Imagine going to the bookstore and discovering that all of your favorite shelves had been replaced with books in languages you didn't understand, about topics you had no exposure to. Now, imagine being a teenager who has known nothing but urban life and staring at a classroom library full of books about the Wild West, famous shipwrecks, and 18th century poetry. This is exactly what my 9th grade students are subjected to when they see our classroom libraries. The well-intentioned literary donations of the city and state fall very short of meeting the needs and interests of my, mostly immigrant and/or low-income, 9th grade students.
Although my bookshelves are full, they are devoid of any reading that interests my students. The success I've had getting my students to read has always followed one of my trips to the bookstore when I buy books I know they'll like with my own money. This keeps my students engaged and passionate about "Independent Reading Time". So long as books they enjoy remain on the shelf they beg for reading time, cherishing every spare moment spent reading - just like adults who can find time to read for pleasure. The only problem for the students and I is that they quickly tear through the books I purchase and are again left to wonder how someone could possibly expect them to find a picture book about shipwrecks interesting. And if I don't have money to buy another shelf's worth of interesting literature, their productive use of independent reading time comes to a standstill - and the skills they've been developing while it was productive begin regressing.
Given unlimited funds I would gladly purchase copy after copy of any book my students requested. Unfortunately, a teacher's salary is not synonymous with "unlimited funds". If my students and I were provided with some additional financial support then it would be very likely that the list of interesting books in our classroom library would be endless and would allow them at least a year's worth of reading. Were that ambitious goal achieved, it might later be possible to teach my students about the comparisons we could draw to life in the Wild West, the beauty and depth of 18th century poetry, or even the extreme terror that must have coursed through the bodies of people on a sinking ship. Before we can hook them on reading literature we deem important, we have to first hook them on reading as a pleasurable and beneficial endeavor.
Your donation of a few high-interest books to our classroom library will make this a much more realistic possibility, a possibility whose positive effects are long-lasting and far-reaching.
|November Blues Sharon M. Draper • Barnes and Noble||$13.59||2||$27.18|
|Darkness Before Dawn Sharon M. Draper • Barnes and Noble||$6.29||1||$6.29|
|Chango's Fire Ernesto Quinonez • Barnes and Noble||$11.65||2||$23.30|
|Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Diaz • Barnes and Noble||$12.60||2||$25.20|
|Secret Admirer R.L. Stine • Barnes and Noble||$5.39||1||$5.39|
|Rich Girl (Fear Street Series) R. L. Stine • Barnes and Noble||$5.39||1||$5.39|
|Midnight Games (Fear Street Nights Series #2) R.L. Stine • Barnes and Noble||$5.39||1||$5.39|
|Burning: (Fear Street: The Fear Street Saga Series #3) R. L. Stine • Barnes and Noble||$5.39||1||$5.39|
|New Year's Party: (Fear Street: Fear Street Super Chillers Series) R.L. Stine • Barnes and Noble||$5.39||1||$5.39|
|Who Am I Without Him?: Short Stories About Girls and the Boys in Their Lives Sharon Flake, Tk (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble||$7.19||2||$14.38|
|Money Hungry Sharon Flake, Tk (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble||$7.19||1||$7.19|
|The Skin I'm In Sharon G. Flake, Tk (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble||$7.19||1||$7.19|
|Begging for Change Sharon Flake • Barnes and Noble||$7.19||1||$7.19|
|The Broken Bike Boy and the Queen of 33rd Street Sharon G. Flake, Colin Bootman (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble||$14.39||2||$28.78|
|Tears of a Tiger Sharon M. Draper • Barnes and Noble||$6.29||1||$6.29|
|Forged by Fire Sharon M. Draper • Barnes and Noble||$6.29||1||$6.29|
|Copper Sun Sharon M. Draper • Barnes and Noble||$8.09||2||$16.18|
|Drama High: Lady J L. Divine, L. Devine • Barnes and Noble||$8.95||2||$17.90|
|Fight (Drama High Series) L. Divine • Barnes and Noble||$8.95||2||$17.90|
|Frenemies (Drama High Series) L. Divine • Barnes and Noble||$8.95||2||$17.90|
|Jayd's Legacy (Drama High Series) L. Divine, L. Devine • Barnes and Noble||$8.95||2||$17.90|
|Courtin' Jayd (Drama High Series) L. Divine • Barnes and Noble||$8.95||2||$17.90|
Our team works hard to negotiate the best pricing and selections available.View complete list Show less
This classroom project was brought to life by The Wachovia Foundation and 2 other donors.