Envision Academy (EA) is a public tuition-free charter high school located in downtown Oakland. We are dedicated to transforming students' lives and preparing them for success in college and in life, by offering them a rigorous academic experience and a diverse, compassionate community.
We serve predominantly African American and Latino/a students, most of whom qualify for the federal free-and-reduced lunch program and will be the first members of their families to attend college.
Throughout our curriculum, we encourage critical thinking, empathy, and reflection. With many students reading below grade level, we also focus intensively on literacy development. This includes a daily period of Silent Sustained Reading with the goal of improving reading skills by a minimum of 1.5 grade levels each year.
We have developed a reading program at our school that provides resources for all students to improve their abilities and enjoyment of reading. Over the last year, we have offered greater support for our Silent Sustained Reading (SSR) program in particular, by assisting students in choosing books that match their reading levels, building in structures for discussing and reviewing books, and providing professional development for classroom teachers.
Now our students need a wider choice of accessible reading material that piques their interest.
Over several years, we have enlarged our campus library and acquired kindles with licenses for many more books. One thing we are lacking, however, is choices for students on days that they have left their books at home, have forgotten to charge their kindles, or when they need a short break from the rigor of a book that's just above their reading level. A recent survey of our teachers identified this need, so this project is intended to provide resources to 14 different classrooms.
I am seeking support to purchase subscriptions of two Scholastic magazines -- Upfront Magazine (on current events) and Science World (on STEM topics) -- for all of our 10th, 11th, and 12th grade classrooms. Each classroom would receive one copy of each magazine, for use by individual students during Silent Sustained Reading (SSR).
This modest investment will provide a solution for students without books on a given day and continue to provide a sense of care and thoroughness about our reading program. Ultimately, it will help students use every minute of SSR time in improving their reading abilities.
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