My students are sixth, seventh, and eighth grade diverse learners with a wide range of interests, strengths, and needs. Our school is located in a neighborhood that is diverse in race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic backgrounds in Morgan Park, on the south side of Chicago.
All of the students in my classes need more that the regular education classroom can provide, but they are hard workers, seeking to overcome their challenges.
They want to access the texts that their general education peers do. They want to be seen reading the same types of books that their peers do.
Students whose achievement levels fall far below grade level are often find it difficult to access amazing libraries. Often times, students with special needs are forgotten.
The only books available in a typical diverse learner classroom are far below grade level, are not culturally diverse, and have to do with subjects of no interest to these scholars, with characters much younger than them.
The books your donation funds will provide much-needed diversity. The best way to increase reading ability is to read more, and reading these books together will continue to help my students grow stronger in their love for reading.
All of these books in each classroom have been chosen with our students in mind-- we ask them what they enjoy reading, they share good and bad reading experiences with each other, and we research new and interesting titles and authors to fit our groups of students and their interests.
Our diverse learners struggle for various reasons, including dyslexia, autism, and specific learning disabilities. My next goal after this will be to build my students' audio library as well. Many of them are able to comprehend when I read aloud to them, but they really want to be able to choose their own books, and be able to read whatever and wherever they want.
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