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Mrs. McCann from Santa Clarita CA is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

At-Risk Young Adult Book Club

My students need 12 copies each of 3 separate high-interest books for at-risk readers to read during our semester-long book club. Students read in small groups of 12 and then switch.

  • $353 goal

This project expired on February 27, 2012.

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

One challenge facing our students is graduation: 20% of incoming students entering high school are credit deficient. These students get caught in a cycle of failure and become non-graduates of high school.

Our students attend a high school in southern California.

They have not succeeded academically, and enter high school lacking the appropriate credits to graduate. Most of these students haven’t made positive connections with an adult at school, and are frequently absent or tardy, break rules resulting in suspensions or expulsions, and create class disruptions. This, in turn, continues to put them behind academically. At a high school with over two thousand students, and close to forty students per class, these fragile students have few chances to truly connect with an adult on campus. At least sixty percent of these students are minority students, and over fifty percent qualify for free- and reduced lunch. While all of these students are labeled as “at-risk,” the stories of these students vary: some of the students come from broken homes; other students struggle with drug use; some students have a family member struggling with an illness; others have illnesses of their own.

My Project

“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe she did that!” “Yeah, right; that’s messed up!” This type of response is typical of a high-interest book that engages students! The books chosen for this grant are high-interest books recommended by the American Library Association (ALA). Hate List by Jennifer Brown is on the 2010 Best Books for Young Adults list, and explores issues of guilt, bullying, and school perception. Dope Sick, by Walter Dean Myers is on the ALA’s 2010 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list, and Myers is a well-known, high-acclaimed novelist for young adults. Finally, The Brothers Torres by Coert Voorheers is an ALA’s 2010 Best Books for Young Adults choice, and focuses on stereotypes, family, and respect. Books are read in small groups, and the adult facilitates conversation and questions about the actions, behaviors, and consequences of the characters. When the reading ends, students have reflection time on a class blog, which also provides writing practice.

This program builds student motivation, introduces the library services to the students, and helps improve English Language Arts scores on state tests.

After our first attempt at the book club with 9th graders, students commented: “Do you have any more books by this author?” “If I wanted to check out a book, what do I do?” “I don’t have my ID card, can you hold this book for me until tomorrow?” As a result, we believe our book club can be a catalyst for motivation and success.

Mrs. McCann
Grades 9-12
More than a third of students from low‑income households

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5 donors5 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 100 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Dope Sick • AKJ Books $6.65 12 $79.80
Hate List Jennifer Brown • AKJ Books $6.65 12 $79.80
Brothers Torres, The • AKJ Books $6.65 12 $79.80

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Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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4 Donors


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Project Activity

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