Klein Forest English teacher Jordan Stamper was recently awarded a grant from the Book Love Foundation, which aims to support teachers who work to inspire a love of reading in their students.
The grant gave Stamper the opportunity to purchase over 200 new books for her classroom library. She carefully hand-picked the books that now fill her shelves with her students in her mind and her heart.
“I found out about this grant last summer when I attended a two-day professional development seminar on reader/writer workshop, and I knew immediately I had to apply for it,” she said. “I hope this will provide a more diverse library for my students so they can see themselves represented in the relevant literature.”
Stamper follows a “choice reading” concept in her classroom, which she has seen impact students’ progress and perspective immensely.
“It takes a few weeks to show students how to choose books appropriate to reading level, how to find books they are interested in, and at what rate they should be reading,” she said. “Additionally, I’m able to use the TEKS to model skills they should be applying to their reading, and many assignments revolve around what they have personally chosen.”
Stamper immerses her students in a variety of genres, always searching for the next piece of text she can introduce them to.
“Last year, one student, in particular, was very vocal in her dislike of reading,” she said. “She hated it and wanted nothing to do with it whatsoever. This was only until I introduced my classroom to a book Tiffany D. Jackson titled Allegedly. This young lady grabbed that book and read it from cover to cover within the week. I was shocked and excited.”
She hopes that the new books will help in kindling a new passion – or at least an appreciation – for reading. It seems to be doing just that for students like sophomore Alex Arzate.
“The fact that she went out of her way to do this for us, it shows that she really cares for her students,” he said. “There are a lot of books in there that are interesting to me and I know for a lot of other students as well.”
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Klein ISD is a school district in Klein, Texas located in northwestern Harris County. The district spans approximately 87.5 square miles and serves more than 54,000 students in one early childhood and pre-kindergarten center, one high school program of choice, 31 elementary schools, 10 intermediate campuses, and 5 high schools.
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