Our school is part of District Reference Group “H” which is the second lowest socioeconomic level in which a school can be placed. The student population is approximately 1,050 students with about 72% of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch, just shy of qualifying as a Title I school. The activities that we complete, both in and out of the classroom, are greatly restricted by the socioeconomic makeup of our student body and the lack of funding for resources.
The students in our school come from diverse backgrounds and cultures and often do not have the support available at home that allows them to succeed at higher levels.
In addition, many students are struggling to learn the language while trying to complete their eighth-grade work.
A number of my students have failed two or more classes in one trimester and/or have missed more than 25 days in one school year, classifying those students as displaced students. It is a challenge to reach these students, particularly in a low-income school district that is just shy of qualifying as a Title I school. This project is one way I am trying to reach those disengaged students.
These high-interest book series are book series my students have specifically requested; book series which, in a low-income district, many students do not have access to outside of my classroom library.
These books will mostly be used for independent reading. In order to improve students’ reading and comprehension skills, they should be reading at home for at least 20 minutes a night. Reading just 20 minutes a day exposes students to 1.8 million words per year! By creating a classroom library with book series my students have requested that they can check out to read at home is essential to help encourage my students to read and become more engaged in school. Book series are useful in developing students’ comprehension and fluency skills, thus providing further motivation for students to read. With access to these high-interest book series, these students are more likely to feel successful in school. The more successful these students feel, the more engaged they will become in school.
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