Hi! I teach reading to 70 7th and 8th graders in Cabrini Green. All of our students are African American and all are on free or reduced lunch. This is my 2nd year at my school and it has been an humbling experience! I realized quickly that most of my students hated reading, largely for two reasons: 1) 95% of them read below grade-level and reading is difficult for them, and 2)most of their previous school experience with reading was just in the context of reading from a Basal reading textbook and answering questions. They were never taught how to engage in reading and books on a personal or entertainment level, so they didn't know how to pick books they would be interested in and wouldn't struggle over every other word with! We've worked a LOT on learning how to appreciate books and realizing that we can interact with characters and plots in books the same way we can with movies and video games. They've come a LONG way! I thought I knew better and I thought I was prepared for having students that were below grade level, but I'll always remember being shocked to find out that about 95% of my kids owned no books and about that had absolutely no reading material (books, magazines, newspapers) in their homes whatsoever. Reading was not a part of their home life and they simply didn't know what it was like to own a book of your own or go shopping for books just like you do for clothes or groceries. Because independent reading and checking out books from our classroom library is such an integral part of my reading program, my kids now know what it's like to take books home with them, but the books are still not "theirs" because they're just borrowing them. Now that I've gotten so many of my kids reading on a regular basis and even gotten some of them going to the neighborhood library, I want to take them to Borders and give them the experience of actually buying books! The Borders is within walking distance from Cabrini Green but most of them have never been in it and none of them have actually bought a book from the store. They know that book shopping is a thrill for me and I could spend hours in a bookstore, and I want them to know what it's like to peruse the shelves looking for that that diamond-in-the-rough that calls out to you. I want to get 2 class gift cards to Borders that I can use to take my two 7th grade classes to Borders to buy 2 books each - one of their choice to add to our classroom library and one of their choice to take home as their own. I think this would be an exciting and enriching reading experience for them. Everyone deserves to own their own book and have the pleasure of picking it from shelves lined with brand new, crisp books, and I want my kids to have it. They'll have a book to call their own and they'll pick one to add to our library that everyone will be able to share, so this will also add much needed books to our classroom library. Please help me enrich the reading lives of my students and build up our classroom library with books that have the stamp of approval from my students themselves!
Borders Bookstore at 755 W. North Avenue
(10 Borders gift cards worth $50 each. Each student will purchase a book for themselves and a book to be added to our classroom library. )
|30 students and 2 teachers||$500.00|
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