Here are a few tips for educators to create environments that invite children to confidently embrace and fall in love with stories and books created by Dr. Lauren Wells, Chief Education Officer in the City of Newark, New Jersey and shared on this website: http://grassrootscommunityfoundation.org/
Tips for educators:
- Model reading. Read, read, read to your students, with your students, or in front your students every day.
- Immerse school culture in talk about books. Book talks over the intercom, book clubs, social media chats, and school-wide read alouds are a few ways to do this.
- Affirm your students’ culture, language, and race by integrating books and stories with characters, places, and experiences that reflect their backgrounds into the curriculum.
- Awaken students as participants in their own learning by having them create reading goals for themselves, for example, minutes of reading, chapters read, and reading new genres.
- Empower students by allowing them to choose books based on what interests them or on book covers and titles.
- Arm your students with the power of their own language and stories by providing them with multiple ways to make personal connections to the texts they read.
- Cultivate independent reading by creating comfortable reading spaces throughout schools. Classrooms, cafeterias, libraries, and cozy nooks in hallways are all fair game.
- Build classroom libraries of interesting, appropriate, and relevant fiction and non-fiction texts.
- Expand your reading beyond fiction. Students have great curiosity about events taking place in the world, plants, animals, and people. Use historical fiction or non-fiction books as tools to capture this interest.
- Advocate for curricula, partnerships, books, and resources for classrooms and schools that are culturally relevant and responsive.