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 one thousand fifty students with about seventy-two percent of students qualifying for free or reduced price 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 twenty-five 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 books are books my students have specifically requested, books 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 twenty minutes a night. Reading just twenty minutes a day exposes students to one point eight million words per year! By creating a classroom library with books my students have requested, such as Smile, A Snicker of Magic, and Thirteen Chairs. They can check these out to read at home to help encourage students to read and become more engaged in school. Books are useful in developing students’ comprehension and fluency skills, thus providing further motivation for students to read. With access to these high interest books, 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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