Ms. Lizarzaburu, 2012, Rogers Middle School
With the help of this grant, I was able to purchase books that already seem to have fashioned the reading environment I had hoped to create for my students. They day my books arrived, my classroom was instantly filled with chatter and conversation amongst children who were looking forward to reading the books that were so carefully selected as a class. Because my students have been given a wider selection of level-appropriate texts that they are excited about, the number of books checked out of my library monthly has almost doubled since the beginning of the year.
As a new teacher, I will admit that not so long ago my shelves were filled with outdated, hand-me-down books that were falling apart at the seams and did not appeal to my 6th graders. Many of these books were also either far below or well above the reading levels of my students. Thanks to the funding I received, those books have since been replaced with a variety of new options in all genres, including non-fiction. The new books are used for book clubs and to practice the reading strategies taught in workshop through daily reading logs. I am happy to see that my bookshelves now sit almost empty, because their contents are where all books should be, in the hands of students who, to their own surprise, can’t put them down.