Our public school is in a large urban district and includes students who are culturally, socioeconomically, and academically diverse. It is absolutely one of the things I love the most about the students at my school. My kids are typical 9 and 10 year olds who love to read. Reading regularly and voraciously is the norm for our kids. They read widely and choose to read. This didn't happen accidentally. Parents are committed to the idea of regular reading at home. Teachers design their school day so that kids spend large blocks of time reading a variety of authentic texts. Teachers share their passion for reading with the kids. Administration dedicates funds and professional development time to reading instruction. As a result, the students choose to read. These readers know books.
I've been working to get diverse books into my classroom my whole career. I make sure the books we use not only represent the kids in my classroom but also the world we live in. It has always been my goal that these books be celebrated and a natural part of my classroom library, not something that comes out once a year to celebrate Black history, Women's history, Asian history etc. These books are part of our every day reading life. I use them for instruction, for read alouds and book talks. My kids read choose to read them independently, in book clubs and to inquire about their world. And while we have some, this is a never ending journey. We continue to need more books!
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