In Texas, one teacher is taking the creation of a reading corner into his own hands.
Joshua Michaelis, a teacher in Garland, Texas, at a Title I School recognized that very few of his students had a space to read and availability to grade level appropriate books at home. Understanding the implications of this he started a campaign to raise money to create a library corner in his classroom to provide a space for the students. Essential parts of his proposed library corner were a rug to read on, two beanbag chairs, two seats for ground reading, containers to store books and labels to organize books. Michaelis described the need as “…a space to read and expand our minds.”
Here at CLI, we believe that every child should have the opportunity to have a comfortable, welcoming space to read in the classroom with rich literature . We also know that classroom culture specifically the literacy environment is one key component to a student’s literacy education.
Michaelis wrote, “Reading forms the basis of all academic subjects, and encouraging a love of reading is one of the most important things we can do.”
He also said, “By donating to our classroom you will be investing in the future of our society. These students will be the ones making a difference in the future.”
The same message is contemporaneous in Florida where the Chief Executive Officer, Brittany Olivieri Birken, Florida Children’s Council wrote, “Every smiling face sitting in a Florida Voluntary Pre-kindergarten classroom is a future employee or business owner.”
The state of Florida is responding to the report, “A Decade Behind: Breaking Out of the Low-Skill Trap in the Southern Economy”, released by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce this past summer. In the report it stated that by 2020 58% of jobs in Florida will require postsecondary education and training.
Students that are not reading on grade level by the end of 3rd grade are less likely to graduate high school which is why it is essential to invest in early education. Birken also wrote, “Every dollar we invest now in early education is a dollar invested in the future prosperity of our state.”
At CLI we know that the students are the future of the society and without crucial literacy skills are less likely to succeed. We also know that it important to provide students with the tools they need to be successful including library corners and teacher’s trained to teach literacy.