My students are resilient, curious, bright, determined, and hard-working. Each of them has overcome incredible obstacles, and they show up to school each day with grins and a thirst for knowledge and skills.
My students may make up a small portion of the student body, but they have unique needs, interests, passions, and abilities.
Expanding the English as a new language program library will allow my students to absorb literature and stories that reflect their experiences and challenges their thinking.
These books feature immigrant protagonists and characters whose first language is not English. They deal with teenage issues and interests, including racism, social pressures, love, relationships, and familial expectations and dynamics.
English language learners need engaging texts that challenge them to learn new words or complex language structures, but they also need to be able to connect with the texts they read.
As my students navigate their new culture, it is inspiring to read about the stories of others who have been through similar experiences and share the same concerns, challenges, and dreams. We are a new classroom at our school, and thus have very few classroom library books of our own. Building up our library with new, high-quality, and culturally relevant, books will give our students first pick of stories that will really resonate with them.
Our goal is to create a safe space where all students feel valued and represented. These books will be an important way to show students that they are not alone in their challenges and successes.
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