I teach at a large, urban, Title I public high school that predominately serves students of color in Los Angeles. While our student body is almost entirely of color, that color is incredibly rich and diverse. There are African-American, LatinX, Middle Eastern, Tongan, and Vietnamese students. Comparable to the vibrant mix of cultures represented on campus, our school has a wide range of clubs and athletics. We have one of the biggest Link Krew organizations in the nation, as well as, a strong (Math Science Engineering Achievement) MESA club that competes in local JPL and NASA competitions.
If you were to come onto our campus, you might at first feel that our campus is rowdy and boisterous.
But that "noise" is full of rich student personalities, self-expression, and critical discussions. Our students are never shy, nor do they censor their opinions. It is something that I love about my students and campus--we will never stop using our voice and learning and growing from each other.
Contemporary diverse novels allow our often marginalized students to see themselves as readers, writers, and important members of society. Our district has not purchased new texts in several years. While the classics are important, so are integrating new texts that reflect students of color and this ever-changing time.
We need diverse books.
The majority of my students come from a LatinX identity. We do not have any novels that reflect them or a Chicana author. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican American Daughter is an engaging text that can be used to teach CCSS, like, theme and character development, but we need the book! These novels will be used for future classes so the project will continue giving for years to come.
Please help us get meaningful, complex texts about the LatinX experience into our 10th graders' hands!
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