Our school is located in the heart of Brooklyn in a community called Crown Heights. We are a school where a substantial number of students are living at or below the poverty level. We serve a significant number of homeless, English as a New Language (ENL) students, Students with Disabilities and students coming from disadvantaged homes. Over eighty percent of our students come from single parent homes.
Despite the many challenges our students face, they are eager to learn and excited about literature.
As their teacher, I am always trying to find ways to make them fall in love with literature and deepen their appreciation of language. Our students get excited about literature that speaks to their reality and also literature that gives them opportunities to learn about new experiences, people and places.
My students face many barriers that make their path to success more challenging. My students are predominantly African-American students who come from single-parent homes. Many of them have experienced homelessness and numerous other difficulties in life. When they choose books, they are often drawn to books that reflect their own experiences and validate their own personal stories.
My students need books to help stir a passion for reading and I don't have books that engage my students while validating their experiences.
I need more books that are culturally relevant, books that can encourage and speak to their personal and social experiences.
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