This ninth grade student body is 33% labeled with special education needs, a majority as learning disabled. My students are 14-15 years old, with little solid background in literacy, but lots of street smarts. Their critical thinking skills are ready to be put to the test with literary analysis that will be relevant to their lives. They are in desperate need of escaping to the world of reading and realizing that others also experience hardships. Right now, I have nine students wearing blankets instead of coats. Several live in group homes, have had trouble with juvenile detention, or are living out of cars.
My students are all heart and struggle.
These teens live in a rural community adjacent to a major metropolitan city. They are exposed to deportation of family members, just plain neglect and often violence. Giving them a book of their own with rich, meaty substance will encourage them to read for a lifetime.
Our students do not have many books of their own at home. They spend, on average, 8 hours + looking at screens and less than 20 minutes reading on their lexile level per day. It only takes 20 minutes per day to increase their readiness for the real world and college if they so choose. Reading "The Hate U Give" is of especially high interest to them because it deals with deep exploration of topics they will discuss using critical thinking. This book is currently being made as a movie and we will invite students (through a movie theatre partnership) to see the movie for enrichment once we have read the book. Many of our students read several grade levels below what is expected. High interest reading helps them develop their vocabulary in addition to critical thinking skills.
If you donated to this project, you can sign in to leave a comment for Teacher Peterson.
DonorsChoose is the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.
As a teacher-founded nonprofit, we're trusted by thousands of teachers and supporters across the country. This classroom request for funding was created by Teacher Peterson and reviewed by the DonorsChoose team.
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.