I teach a special education class of kinder through sixth graders. They spend part day with me and part with same age peers. My classroom is in rural California and many of my students' families work in the fields of the agricultural industry. My students, however, dream of being police officers, doctors, and teachers. As economically disadvantaged, learning disabled students the odds are stacked against them. The neighborhood where our school is located is notorious for gang-violence and school is one of the only safe places for our students. I also teach migrant children after school and work with home/hospital students who are too ill to come to school.
Even in our Special Education classroom, students are concerned and afraid about current events and politics.
This project would allow us to bring picture books that discuss icons of civil rights like Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and stories about the refugee experience that are accessible to my special needs students.
Many of my students are very familiar with migrant and immigration issues and while this is beyond my sphere of influence as a classroom teacher, giving my students the language to discuss these critical issues is providing an essential service to my kids. In addition, a couple of these books are trilingual in English, Spanish and Mixtec (An Indigenous Mexican language) so that they can be fully accessible to all of my students.
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