Help me give my students a diverse collection of curiosity sparking, empathy evoking, and culturally relevant books. The evidence is clear: students who read more perform better in the classroom and are better prepared for their futures.
My students need books to help build emotional behaviors as a whole group! Our 320 students are located in a rural community of Richland, MO. Many of our students come from single-parent homes or grandparents' homes. Several of our families live below the poverty level. All our students qualify for free breakfast and lunch. Since our students mostly come from low-income backgrounds, they encounter many challenges that impact their learning. Books to deal with their feelings would help my students.
My students would benefit from Books about life skills!
Filling our shelves with books that relate to our interdisciplinary units of study (or expeditions) would allow me to create book clubs, assign additional reading from relevant texts, and push for even deeper learning. I already design a curriculum that helps students see the connections across content areas and relevance to the topics they are learning, and I need more materials that help make the Expedition topics come alive. I have written a curriculum that centers around the topic of “Thinking Global and Acting Local,” but our school library does not yet match our vision for what texts our students should have access to when exploring this big idea. Even though we are in a small community, our kids are eager to learn more about the greater region, nation, and the world around them. My high schoolers have diverse reading levels and I try to find a diversity of texts in style, author, type, and graphics to encourage accessibility to inclusive topics for all readers. Students will read more if I have more and our learning model helps them discover more already, I just need the books to back up this exploration. Right now, if a student is excited about a topic, I don’t yet have the diversity in our library to put a book in their hands that may keep the excitement of learning going. I also teach about fire, its consequences, and how it can impact our world and community. This is a rich and relevant topic, but we have limited literature and texts to help make this learning deeper around what it means to survive, flee, fight, and overcome. This funding project will help to revolutionize our already revolutionary English department and will benefit my students immensely.
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