I teach grade 2 in a culturally diverse, poverty-stricken school district. My school district is the only one in the entire state to be taken over by the state due to severe financial difficulties, high administrative and teacher turnover and numerous other obstacles to learning and academic success.
Many of my students come from foster homes, single-parent families, and overcrowded, often deplorable living conditions. Some are homeless residing in local motels and shelters. My students are only six and seven years old and are very excited about school and learning. They love to read! Some of my students live in conditions where the parents and caregivers are working two or more jobs and just don't have the time or energy left to sit and read with these children. Therefore, I think that by providing my students with a listening center at school they could feel that as they read a book, they are listening to it on tape and get the same feeling that they are being read to. Once I recorded my voice on tape reading their favorite books and sent it home as a holiday gift so that they could listen to it and feel that they are being read to any time of night or day by someone who cares. Unfortunately, many of these children did not have cassette players at home so I brought in one and we rotated bringing it home. The children really looked forward to their teacher "coming home and reading to them!"
By having a listening center set up in a "cozy corner" of my classroom, I can provide up to four students at a time with the opportunity to read a book of their choice while having someone "read along with them" on tape. What a wonderful way to encourage and foster a love of reading, while at the same time promoting literacy and creating more fluent, expressive readers! After all, if we can read, we can do anything!
By providing my students with this listening center you will be helping to increase the literacy rate in our country while fostering a lifetime love of reading! More importantly, your generous donation shows these children that they are not forgotten and that someone pretty amazing really does care!
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