I am a Special Education teacher of English and my classes are mostly composed of students of color from low-income households. I have always tried to make the curriculum relevant to my students, but often students struggle to independently engage with the required texts. Their dislike of literacy hindered their academic progress.
Last year, my students and I read Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds.
Students could not put the book down and soon enough they asked for other books that portrait the issues and characters that they encounter in their lives. Many now see themselves as avid readers. As a result, students' reading and writing skills have significantly improved over the course of the school year. My goal is to build a classroom library that meets students' diverse needs to keep them engage, strengthen their love of literature, and develop their reading skills.
My goal is to create lifelong readers by giving students access to high-quality literature that reflects personal issues. Many would call my students relucent or struggling readers. However, I believe that my students' reading skills are hindered by the lack of interest in the books they encountered throughout their academic experience. They need books that catch and hold their attention. It is important that my students have a classroom library that is suitable and reflect their personal lives. Titles like Long Way Down and The Hate U Give, examine life in neighborhoods where crime and poverty limit the opportunities offered to its community. These books validate their experiences through the characters, conflicts, and themes reflected in the literature. Adding these titles alongside the many others listed allow my students to have conversations that many avoid or are ill equip to discuss openly. I truly believe that the more my students read, the more successful they will become inside and outside of school.
If you donated to this project, you can sign in to leave a comment for Mrs. Espinoza.
DonorsChoose is the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.
As a teacher-founded nonprofit, we're trusted by thousands of teachers and supporters across the country. This classroom request for funding was created by Mrs. Espinoza and reviewed by the DonorsChoose team.
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.