As a teacher, Dedra Reed says one of the most rewarding aspects of her job is having the opportunity to help her students develop character and realize their dreams. She loves seeing former students come back for a visit to reflect on how far they’ve come.
Now, thanks to a successfully funded Gulf Coast Gives project, her students will have a tangible memento of their goals and dreams in the form of a school anthology.
“We all, as a family of Emma E. Booker, wanted a way to document our children’s dreams and year here at Booker so we could look back and remember it,” says Reed, who teaches fifth grade. “It’s something we’ve been wanting to do, but it wasn’t until this year that we were able to follow through with it.”
Reed, along with school administration and staff, developed the idea and theme for a school-wide anthology. After launching the project, members of the community stepped forward to fund the $400 needed for printing and binding in just three days. Reed collected all the entries and used her graphic-design knowledge to lay out the anthology.
The anthology is titled “Dream Big,” and it’s a collection of all the students’ dreams. Some students wrote about career goals, others about character traits — all in various forms.
The students in Reed’s class wrote poems to describe their goals, and she says she couldn’t believe the depth of some of their submissions.
“I was very surprised by my students’ entries. I was kind of taken aback. Some of the language they used — they were very inspiring to me. I think the whole thing is very inspiring for our children and any adult who reads it.”
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