My students need 2 text libraries, 1 writing center, 3 sets of writing journals, and 2 Common Core Learning Centers.
When I first came to the United States from Haiti, I was not able to read books because I could not read English. However, when I became proficient, I found a new world that I explored during most of my summer vacation days at the Brooklyn Public Library. I have not put a book down since.
I teach ELLs at a Title One school in Arizona, which does not have adequate resources.
Teachers are given only minimum copying paper for a semester, the library is limited, and computers date back to the 1990s. Thus, I need a lot of extra materials to help my students succeed. My students are bright, wonderful and excited about learning, but most live in poverty. Few can afford books, fewer still have access to the Internet. What they lack at home in terms of school materials, I provide at my own personal expense. For example, I have an in-class library where students are required to borrow at least 3 books, a collection that did not come from the school. Most of my students do not have books at home. Thus, I feel that as an educator, if I want them to read every night, I have a responsibility to ensure that they have the materials necessary to succeed, no matter what.
I am requesting 2 text libraries, 1 writing center, 3 sets of writing journals, and 2 Common Core Learning Centers. These resources will change the lives of my students in many ways. My students are inspired and are enthusiastic about learning. So, with a little extra help and resources, they become more interested and take ownership of their learning. Last year, I was able to see the difference that my class projects made in terms of language acquisition for my students. They became proficient in language as a whole - not just in speaking, but in tense, sentence and paragraph construction, and narratives. Their comprehension increased quite rapidly due to the Reading and Writing project I did with them outside of our normal classroom routines. Each student picked a historical figure, borrowed an autobiography and wrote their own understanding. In no time, my students became not just historians gaining a perspective outside of their lives, but critical thinkers impassioned by others who have defined our history, our time, our world. Most important, books give my students hope.
The classroom time allotted for Reading and Writing is simply not enough for ELLs.
Books are given to them "stress free" - if they lose it, there are no consequences. For my students, a book is a wonder, opening doors to a world never before known. While some books do get lost, most are treated as a priceless treasure trove. Where their life is one of day-to-day struggle and survival, books give them the means to change their lives. Make a difference: be a part of my class.
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