Curious, eager, and full of life; these are all characteristics that come to mind when I reflect on the little second graders in my class this year. These kids want to know everything about the world around them. They pour over books, soak up information from educational videos, and listen intently to instruction about new things.
Many come from homes where they don't have access to appropriate reading materials, meaning that what they get in my class is literally all they get to read each day - no bedtime stories with mom and dad, no special trips to the public library...just what I can provide for them at school.
They have a hunger for knowledge and deserve to have the highest quality resources at their fingertips, opening the doors to a brighter future for not only themselves, but their families as well.
Many of my students come from low-income families, or are temporarily housed at a nearby homeless shelter. Very few have access to books at their reading levels or in their native languages. When I started in my new classroom this year, I didn't have a class library. The majority of the books the students are reading were purchased with my personal funds. Others were donated by the school library, but are outdated and the students show little interest in them.
Some say that if you give a child a book, they will learn to read; I say give a teacher the books she needs and she will not only teach countless students to read, but to love learning as well.
I believe in equity in education, or that all students deserve access to interesting and informative materials, regardless of their socioeconomic status. With the Scholastic News articles, I will be better able to engage students in authentic nonfiction texts that align with our Science and Social Studies standards. I will also have access to videos and other online activities which are especially helpful for those students reading below their grade level. The lower-level book collections and books in Spanish will also help me to support the 20 English Language Learners I work with across 2nd grade.
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