To provide students (we serve about 100 per year- between ski academy, NTHS, THS, SHS, and full time Cold Stream) with supplemental reading materials to enhance the core reading lists, provide choice, variation in reading difficulty, and create independent readers. As a smaller school in the district we do not have our own library services. We've been receiving grants along with other funding over the past 7 years to build a library that is overseen by our English and Social Studies teachers.
This program will benefit each and every one of our students! Each individual comes to us with a unique history of reading. That is why it is so important we have access to reading materials that will serve a wide range of abilities, interests, and purposes. With this funding we are able to give students choice beyond the core texts taught in their English classes. Within the independent study framework in English courses, students have more time for pleasure reading, and more time to develop a love for reading independently. At minimum students must read 8 books per 10 credits of English; the average number is usually 12, and some students will complete as many as 20 books throughout the entire year. All research shows that students who read independently achieve higher academically, and with our program students have access to a wide variety of choice, including the latest publications, and currently popular picks. This will serve our reluctant readers, or less experienced readers more dramatically as they often have not finished a book of choice prior to coming to Cold Stream and do not have access to reading materials at home.
This is perhaps the third grant I have applied for -- for this particular program. I started many years ago when I was an English teacher at Truckee High, pursuing the SSR program in our department, and it was then that I realized the benefits of choice reading. Now with the focus of common core on such rigorous literacy standards, the need for reading materials is even greater. Now, in my 7th year at Cold Stream teaching English, I have received 2 more generous grants from Ex in Ed to build our library of supplemental reading materials. I have built into my English classes a rigorous choice reading program that is not only successful in building reading endurance, but also creating lifelong readers because they have the ability to choose their own books. Last year, I had 4 students read the 1000 page trilogy of the Lord of The Rings as their choice of outside reading. Other titles that have sparked student interest are Steph Curry: Autobiography; In Search of Capt. Zero; The Language of Flowers; Boys in the Boat; Twelve Years a Slave, just to name a few of the recent titles.
Quite simple. When students enter my class, we discuss their reading history and decide on supplemental titles to add to their individualized curriculum. We collaborate on their choices, and I'm able to buy with the grant monies, if we do not have the books already.
I teach all levels of 7-12 English and collaborate with our Social Studies teacher, Jamila Benkhoud. We share all of our materials and develop cross-curricular lessons with the use of these supplemental materials.
Measure A Site funds for reading materials