The right words can change lives and change societies. I teach 8th Grade Language Arts in a high-needs public school where 95% of my students qualify for free or reduced lunch. We are located in a city that has been consistently rated as the most dangerous city in the US. Change is desperately needed in our community and in many of our students, and I believe it can start with a single book.
Only 27% of students in our school passed the Language Arts Literacy section of the state test last year. This is deeply disturbing since one's ability to read and write greatly influences one's success in the future. My students arrive in the 8th grade with an average reading level of 5th grade. Many of them were not read to often as children, do not have books at home, and do not enjoy reading. I believe that one way to get them to enjoy reading is to introduce them to books that they can relate to and will therefore will naturally interest them. However, I am given virtually no supplies. Whenever I want to read a novel with my class, I must purchase the books using my own money.
"The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros is a beautiful book, simultaneously simple and profound. I believe the students will easily connect with the protagonist, Esperanza (which means 'hope'), who attempts to deal with frequent moves and the trials of adolescence. She eventually discovers her own self-worth and independence, and she realizes the importance of returning to help her community rather than abandoning it. The poetic prose will undoubtedly help them learn about various literary devices that we have been working on throughout the year, and the positive message will hopefully affect the way many of them view their own lives and neighborhoods.
You can make it possible for our students to experience this powerful work of literature by helping to fund 30 copies of "The House on Mango Street." Help many of our students get the skills and mindset they need to succeed and to change their community for the better.
|House on Mango Street Sandra Cisneros • Barnes and Noble||$9.85||30||$295.50|
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