Teach For America alum Kelsey Uribe (Twin Cities ’12) describes her sixth-grade students at Hiawatha College Prep as voracious readers. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that their favorite part of the week is when they are given the opportunity to read independently.
“They love talking about the book they’re reading: what’s happening, who the characters remind them of, and how it connects to other aspects of their own lives,” Ms. Uribe says. “This excitement for learning helps propel them to persist in school, and increases their confidence as students and as proud people of color.”
Her students all self-identify as people of color, she says. And to honor her students’ background, Ms. Uribe is working to expand her classroom library with diverse books featuring main characters with similar backgrounds as her students. She has turned to DonorsChoose.org to raise funds to purchase these books, which she believes will help her students develop a strong sense of identity and understanding of multiple perspectives, as well as provide them the opportunity to see themselves in the books they choose to read.
“By providing books that feature people of color, you will help students see themselves in the world as vibrant citizens, part of culture, and eventually, change-makers,” she says.
And she adds, “By having a more diverse selection of texts, students can utilize literature as a tool in our pursuit of a more equitable world.”
Please consider supporting Ms. Uribe’s project today—and thank you, as always, for supporting teachers and the kids they serve.