Buffalo school teacher raises money to get refugee students more books

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo Public School teacher is on a mission to get her students to read more. She teaches English as a new language to refugee students at the Native American Magnet School.

Kara Capozzi calls it an honor to work with refugee students. She tells News 4 they come from all over the world to start fresh and build a better life.

Capozzi says she wants her kids to have the same opportunities she had. Rawan Asbtani said having this new stack of books will help her learn English.

Asbanti is just one of the students in Capozzi’s 5th and 6th grade class. “I wanted them to have the same opportunities that I had, ” Capozzi said.

Capozzi kicked off a program called ‘Education 4 All.’ Through a fundraiser, her students each received a $40 dollar budget to manage. They can order any books they want.

Capozzi said, “I wanted my students to have books in the home because they really don’t have access to books at their house.”

A lot of the Buffalo’s refugee population attends the Native American Magnet School. The school’s Principal says its a responsibility to make sure these kids and their families feel comfortable here.

Jerry Piwko said, “We work with other cultures and make sure people feel at home and make sure we make education a priority.”

Capozzi says it’s been a fight to get books outside the classroom because the funding is just not there. She says it’s the best way her kids will learn. For her students, high interest creates high literacy skills.

“Literacy is the number one most important thing that’s going to get these children out of poverty and to have a better life.That’s why they came here.”

And for Asbtani, she loves being able to pick out books to take home. She says it will make homework and school in general, easier.

“I used to think that books are boring to read, and they are so hard. But, then when I got a whole package of homework full of stories, I felt better!”

Capozzi is hoping to be able to do this program once a month and get her students new books throughout the school year.

If you’d like to donate you can visit the fundraising page here. 

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