We are a Title I school that is home to students from dozens of homelands around the world. My students are juniors in the English III class, which is traditionally associated with "American Literature". Many struggle with reading, but I believe that offering them texts that resonate with their own lives will help them realize the potential they have always possessed. They need powerful, relevant stories to engage with, to appreciate that literature includes their world, and that the power of the written word is not bounded by socioeconomic disadvantages.
We seek to implement culturally relevant pedagogy and that includes expanding the scope of "American Literature" beyond the classic canon, to contemporary authors of color who are creating stories that reflect the complexity of identity in the ethnic and cultural plurality of US society.
The novel I am seeking to adopt and teach in my classroom not only meets these needs, but also presents the benefit of a teenage male athlete protagonist, to appeal to the boys who are all the more reluctant to read. Adopting a class set of this novel will benefit students in our school far beyond my own students this semester.
We will read the novel "Mexican Whiteboy" together as a class. The main character is a teenage boy who is conflicted with his cultural identity, as described by the title. There are two motivations for my choice here: 1) the majority of students are Hispanic, and 2) boys are generally more reluctant readers than girls, and this novel, with the main character being a talented high school baseball player, offers more appeal to teenage male readers.
My class, English III, may be traditionally classified as "American Literature" but contemporary American stories comprise a wide and diverse spectrum, and I want my students to feel that "literature" includes their stories as well.
I know the opportunity to adopt this class novel will offer a more relatable and engaging reading experience to our students. In this time of learning in the midst of the pandemic, we need to diversify and expand our avenues of promoting students' literacy.
If you donated to this project, you can sign in to leave a comment for Mr. O'Quinn.
DonorsChoose is the most trusted 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 Mr. O'Quinn 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.