My first-grade classroom is full of creative, intelligent students. They enter our learning community each day excited to learn, ready to take new chances, and willing to try their best. Many of my students are English Learners. A majority of my students are economically disadvantaged with all students qualifying for free breakfast and lunch. My students are eager to learn about the world around them and one of the best ways we can do that is through the power of picture books.
Please help me give my students a classroom library and read-aloud experience that reflects and celebrates the diversity of the world around them.
Celebrating and learning about our differences is so important right now. I want my students to have access to high-quality books that help them do just that.
In 1988, Emily Style explained that some books can "provide windows offer a view into reality, not just into imaginary worlds". She stated that other "books that reflect a reader’s own life are mirrors" allowing readers to see themselves in the stories in front of them. Creating a classroom library where both "window" and "mirror" books are present allows students to explore their identities and expand their knowledge of the world around them.
Now, in 2020, it's more important than ever for our students to have access to diverse books that serve as mirrors and windows.
I want my students to be able to listen to a story and relate it to their own lives or have questions about places and people they've never heard of before.
I am asking for books like "Under My Hijab", a story that celebrates contemporary Muslim life, offering students a peek into a culture different from their own. Another book, "Mango, Abuela, and Me" tells the story of a young girl who lives with her grandmother from Cuba and has trouble communicating with her sometimes because she only speaks Spanish. This book may serve as a mirror for some of my students. Other books like "Way Past Mad" offer students a relatable story that they can empathize with and can aid them in self-regulation. All of the stories on this list will enrich my students' literary experience in some way. Thank you in advance for supporting us.
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