A child can open up to you about the simplest of things: their favorite book, a movie they saw, or what’s for dinner. But there are some things that children do not open up about easily. With 6.7 million public school students living below the poverty line, children across the country have struggles that their teachers might never know about, and therefore are unable to help with. But Denver teacher, Kyle Schwartz, came up with a brilliant idea…
She gave out an assignment for her students to complete the sentence, “I wish my teach knew…” The results she got were heartbreaking, but what she did with them is inspiring.
The student who wished her teacher knew she didn’t have pencils at home to do her homework? Schwartz was able to give that child pencils. To the child that wished her teacher knew she didn’t have a friend to play with, the other students joined forces to befriend them.
The impact of this assignment has also left Denver with the hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew!
Now, teachers in 17 states have used the assignment as a way to encourage students to reach out for help. And Schwartz even turned her publicity into something wonderful. Schwartz teamed up with ABC7 News in Denver and Goodwill industries to organize a book drive to benefit the children of Colorado. The goal: 7,000 pounds of books in time for summer reading programs!
— Denver7 News (@DenverChannel) May 14, 2015
All of this based on a simple, precise assignment from a caring teacher. Kyle Schwartz is an inspiration to teachers across the country. While children from middle-class U.S. families have engaged in an average of 1,000 to 1,700 hours of one-on-one reading time, children from low-income families have been exposed to an average of only 25 hours. You can help by donating through the Greater Good network to First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides access to new books for children in need.