Young people do read. If they have books.

National Book Award Winners in all categories for 2010

Through ReadThis, our friends at the National Book Foundation once again donated Young Adult books to a school that needed them. A full 138 books went off to a public middle school in Brooklyn. You can read here how much the donation meant. Thank you, National Book Foundation:

Dear ReadThis and the National Book Foundation,

I am writing to you to express my heartfelt gratitude for your generous donation of books
to the Grade 8 Humanities Program at KAPPA V middle school in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
Three large boxes full of brand new books arrived in my school’s office addressed to me.  I am not exaggerating when I say that there were audible “oohs” and “ahhs” from the few students present in my room as I opened the first box.  Not surprisingly, three students asked to sign-out books they found interesting on the spot.

Teaching is difficult enough under ideal circumstances.  Having taught at a Title I school
(almost all of our students are entitled to reduced-price or free meals) for the past 5 years,
I have learned to deal with the additional challenge of scraping together most of my
classroom resources on my own.  On more than one occasion, I have used my personal
savings to purchase class sets of novels I wanted to share with my students.  With all New
York public schools facing drastic budget cuts, asking administrators to purchase reading
materials would certainly prove to be a naive exercise in futility.

With the books you have provided for me, I can supplement my somewhat worn classroom
library with a great selection of new, high-interest novels and non-fiction for my
Humanities students.  Despite the growing obsession with test preparation and “teaching
to the test,” study after study continues to prove the same thing: independent reading is
THE best form of test preparation available to our students.  With hair-trigger attention
spans, our students will only continue to read independently when provided with high-
interest reading like the materials you have sent me.  I look forward to sharing these
resources with my students and fellow teachers over the course of the coming academic
year, and cannot thank you enough for your time and effort to brighten up my classroom
and my students’ lives with your much-needed gift.

Andrew L. Mills
Grade 8 Humanities – KAPPA V (MS 518)

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