My students need books, including 35 copies of "Esperanza Rising" and "Wonder." This is as simple as that. Literacy is the most important skill any child develops in school, and with a vibrant classroom library they can!
My students have not yet been able to find a love of reading for readings sake. I want them to have that. While state exams and class assessments are important, and reading is vital to those endeavors, there is so much more to literature. That love and understanding of reading needs to be unlocked.
My students are from a primarily low SES Hispanic neighborhood in a major Texas city.
Their closest library is a 30 minute walk from the school. Having books accessible in the classroom will make achieving a high level of literacy become a concrete, accomplishable goal.
Students will be able to measure how they have improved by seeing their reading levels get higher. They will move from shelf to shelf, with the top being above level texts.
Further, as the class tackles chapter books, everyone will be able to work together in the text. In order to see themselves moving from one level of book to another, though, the students need books!
These books can all relate to my students' lives. Overwhelmingly they are people of color, and most of who their textbooks want them to read and learn about are not like them. We need to acknowledge texts and poems which speak to their lived experiences.
Further, these books are focused on experiences of youth. They are able to see themselves in the book and, as a result, the book will stay with them.
Having a physical book is something that cannot be replaced with a photo copy.
A physical book lets you see your progress in the text, whereas in a photocopy you are just flipping pages. The difference cannot be denied. These books are invaluable to me, my students, and my classrooms to come.
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