Within our school and faculty, a common bond is found. We are people who care for, and share with each other. Likewise, our students share books with their classmates, because of the limited supplies in our reading closet. In a concerted effort, we all rally together, the students and educators. Together, we share the novels and instructional resources to help one another make things work. Since we, five language arts teachers, teach reading to students in grades six, seven, and eight, our collection of books are read and loved by roughly 400 students, which causes a lot of wear and tear on these classic novels.
Our school is in a low-income/high poverty school district, and these children are faced with several challenges both in and out of the classroom.
Many of them come from bilingual households and receive free or reduced price lunch. Budget cuts by the city and state have created a situation where there is a limited amount for new reading material which is needed in order to effectively provide our students with great literature.
Many of our students have no books at home because the school is in a high poverty area. Many are discouraged by their lack of success in reading, and have turned off to the subject. Of course, this has a devastating effect on all their academics. The books we have available have become tattered and torn because of the many years they’ve been used in our classrooms.
We use many intervention strategies to engage the students, but the best ones I have found is a GREAT book, such as "Bridge to Terabithia " by Ivy Rickman “, Ransom", by Lois Duncan, and “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle.
The same students who said they hated reading have ended up loving it, due to the story, to which they can relate.
The students love having the new editions and are always eager to turn the first page into imagining another life.
My hope is that these books will spark a love for reading and learning in the hearts of my students.
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