Did you know that at Erwin Middle School alone we represent over 20 countries and more than 23 languages?
The Erwin District has the highest rate of newcomer (young people coming to the U.S. for the first time) students in the county. On the first day of school alone we had two Ukrainian, three Marshallese, one Russian, and three Hispanic students come through our doors for their VERY FIRST day of school in the United States.
While newcomer students are supported with ESL (English as a Second Language) classes in school, there are many times throughout their day and week when these students and their peers are asked to have quiet reading time while reading a book in their first language.
Currently, there are only two books in the Erwin Middle School library that are in Spanish, and no other language besides English and Spanish are represented.
We believe that newcomer students should have the opportunity to read books in their own language while simultaneously learning English in their ESL classes.
Having a section in the library where newcomer students can check out books in their first language is not only vital for maintaining a level of dual-literacy in their mother language and in English, but is also hugely comforting and welcoming to students of all backgrounds to see, and read, something they know.
Compiling 7th and 8th grade level books in the following primary languages is a frequently requested need in the Erwin Middle School teacher and student population:
If this is something you are able to provide on a donation-basis from your personal library, please reach out to United Way’s Resource Coordinator at Erwin Middle School for follow up contact, clarifications or details: Linnea.firstname.lastname@example.org If you would like to purchase books for this project, and need title suggestions, please click here for our Amazon wish list.