What first got you thinking about the value of people different from yourself? What if that first moment of multicultural awareness came from a book?
For many of my rural students, that moment of multicultural realization hasn't occurred yet.
When they hear "Native American," they think "Indian," and when they hear "Hindu" or "Muslim," they are likely to hold inaccurate preconceptions. This is largely a product of the fairly homogeneous demographic make-up of our town.
I am requesting 35 copies of "Life of Pi" and 35 copies of "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee." My dream is to usher my students into the civil rights issues beneath stereotypes through the use of two novels. In Life of Pi, students will follow Pi, an Indian boy who explores three major world religions before his fateful journey at sea. In Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, students will read the true oral histories of various Native American groups, and it will introduce them to the often ignored issue of Native American rights today.
At the center of my classroom practices are one driving mission: to promote the long-term flourishing of my students.
I strive for this by giving them high expectations and opportunities to grow as readers, writers, thinkers, and people. With your help, my students can become more multiculturally aware and perhaps they'll even find lifelong passions for pursuing human rights.
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