Grant County schoolteacher launches campaign to fill bookshelf and enhance students’ literacy

Grant County
Image via 'Bucks for Books,' GoFundMe

QUINCY, Wash. — Improving a child’s literacy could be the path to unlocking a whole new world of possibilities for them. That’s why one middle school English teacher in Grant County is turning to the community for help filling her barren shelf 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 critical part of this rural Central Washington community. She says that many of her students are struggling with their reading. Some have a difficult time finding a genre that engages them while others haven’t grasped the importance of literacy.

However, a big part of the issue lies in the fact 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 entire class. Furthermore, many of those books are picture books that won’t properly challenge the reading level of an average seventh-grader.

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

After some extensive research, Castro discovered First Book Marketplace—an online retailer that sells books at a discounted rate to schools and teachers. Castro selected 100 books that she thinks would engage her current class and many in years to come. The grand total has come out to $733.

Since her budget is limited, Castro has created a GoFundMe campaign in order to provide a whole new library for her students. Five days into the campaign, only one person has donated a total of $20 toward the $725 goal.

If you are interested in visiting the campaign or making a donation, click here to learn more.


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