Posted by: classroomcentral 5 years, 2 months ago


Jessica Kilbride


Jessica Kilbride


Albemarle Road Elementary

Subject or grade taught:

3rd grade

Length of time teaching:

9 years

Can you tell us a story about how Classroom Central has personally helped one of your students?

With the right materials we can do anything we set out minds to and more. This is the story about a little girl from Burma whose family has come to the United States in search of a better life and education for their daughter. Molly has been in this country for three years now and is currently in the third grade. She knew little to no English when her family arrived here and has been below grade level for most of her schooling thus far.  I, as her teacher for two years now, could see great potential in Molly when given the necessary resources and materials. She has always worked hard by reading her books every night and writing in her notebooks about what she has read, but always been a little further behind her classmates and not quite making grade level.

It is customary for third through fifth graders to hold a class spelling bee with the winner from each class to be represented in the school wide spelling bee. Every student was given a list of words that would be asked during the spelling bee with plenty of time to practice and study the words at home. When Molly was given her list of words, she asked me for some materials so that she could practice at home with her family and friends. I was able to provide her with a notebook, note cards, markers, pencils, and a pouch to keep them all in, thanks to the donations made to Classroom Central. I knew that she was working hard to practice her words but I didn’t know exactly how hard until the day of our class spelling bee, where she was able to spell every word given to her correctly. She was the winner for our third grade class and would now move on to the school wide spelling bee.

In preparing for the next step, Molly was given a new and much longer list of words to practice. I asked her what she had done to prepare for the first spelling bee and she told me that she had used the notecards to write all of the words in bright colors to have her parents quiz her. She also said that she had been keeping a journal of the words to tell their meaning after looking them up or finding them in a text. Molly had used all of the notecards and most of the pages in the notebook, but I had some extra from my Classroom Central shopping trip to give to her so that she could prepare for the big spelling bee. Molly practiced and practiced. Every day at home she researched the words, and worked with her parents, teachers, and friends to get ready for the spelling bee.

On the day of the school wide spelling bee, Molly sat on the stage with the other 23 competitors. She was very anxiously waiting but there was also a new confidence in her that I had not seen before. I and her classmates watched proudly as Molly stepped up to spell her first word correctly, then her second word, third word, then another and another. Molly made it to the thirteenth round in the spelling bee, where it was just her and a fifth grade student left. In the last round, Molly misspelled her word and came in second place. She didn’t look sad or disappointed though as she heard the announcement. She was so happy with how far she had made it and was smiling from ear to ear. I could not have been more proud of her and all of her hard work. She even received special recognition from the principal of our school for making it so far in the spelling bee and beating those other third, fourth, and fifth graders.

Molly’s accomplishments blew me away that day along with her confidence. She was given the resources she needed to meet new levels of achievement for herself. The very next day, Molly was asked to read several stories to see what her new reading level was as we approached the middle of the year. She left the room at a level that was below grade level and when she returned she informed me that she had progressed four reading levels and was now on grade level. She had reached her goal and was reading on grade level material which she had never been able to do before. It has been an amazing experience to watch Molly grow and achieve her goals but I know that she would not have been able to do all of this without the right materials from Classroom Central to help her. She has exceeded her goals and continues to grow more and more every day.

*student’s name has been changed

We thank Jessica for presenting this story at the Color A Brighter Future Breakfast.  Also we congratulate her on being the 2014 Paul Jackson Award Recipien tat the MeckEd awards dinner last night.  We are grateful for the stellar teachers like Jessica in our community!

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