My students need 30 copies of the book "The Best Game Ever", by Mark Bowden.
Our Wisconsin school district has a growing reputation as the place to bring students with special needs. We also have Hmong, Hispanic, and Kurdish populations, presenting both opportunities and challenges to me as a teacher. To top it off, fewer and fewer students enjoy reading. This influx of students does not come with additional funds to help meet their educational needs. In fact, with record state budget cuts, our resources continue to dwindle. What we lack financially we make up for in innovation, but with another $5 million budget cut ahead of us, my department's book budget disappeared.
In this day and age of emphasizing literacy across the curriculum, we sometimes lose sight of one simple fact: kids should enjoy reading. In a class like Sports Literature, kids sign up to read texts that will allow them to learn about concepts like perseverance and teamwork through sports stories. Sometimes, as teachers we select books that, in hindsight, actually make kids less likely to read. That is the case in my current Sports Literature class. They come in knowing they will read texts related to sports, but a book like "Heat" by Mike Lupica is written at a much lower reading level than grade 12. When we selected that text, we made the mistake of not using student input. This time around, I found some new titles and did book talks for the kids so they could get a feel for the book and how it might "read."
After giving students a few days to think about it, they decided they liked "The Best Game Ever: Giants vs. Colts, 1958 and the Birth of the Modern NFL." At 240 pages, this book is manageable for students taking a course where they want to LIKE the books they read. This book would allow students to look at perseverance and the actual history of the day that football went from a minor sport to THE sport. This book fits perfectly into our "Perseverance" unit but also allows us to hit on so many other topics. Instead of reading "Heat," which many students feel is beneath their reading level, students could read "The Best Game Ever: Giants vs. Colts, 1958 and the Birth of the Modern NFL" and still leave with an understanding of themes found in "Heat." Any time a group of students agrees on a book they want to read, I want to accommodate them. With a book budget that has dipped to $0, I need help from Donors Choose if I want to meet the needs of my students.
So, how can you make a difference to these kids? It's simple. By supporting this project you send a message that reading and literacy have importance, even in this age of computers and consumer electronics. By supporting this project you have the opportunity to impact the learning of students here, today. By supporting this project you also provide the same types of opportunities to students next year and beyond.
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|Best Game Ever: Giants vs. Colts, 1958, and the Birth of the Modern NFL Mark Bowden • Barnes and Noble||$7.18||30||$215.40|
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