My students need the required books to participate in Chicago's annual Battle of the Books, a program tasking students to read & answer questions about 20 books.
Ever feel you were part of a team that gave you confidence and made you feel unbeatable? I want my students to feel that way, but rallied around books. Chicago's annual Battle of the Books begins in January and if we get these books, my students will be able to participate. The texts are necessary!
My students are inner-city kids, mostly from Mexican immigrant families, and many face difficulties at home.
Over 80% receives free lunch and many live in single-parent households.
Our school has a mission I believe in: to provide holistic education that includes lessons on nutrition, wellness and movement, combined with an academically rigorous program that will ensure student success beyond our walls, when they graduate 8th grade. We have a dual language track in Spanish that allows ELL students to feel extremely successful.
At the same time, my students need programs like Battle of the Books to rally around. They need a goal to push towards, and in my experience, this program TRULY works, because it asks that they band together to tackle and understand 20 books inside and out.
If we get these books, they will be used by teams of students who will meet in groups to analyze the texts well enough to "battle" other students in the city in April. They will have to answer questions about the plot, author, characters and word choice first through an online question and answer 'first round,' then in a school with about 30 other school teams participating for the 'finalist round.' Eventually, one school will win (based on number of questions answered correctly about the texts), but in reality, every student will have won.
To prepare our students, teachers will meet to coach them through comprehension of these texts-- which were selected by the city's librarians and vary each year. The texts run the gamut in genre, and it will be necessary for our students to understand them fully. I also added a teacher text that will help all the teachers running this program meaningfully engage readers in a way that will cultivate lifelong passion for reading.
Your donation will allow students to participate in a meaningful team effort, making them feel empowered and confident in their abilities to band together.
What's better than rallying around reading? Activities such as these build character. Students will feel excited about tackling these texts, and hopefully, make it to city championships! In addition, the texts will be integrated into our classroom libraries, so all students can borrow and read them year after year.
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