Project: Books We Can See Ourselves In!
Project Description by Mr. S:
Research shows that it is critical for developing readers to be exposed to literature that features characters and settings inclusive of their cultures. Yet often students with culturally diverse backgrounds have very limited access to such books.
I teach literacy to a fantastic group of 24 students in the Bronx. They are part of an incredibly diverse community coming from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Bangladesh, Mexico, and Albania. It is also a poverty-stricken community and my students face daunting challenges everyday, including gang violence, hunger, and inadequate housing and health care. Most of my students qualify for free or reduced price lunch and many are English language learners.
In my school, the majority of my students are behind academically and one of the biggest reasons for this deficit is student-reading levels. Students are often 2 or 3 grades behind were they should be and among students with special needs this gap is often greater.
Research has shown that for readers who struggle the biggest way for them to improve their reading level is to read constantly. In my classroom students are expected to read independently and at home daily using books from our classroom library. However, my students often express frustration with the lack of interesting titles in our limited classroom library.
To address this problem, I spoke with fellow educators and carefully noted the types of books that students were engaged in reading. Based on my observations and discussions I compiled an expansive list of books. I realized that my students needed to see themselves in the books that they were reading. As adolescents, they need to be able to relate to the topics and issues raised in the books they read in order to be fully engaged and become lifelong learners.
With your help, you will make it possible for my students to improve the single most important and fundamental skill that they will need to succeed in school and realize their dreams in life: reading. My students deserve the opportunity and the resources to make the most out of their incredible desire to learn in the face of tremendous odds. Be the difference that helps them succeed by providing them with culturally responsive literature. On behalf of all of my students, Gracias, Merci, Wapsaw, Dankie, Iyayraykere, Saeamat kimo, Faleminderit, Shukran, Tai merbani, Tsikomo, Hvala vam, Juu na, Zikomo, Mese, I ni che, Mudo, Ua tsaug… and Thank You!
My students need 40 culturally responsive books for our classroom library. The cost of this proposal is $487, which includes shipping for any materials requested and fulfillment.
Letter from Mr. S after project was funded:
Dear VH International Business Solutions, Inc,
I just want to express my sincerest gratitude for supporting my students. Everyday when they go to our classroom library they will now have over 50 brand new books to choose from. These books feature characters and settings that they can actually relate to. Countless studies have proven the importance of students being able to see themselves in the books they are reading. These books will help develop my students into lifelong readers and thinkers. On behalf of all my diverse learners: Gracias, Merci, Wapsaw, Dankie, Iyayraykere, Saeamat kimo, Faleminderit, Shukran, Tai merbani, Tsikomo, Hvala vam, Juu na, Zikomo, Mese, I ni che, Mudo, Ua tsaug… and Thank You!
Thank you notes and drawings from the Students:
Previously received Thank You packages