This year on #GivingTuesday, the Claretian Initiative is raising $1,500 to buy new microscopes for the middle-school science students at Our Lady of Guadalupe School in South Chicago as part of our latest Cultivating Hope campaign. The school is dedicated to serving low-income students in a neighborhood where 97% of families qualify for free or reduced lunch. In this Community Voices post, a teacher from the school shares a little about why science is so important to his students and how the microscopes will help them learn.

"Children are naturally curious about their world. They enjoy science because it helps them learn more about that world. For example, they like learning about animals. They are curious about chemicals. They want to know how things work.

"Microscopes would give us the opportunity to explore the world of the tiny. Students are amazed and excited when they can see things that they don't normally get to see. I want to give them that sense of awe by discovering a whole new world."

"When my students leave me for high school, I want them to have skills as well as knowledge. They need certain skills to properly use equipment that will be used in high school studies. I want a microscope to be one of the tools they can use. Science also teaches a process for solving problems and for general thinking. Students need to be able to analyze data they gather to be successful adults.

"I hope to nurture a curiosity that will lead some of the students to careers in science. It is a door to opportunity for them that might help them escape a life of poverty. Several students in my classes are already talking about being veterinarians or doctors or nurses. Others have an interest in engineering and chemistry. They have futures!"

Help us support the bright futures of these students. Support us on #GivingTuesday, or today!

http://www.claretianinitiative.org