My students are from the rural city of Vincennes in a Title I school corporation. Over half the school qualifies for free and reduced lunch, but the school works hard to make kids college and career ready. We classify as a rural school, over an hour away from a large city in either direction, two hours south from Indianapolis. Our Gay Straight Alliance is in its sixth year. Our meetings and activities pull anywhere from 5 to 30 kids. They've participated in AIDS walks, the annual Homecoming parade, done movie nights, and held a positive-note campaign in the school. But I know access to books with LGBTQ+ representation will add something to their high school experience.
With LGBTQ+ books, my students can grow academically, feel represented in literature, and expand their horizons.
LGBTQ+ books, topics, and authors are underrepresented in classrooms. I want to have a selection of LGBTQ+ books for young adult readers in a variety of genres and topics available for students in the GSA to borrow, read, and enjoy.
Students who feel represented in what they read become engaged learners.
By having books available for all students to borrow, I hope to increase recreational reading in otherwise reluctant readers.
I also want to begin book talks in the GSA club in the next school year, in which students choose books to read, and then share their critiques and reviews with the rest of the club.
The books on the list including The ABC's of LGBT+ and At the Edge of the Universe have been compiled by current members of the GSA and fellow teachers. Many are winners of the Stonewall book award. Rainbow stickers will help to identify LGBTQ+ titles, and lending cards will help me keep track of the books.
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