Help me give my students books to support learning and growth! To support their learning and beliefs about success, help them learn about obstacles other have overcome.
This project expired on February 5, 2020.
Hooray! This project is fully funded
Teaching in Brooklyn, my students are a diverse group of young men and women ages 13-21. Often times they have struggled significantly in school, and school is described as being "stressful" "boring" and "annoying". Education looks very different for my students, and often does not bring to mind the potential for growth that research says it can.
They have an interest in a wide variety of subjects and topics, but they often lack an appropriate education on those ideas.
My students want to learn about religions and cultures of the world, about current events, about events of historical significance, and about how they can do something to change the world - but they lack the tools to take this desire further. Many of my students live in homes where there are no books and have gone to schools where they have limited access to high-quality literature and supplies. This has limited some of them, and that limitation is wrong.
For the month of September, my students write personal narratives - a story, event, person or other important thing from their life that has had some impact on who they are today. This assignment is often very challenging for them, and sometimes they write funny things, but often they write about events and situations they have had to experience that are traumatic and life-altering. To follow this unit up, we read examples of personal narratives from people who have also experienced significant obstacles but have overcome them to find success and positive personal growth.
Showing my students these examples is essential, as they often lack the ability to see how they can positively progress forward in their lives.
Many of my students do not see success around them, so it is essential to expose them to it in any way possible.
In class, we read the books on paper copies so that my students can highlight, write notes and otherwise interact with the text. But, once they have finished, I want to reward them for completing the book by giving them their very own copy. Hopefully, this will be the start of their personal libraries and a life of reading and learning about people and places all over the world.
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