As a literacy support teacher, my typical student reads 2-3 years below grade level. The majority of my students are learning English as a second or third language. While being fluent in multiple languages certainly benefits my students in some ways, learning new concepts in a non-native language is a challenge for anyone. My students are some of the hardest workers I know, but because the curriculum is constantly progressing, it can be very difficult just to keep up, let alone make substantial gains from year to year. Most of my students do not see themselves as successful readers.
Compounding the level of need my students have, 66% of the students at my school qualify for free or reduced-cost lunch.
It is common for one or more of my students to be so preoccupied with concerns outside of school that they are not ready to access their educations.
When I first became a teacher, I knew the importance of having a large classroom library. I was happy to stock my shelves with any books that my new colleagues were willing to part with. Unfortunately, these are older books that students aren't interested in. This project will give my students access to current and more easily accessible titles that they will be excited to read.
Graphic novels are especially powerful for struggling readers.
They allow students to engage with an age- and developmentally appropriate story without getting bogged down or intimidated by the number of words on each page. Graphic novels are also powerful for struggling readers because, since they allow students to finish a full-size book quickly, they allow these students to begin to build more confidence and see themselves as successful readers.
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