"Mitakuye oyasin". This Lakota phrase, which means 'all our relations' or 'we are all related,' is a central emotion at my school. I teach at a boarding school for Native American students in grades first through eighth. Our school supports students from over 15 tribes in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Nebraska. The students, teachers, administrators, and staff become a family each school year. We work closely together to support and provide for the students attending our school.
Most of these students come from areas and home lives that are impoverished and not the most stable.
Many of these kids have experienced some sort of trauma and are not given the best or longest opportunity to be kids. These students are on the low end of academic achievement, and many qualify for special education services. Regardless of their home lives or educational standing, these students have so much potential, heart, and soul. With love, encouragement, and education, this school strives to show and teach these students that they can rise above their difficult circumstances.
There are some nonfiction novels in my classroom library, but not many. My goal for creating this project is to widen the variety of titles for my students to choose from. Stories that contain true life experiences attract and engage the majority of my students. I want to acknowledge and encourage this interest by providing new books for my students to read.
The books I'm requesting will allow my students to broaden their multicultural and historical knowledge.
Many of the students in my classes come from isolated homesteads where they don't receive a lot of opportunities to learn about other cultures, world history, or, in some cases, our own country's history. I've included titles in this project like The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Bad Boy: A Memoir, and I Have Lived a Thousand Years. These novels will allow my students to travel to other countries, back in time to other regions of America, and to meaningful and tumultuous historical moments throughout the world.
My students don't often read novels and don't often see the value or enjoyment in reading novels. With this project's help, my hope is to energize the moderate amount of interest I've seen my students display for reading nonfiction stories. My intentions for this project are not only to increase the nonfiction options in my classroom library, but to also design an activity around these novels. I'd love to create a semester-long independent reading project centered around these nonfiction titles and the ones already in my classroom library. I believe I can boost my students' modest amount of enthusiasm for reading nonfiction to a more sizable level of excitement. Donations to and support of this project will help me to make this happen!
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