According to a recent study, of the 3,200 children's books published in 2013, just ninety-three were about African American characters. In 2012, only six percent of children's books published featured diverse characters. We need diverse books.
My students are bright, caring, and inquisitive kids in 2nd-5th grades.
They are committed readers, most of whom are on track to meet their individual reading goals. Our school is a model whole school, where students receive arts integrated instruction.
This project requests a variety of fiction and nonfiction books including Who Was Jackie Robinson, Who is Nelson Mandela, Who is Michelle Obama, Who Was Louis Armstrong and Terrible Terrel.
Our library is the heart of our classroom. Students are able to select books, check them out on the computer, and take them home. Many students come to my room in the mornings to check out books for the day, other students tell me that they read our classroom books to their younger siblings at home. They love checking their reading levels and selecting appropriate books to read. However, as I did inventory and reflected on our library I realized that, quite frankly, most of the books in the library do not reflect my students backgrounds. The majority of the students in our school are African-American, but the majority of the books in our classroom library featured white characters. I want to change that. I have carefully studied lists of children's books and chosen a group of high-quality children's books that feature people of all sorts of diverse backgrounds.
Children need to see successful people who look like them, in their homes, on TV, in the community and yes, in books.
Some of the books that I have selected focus on history, but most focus on the personal triumphs and struggles of diverse characters such as black doctors, Latina superheros, basketball players, ballerinas, or kids who want a puppy. I am convinced that access to books that reflect who they are will make my students more excited about reading.
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