Our students attend our last-chance, continuation high school. Most students come from homes that have been through some kind of trauma, and students have not been successful in school so far.
Still, our students decided to try again and come to school most days with the hope that this year, things will be better: They will matter to their teachers, they will pass their classes, and they will have a chance at achieving their educational and personal goals.
Our students have incarcerated parents, siblings who have been murdered or locked up, and friends who have been lost to street violence. Our school's mission is to use trauma-informed practices to mediate the long-term and short-term effects of trauma on students brains, bodies, and self-esteem, while helping students to see the people behind the trauma that are worth fighting for.
Some of my students have learning disorders that make learning English, a second language, difficult. My students need books in their native language along with high-interest books in English in order to become more literate in both languages.
Spanish speaking students with language learning disorders need to have access to books written in their first language, Spanish, while slowly gaining vocabulary in English.
Literacy in one language helps to grow literacy in another. Having Spanish editions of high interest books will help teenage students become fluent readers. As my readers grow in their English vocabularies, I will transition students to high interest books in English.
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