May 19, 2021
It might be the month of May, but it felt like Christmas morning last week in Mrs. Buchanan’s freshmen English I class.
Mrs. Buchanan is known for her passion of cultivating a love of reading amongst her students- including those who never really read for fun. She does this by administering a survey to her incoming freshmen, and curating stacks of books for the students to borrow she thinks they will enjoy based on their survey responses.
“When I started getting the Reading Attitudes surveys from the rising freshmen, I realized I needed to fortify my graphic novel collection before I start curating their book stacks for the fall,” said Mrs. Buchanan. “I decided that Donors Choose was the quickest way to get the books for our kids.”
Donors Choose is an online community where supporters of education can browse teacher created projects and choose where to make monetary donations. The platform is there every step of the way, ensuring that all projects on the site are legitimate- even purchasing the materials and shipping them to verified teachers.
Her project’s description read “Many high school students do not read for pleasure. Having a wide selection of graphic novels helps spark an interest in reading for fun and helps them discover the joy found in books.
In a world that is increasingly visual, graphic novels can turn disinterested readers into voracious readers.
The format supports students in developing the ability to visualize a text, leads to greater comprehension, and develops critical thinking skills.
In a graphic novel, students not only read the text, but they also read the images and must develop a strong ability to make inferences. This skill translates into an ability to read the world around them.”
Although her goal of having new books on hand for the start of the school year wasn’t met, the support of anonymous donors from across the country fully funded her project just a few weeks ago- enabling the purchase of 30 titles for her classroom library.
“Kids will tell me ‘I’m not a reader’, and I tell them ‘You’re just not a reader yet’,” Mrs. Buchanan says. “It’s all about finding the style and type of book you like, and then building from there.”
And it was clear from the palpable excitement in the room when those novels arrived that she is succeeding. As students were racing to open packages, you could hear them exclaiming over the selections and calling dibs on being the first to read various books.
“I never thought I’d get so excited over a book,” freshmen Cassidy Hudson was heard exclaiming to her friend as she opened a novel that really piqued her interest.
With the help of educators like Mrs. Buchanan, Krum ISD is well on its way to fulfilling our mission of creating a collaborative atmosphere to help students reach their full potential and create a desire for learning.