This guide is for those interested in urban education, both research and practice. Table of Contents Background information. Background information. Osanloo and Cosette M. Banks, University of Washington. Diversity is defined broadly in this encyclopedia and includes race, ethnicity, social class, gender, sexual orientation LGBT , religion, language, and exceptionality, which encompasses giftedness and disability.
Pink and George W. New books. Johnson, Jr.
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- Urban Teens in the Library: Research and Practice--eEditions e-book;
Uline, and Lynne G. Rinke ; foreword by Christopher Day. Unlearning failure : can urban schools be transformed in the new millennium? Henkes, Kevin. In Jack Zipes Ed. New York: Oxford University Press. Children and chocolate: What Do We Know? What Can We Do? Children and Libraries , 33, Focus on meaning of the term outcome and methodologies to assess outcomes in program evaluation research literature, suggesting ways the Project CATE model adds to this body of knowledge.
A combination of scholarship in Radical Change: Books for Youth in a Digital Age and in School Censorship in the 21 st Century to examine the relationship between books published for digital age youth, the youth themselves, and censorship in classroom and library. Harry Potter and censorship. Florida Media Quarterly , 9— Chris Raschka p. In Elizabeth Keyser U. New York: Cambridge University Press. Knowledge Quest. An exploration of an original web?
Journal of Education for Library and Information Science. A philosophical framework, drawn from organization and learning theories, applied to a case study of web? Journal of the American Society for Information Science. Proposal of a more productive paradigm for studying information seeking behavior of youth through study of their self-imposed information seeking on the Internet. Theory Into Practice. Application of one aspect of the Radical Change theory to seven picture books. Comparison of research on the resiliency of children with how resiliency is depicted in picturebooks.
Library Trends: Children and the Digital Library. Implications of Radical Change theory for facilitating intellectual access by children in the digital library. Students voices develop on the Internet. Book Links 71, 10 — Dresang Eliza T. Book Links 56, 40— The Horn Book , — Andrew Lang pp. In Anita Silvey Ed.
Houghton Mifflin. School library media services for gifted young people. In Shirley L. Aaron and Pat R. Scales Eds. Littleton, CO: Libraries Unlimited. Lean years and fat years: Lessons to be learned—school library and media centers. New York: R. A Newbery song for the gifted.
The bucket brigade: A school public library cooperative AV repair protect. Journal of Education for Librarianship. Analysis of the correlation between how decisions are made and success and permanence of curriculum change. African education research: Part three Sponsored by the Ford Foundation. Issued by University of Wisconsin—Madison. July Spring Holley, Pam Spencer, and Linda Sittig. Reading in Virginia. Fall Spencer Holley, Pam. October Edited by Dorothy Broderick. English Leadership Quarterly. Random House Publishers. January Random House, Voices from the Middle.
Classroom Notes Plus. National Council of Teachers of English. Teacher Librarian. Young Adult Library Services. Winter May-June, Greenwood Press, Rockefeller, Elsworth. July : Rockefeller, Elsworth, and Elizabeth Burns. Connecticut English Journal. ALAN Review. Fall , pp. December , pp. January , p. June , pp. Emergency Librarian. Summer , pp. Winter , pp. The Book Report.
February , pp. Publishing Research Quarterly. Spring , pp. March , pp. Fall , p. We end this chapter with the voice of an urban teen who feels empowered, who recognizes her potential, because of her interactions with her teacher and mentor, Erin Grunwell. So when I got home, I wrote this poem.
They say I am brown I say I am proud. Although there is a relatively large body of library and information science research that has investigated the information behaviors of adults and children, the information behaviors of teens have received much less research attention. The bulk of the work that has been done has focused on how adolescent students go about looking for information for school-related purposes.
Other adolescent information behavior research has studied how teens go about getting information related to future careers e. Another group of studies has identified common information topics and the types of information teens typically need and seek as well as the information sources they most often choose to use e. More recently, Connaway et al. They show us that teens are active users of information of various types and from various sources e. Research into everyday life information seeking is a growing subset of the information behavior research within the field of library and information science.
For example, Bleakley et al. The U. Census Bureau estimated that, as of , 76 percent of U. This suggests that urban teens are less likely to have access to computers in their homes than teens in general. In another study of home computer use, Kupperman and Fishman presented four case studies of urban Hispanic middle school students who had gotten home Internet access for the first time. These case studies showed that the students and their families used the Internet for multiple purposes, including schoolwork, game playing, and online socializing.
The Teens We recruited two groups of Philadelphia teens, ages 14—17, to participate in the study. Of the twenty-seven students, twenty-five were African American, one was Asian American, and one was Caucasian. About two-thirds of the participants had computers at home, a figure that corresponds closely to the Bleakley et al. As a group these teens used public and school libraries infrequently for their own purposes, even though more than half of them were employed at the Free Library of Philadelphia at least two days a week.
Study Methods Since we were primarily interested in nonschool information behaviors, we asked the study participants to collect data mainly outside of school hours for the period of one week, using four data collection methods: Written surveys. Students completed one-page surveys with questions about their age, grade in school, access to computers, frequency of school and public library use, reasons for using school and public libraries, and computer skills levels.
Audio journals. We gave the teens hand-held tape recorders and asked them to record, at least once a day, a discussion of the kinds of issues that came up each day that required them to get information. We also asked them to describe any efforts they took in addressing their information needs and to discuss their level of satisfaction with the results.
Written activity logs. We gave the participants log sheets on which to write down at the end of each day any questions that had arisen, whether or not they actually sought related information. We also asked them to write down where they had gone or with whom they had talked if they did seek answers to their questions. Camera tours. We gave the participants disposable cameras.
We asked them to take pictures of the places they commonly went for information and to snap a picture any time during the week when they found themselves gathering information. We chose these four different data-gathering methods to represent a range of learning and self-expression styles: written, spoken, and visual. In doing so, we hoped to enable students with variant learning preferences to find at least one comfortable method of describing their information behaviors.
We used the constant comparative method Glaser and Strauss ; Lincoln and Guba for data analysis. Since this was a user-centered study, and since our main goal was to learn directly from the teens about their information behaviors, we next presented the coding scheme to them in a series of four group interviews. In each interview we asked the teens if they thought the coding scheme accurately represented their information behaviors and preferences and, if it did not, to work together to revise the coding scheme as necessary. Each teen took part in one of the four group interviews. Each interview lasted roughly an hour to an hour and a half.
Discussion and revision of the coding scheme generally took up about half of each interview session, and the coding scheme had changed considerably by the end of the fourth interview. The final coding scheme, which includes the combined suggestions and revisions from all four interview groups, can be seen in the righthand column of figure 3.
The items within each category appear in order from most frequent to least frequent information resources, channels, or topics. For the next part of each group interview, we asked the teens to describe the time that stood out most in their minds when they had needed information, either during the week of the study or during the few weeks prior to the study.
The teens told us a range of stories, from brief stories about needing to find bus or subway departure times to detailed stories about shopping trips, homework assignments, vacation planning, and so on. After the four interviews were completed, we analyzed the full body of data—surveys, audio journals, activity logs, photographs, and interview transcripts. We then developed both a theoretical and an empirical model of the role of everyday life information in urban teen development based on what we learned.
The next section of this chapter focuses on that theoretical model. The Model of Everyday Life Information Seeking and Urban Teen Development When we first undertook this project, we looked for a theory or model that would help us to understand teen development and serve as a background for the study.
We examined several developmental theories, but none was a good fit for what we needed. People 1. People consulted 2. Media 2. Types of questions 3. Topics 3. Adjusting to a new physical sense of self Adjusting to new intellectual abilities Adjusting to increased cognitive demands at school Expanding verbal skills Developing a personal sense of identity Establishing adult vocational goals Establishing emotional and psychological independence from his or her parents 8.
Developing stable and productive peer relationships 9. Learning to manage his or her sexuality Adopting a personal value system Analysis of the expanded developmental task list combined with further analysis of the original data resulted in the development of an underlying model of the role of everyday life information in urban teen development. This theoretical model includes seven areas of development: the social self, the emotional self, the reflective self, the physical self, the creative self, the cognitive self, and the sexual self figure 3.
Descriptions of each of the seven areas of teen development follow: Social self. Developmental tasks corresponding to the self include developing stable and productive peer relationships and understanding and negotiating the social world. Emotional self. The types of information the teens Figure 3.
Reflective self. Developmental tasks corresponding to the reflective self include developing a personal sense of identity, establishing adult vocational goals, adopting a personal value system, developing a sense of civic duty, establishing a cultural identity, and questioning how the world works. Physical self. With the physical self, the focus returns to the external world. Developmental tasks corresponding to the physical self include adjusting to a new physical sense of self, developing physical self-sufficiency, and seeking physical safety and security. Creative self.
The creative self refers to fulfillment of aesthetic needs. It involves either the creation of a creative product, such as a painting or a dance performance, or the judgment or appreciation of a creative work. Developmental tasks corresponding to the creative self include expressing artistic preferences and expressing aesthetic preferences. The kinds of information the study participants needed to support their developing creative selves during the week of the study included information related to creative performance and creative expression.
Cognitive self. The cognitive self refers to intellectual processing and understanding of the environment in which the teen lives. Developmental tasks corresponding to the cognitive self include adjusting to new intellectual abilities, adjusting to increased cognitive demands at school, expanding verbal skills, and understanding the physical world. During the week of data collection, the study participants needed information about academics, school culture, and current events to support their developing cognitive selves.
Sexual self. The teens in the study needed information related to sexual safety and sexual identity to support their developing sexual selves. Figure 3. But if teens do not frequent their school and public libraries, then the ability to support healthy teen development is greatly reduced. We assumed that since they worked in public libraries, the Free Library of Philadelphia teens would be relatively frequent library users and have fairly positive views of libraries.
We were surprised to learn that neither group were frequent library users and that both groups had overwhelmingly negative views of libraries and librarians. We probed these issues in the group interviews to try to understand why both groups had such unpleasant perceptions of libraries and librarians. Each of the four interview groups discussed their reasons for these perceptions in detail. At this point it is important to note both the dearth of school librarians in the School District of Philadelphia and the shortage of young adult librarians in the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Many of the schools in the district have no library, and others are staffed with paraprofessionals or parent volunteers. Their negative perceptions of libraries, coupled with the lack of YA library professionals in Philadelphia, reinforce the critical need for more librarians in both schools and public libraries who understand the developmental needs of teenagers and specialize in YA resources and teen programming. Staff A few of the teens told stories of kind, helpful librarians and other library staff at their public and school libraries.
Many more reported negative experiences with librarians and library staff, and these experiences had turned them away from using their school and public libraries. Critiques of library staff fell into two subcategories: knowledge and attitudes. They suggested that collections should not be duplicated from library to library, and that librarians should know the particular interests of those in their communities in order to build appropriate collections.
When [we] are just trying to have a good time but not being too loud. I think they need to stop being so hard on everybody. The interview participants suggested that staff in all parts of the library should be trained to be more acceptant of teen behavior. For example, one of the boys had tried on several occasions to find homework resources at his public library.
Related to a lack of respect was the idea that library staff needed to treat teens with more kindness. These teens were active information seekers and information users, but libraries were rarely their first choices when looking for information, due in part to their view of library collections as mismatched to their information needs and preferences. They offered several suggestions for making library book collections more appealing.
They particularly wanted more urban fiction titles and more copies of popular titles. Over and over again the teens stressed their desire to read books about adolescents living in urban environments similar to their own. Interviewer: Can you think of what kinds of teen books are missing? Teen 4: Realistic types. Most of them there are fairy tales, come-and-getme-on-a-pony type books. They need more books with teenagers like us. People who care for us. Teen 2: They need, like, multicultural books. Books about our culture. They need books for our culture.
Interviewer: Can you think of any examples? Teen 2: Black books. With girls, like teens growing up, like Flyy Girl, True to the Game. Teen 4: We need more books for our age. Something that we can relate to! Long waits on hold lists were another deterrent to library use. The teens wished for more copies of popular reading titles and described frustration with not being able to find books they were looking for on library shelves.
They found it more convenient to borrow a popular book from a friend or family member or to buy a copy from a bookstore than to wait for a library copy to become available. Movies The teens also critiqued their public library movie DVD collections. They wished for more movie offerings, particularly more recent releases. Magazines Many of the teens reported magazines as a favorite type of reading material, but few considered their school or public libraries to be good places to find the kinds of magazines they enjoyed reading.
As a group, they wanted more titles, especially urban-interest publications, and more up-to-date issues of existing subscriptions. For example, one of the girls spoke of her frustration in trying to find current issues of her favorite magazine at the branch library where she worked. Although the library supposedly had a subscription to Twist, every time she wanted to read it, she could find only the same outdated issue that she had already read: Teen: I like to read Twist. Interviewer: Does the public library have a subscription?
I never see the updated one. Music The teens often mentioned music as a potential draw to libraries, both ambient music playing in libraries and individual in-house listening stations. Teens in two of the four interview groups imagined individual listening stations that they could use to select music to check out to take home or to listen to while in the library. Computers Another theme that ran through all four focus groups was the desire for more computers in both school and public libraries. Many of the participants had had to wait in lines to use library computers, and many had subsequently given up using their school or public library computers.
A few even imagined libraryowned game systems for playing with friends in public libraries. Policies The interview participants objected to library policies that served as deterrents to school and public library use. Computer Policies The teens saw limited hours when they could use school library computers and short time use limits for public library computers as problematic. Long wait times and printing fees were additional barriers to library computer use, as seen in the following discussion excerpt about the computers at school libraries: Teen 1: Yeah, I wait a long time for the computer. Teen 2: And you gotta sign up just to use the computer.
And it costs ten cents a page to print! Ten cents a page might be affordable for most adults, but to many of the teens in the interviews it was prohibitive. Other teens mentioned not wanting to use school and public library computers because of library policies against computer games. Together, these various computer policies turned the teens away from using library computers and reinforced their negative perception of libraries. Behavioral Policies Restrictive behavioral policies were equally unpopular.
Some kids come in hollering, trying to purposely make the guards mad. But a lot of kids come in, sit down, just want to have conversation. Where would you rather have them? Outside, doing something bad, or in the library, just talking? Getting permission from teachers to visit the school library proved to be an equally powerful barrier to school library use.
One of the girls explained that at her school students could not enter the library without a note from a teacher.
I went [to the school library] to print this paper at the computer. I needed a special log-in, and that takes time. Less than five seconds, then I be out of here. You need a note. Teen Programs The teens noted that their public library branches offered programs for children and programs for adults but very few programs for young adults.
Worse yet, the few teen programs that were offered did not appeal to them.
Programs and Services
In three of the four interview groups, the teens suggested surveying or interviewing teens to gather their input. The teens explained that they would feel honored and respected if the library would value their input. They further indicate that public libraries should, whenever possible, create a teen room that is separate from the rest of the library.
There teens can listen to music, socialize, read magazines, play computers games, and so on. They should have more programs on Saturdays and Sundays, more programs to get the teenagers into the library. Teens would then come to hold more favorable views of libraries and librarians, and libraries would ultimately see their teen patronage increase.
These teens were excited that we were showing interest in their ideas and opinions, and they responded with care and thought. The teens have given us the vision. It is now up to us to work with them to make it a reality.
Urban fiction - Wikipedia
Many schools have begun to tackle the problem of reading in the middle and high school years by initiating adolescent literacy initiatives. A common element found in well-regarded programs is a focus on building the habit of leisure reading McGrath Leisure reading is the reading students choose to do on their own, as opposed to reading that is assigned to them Mellon It involves personal choice, choosing what one wants to read, and reading widely from a variety of sources—not just from books. Both qualitative and quantitative studies have demonstrated a correlation between success in school and the amount of leisure reading students do Allington and McGill-Franzen ; Kaczmarek and Stachowiak ; Krashen The amount of leisure reading done outside of school has consistently been found to relate to achievement in vocabulary, reading comprehension, verbal fluency, content knowledge, and writing ability Reutzel and Hollingsworth ; Short ; Stanovich and West Students who read in their spare time become better readers, score higher on achievement tests in all subject areas, and have more content knowledge than those who do not Cunningham and Stanovich In this chapter, we discuss the findings of a three-part study investigating the leisure reading habits of urban middle and high school students Hughes-Hassell Methodology This study was conducted in three parts.
Table 4. Part 1 was conducted in a small urban middle school in a large northeastern U. Two-hundred forty-five students attend the school, which serves grades six through eight as an alternative middle school. Twenty-one percent of the students are Caucasian, 73 percent African American, 3 percent Hispanic, and 3 percent Asian American. Sixty-one percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Results on the most recent state assessment of reading indicate that 67 percent of the students are scoring at basic or below basic levels.
Part 2 was conducted in a large urban middle school in the same northeastern city. The school serves approximately 1, students in grades five through eight. The student body is largely Latino 66 percent and African American 27 percent. Eighty-six percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Results on the most recent state assessment of reading indicate that 68 percent are performing below basic, 23 percent basic, and 9 percent proficient.
Part 3 study participants were twenty-eight tenth- and eleventh-grade students enrolled in three English classes at a small urban high school in the southern United States. Fourteen percent of the students were African American, 18 percent Hispanic, and 68 percent Caucasian. Four were enrolled in English 10A, a standard-level college prep English course; one Table 4. To collect data for parts 1 and 2 of the study, middle school teachers administered a five-page, twenty-item questionnaire focused on factors related to leisure reading: whether or not adolescents read in their leisure time; if they did, what, when, and why they read; the topics and types of characters or people they liked to read about; how they obtained their reading material; who encouraged them to read; and if they did not read, why not.
The questionnaire, adapted from the Smartgirl. Students were also asked to indicate their gender and age. Part 3 employed a range of qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. First, the twenty-eight high school students who volunteered to participate completed a survey designed to assess how they spent their leisure time. The survey included questions about their activities outside of school and their reading practices and materials.
Next, nineteen of the students volunteered to keep reading logs for one week in February, March, and April , in which they recorded the title of anything they read including websites, social networking sites, instant messaging, e-mail, and text messaging , along with the approximate time spent reading each item. Finally, these nineteen students participated in individual interviews, which focused on their history as readers.
Several themes emerged. In general, 72 percent of them indicated that they read in their leisure time, although for some readers it might be only an occasional pursuit. Females were more likely to read for pleasure than males 79 percent vs. The majority of the students indicated that they read in their spare time for three main reasons: fun and relaxation, because they can relate to the characters they are reading about, and to learn new things. Those who did not enjoy reading seemed to prefer other activities rather than simply rejecting the act of reading.
This was especially true for the high school students. Spending time with friends, participating in sports, playing video games, listening to music, and surfing the Web were more compelling to them than reading. All of the students, even those who reported not reading for leisure, appeared to recognize the value of reading. In their comments to the openended survey questions and to the interview prompts, many of the students acknowledged the importance of reading to their success in school, college, and the workforce. Those books. Edward is. For the most part they do not see themselves as belonging to a community of readers.
When asked if they ever talked to their friends or family members about the things they were reading, most responded that they did not, although several mentioned passing good books on to their friends. One explanation for this could be that the voices of the teenage protagonists are so strong in these series. Another could be the media frenzy surrounding these three series in particular.
All three have been adapted to film. The only discussions our students reported having with teachers revolved around the books they were reading for class. Only one student mentioned seeing a teacher reading for pleasure at school. Overall, the students appear to read very little during the summer.
Only 22 percent reported that they continued to read for pleasure during the summer months. Although the teenagers in the two middle schools reported that they were engaged in leisure reading, their reading scores remained low. The simplest explanation may be that they were not reading as much in their leisure time as they reported. Another explanation might involve the type of leisure reading they were doing.
Several researchers have noted that light reading does not automatically result in an ability to read advanced material—the material presented on standardized tests Hafner et al. Thorndike found that for middle school students the types of reading that correlated best with improved reading comprehension were 1 humor, 2 history and biography, science fiction, myths, and legends, and 3 adventure and current events.
And, finally, perhaps the assessment instruments we use do not provide a way for students such as these, who primarily read magazines, comic books, and Internet documents, to demonstrate their strengths as readers. As educators we need to consider how we can 1 expand our assessment strategies to allow us to understand the strengths developed by the materials urban teens prefer to read and use the results to develop instructional strategies that help them become better readers, and 2 change the canon to include more culturally relevant titles.
Librarians seem to have minimal influence on the leisure reading behaviors of these teens. The high school students reported that they got most of their reading material from bookstores, visiting libraries primarily to complete research projects for school. This means their interactions with librarians are most often related to the research process—locating and evaluating resources that support the curriculum—rather than to leisure reading.
Although the middle school students indicated that they got most of their leisure reading material from libraries, when asked who influences them to read, only 30 percent mentioned a school or public librarian. Implications for Librarians What did we learn from these teens that can be used to support the literacy development of urban teenagers? Social experiences are especially critical to the literacy development of teens. The Internet has made it possible for students to interact with readers from around the world and to communicate with authors.
Nikki Grimes extends the following welcome to visitors to her site www. Thanks for stopping by. So glad you found my site. He showcases the views, opinions, and reviews of his work that come from the young people who read it, and he offers advice to them about writing and getting published. Equally important, Flake, Grimes, and Mowry include a series of photographs of African American teenagers engaged in reading and writing on their websites.
Many school and public libraries offer extensive opportunities for teens to take part in communities of readers through their library web pages or MySpace pages. Hennepin County Minnesota Public Library www. Podcasts, YouTube videos, blogs, and social networks are just a few of the Web 2. Finally, it is critical that librarians themselves be readers and that they make their reading visible to students.
Librarians need to display the books they are currently reading, visit classrooms to talk about books with teens, and, most important, be passionate about our love of reading. Cullen n. It has been my experience that the cynical adolescent pose is merely a thin veneer and that what lies beneath is a desire to safely give vent to those feelings of excitement and enthusiasm as they discover the world. English teachers [and librarians] can provide important role models of people who are unashamedly passionate about words, books, poetry, drama, and above all, their work.
Sustained silent reading programs have been found effective if they are thoughtfully designed and consistently implemented over a prolonged period. Key factors include professional development for teachers, access to a wide variety of appealing reading materials, follow-up activities that encourage further voluntary reading, modeling by teachers and administrators, and informal accountability Fisher ; Pilgreen Provide the Types of Reading Materials Students Prefer Adults often send the message that the only reading that is reading is reading literature Beers ; Mellon As we invite urban adolescents to read, we must remain open to their reading interests by providing and promoting reading materials that are of interest to them.
Magazines are clearly a favorite leisure reading material. Librarians can promote magazine reading by providing and circulating magazines in public libraries, in school libraries, and as part of circulating classroom collections. The best way to select magazines is to involve students. Survey students, but also browse grocery stores, department stores, and local bookstores to observe the magazines adolescents are buying.
https://hierapajac.tk Many of these magazines are also available online, thus increasing accessibility, interactivity, and reader participation. Comic books were also listed as a favorite reading material by many of the teens in our study. Many teachers and school library media specialists have successfully used comic books to engage reluctant readers Norton ; Versaci Marvel and CrossGen have comics available on DVD that include original comic book art, enlarged word balloons, voice-overs reading the text, and music.
This format not only appeals to visual learners but also makes it easier to circulate comics. Two other popular formats related to comic books are the graphic novel and manga. Both are good for youth who read English as a second language or are reading on a lower reading level, because the simple sentences and visual cues allow the reader to comprehend the story Jones et al. Selecting graphic novels and manga has become easier now that Voice of Youth Advocates, School Library Journal, and Booklist regularly feature reviews. Reading about sports figures, musicians, and other celebrities is also popular with urban teens.
In addition to magazines and the Internet, nonfiction books can provide students with avenues for exploring pop culture. Nonfiction books published today contain high-quality pictures, lots of captions, and sidebars—features that make them especially appealing to students who have short attention spans, prefer visual media, or are reluctant readers. Graphic nonfiction is also popular with adolescents. Visual cues make graphic nonfiction especially appealing to reluctant readers and English-language learners.
The best way to locate it is to visit a bookstore or, better yet, have students select titles from an online bookstore. The kinds of materials that have been found to be most effective with adolescent students of minority groups are those containing authentic portrayals that students can identify with—including characters, settings, and situations—or themes that students are keenly interested in and that are relevant to their lives Harris ; Henry Young adults appreciate interesting reading materials that make sense to them Au ; Harris Texts should reflect reality, but they should also point the way to a different, and better, reality for urban teens Collins ; Guild and Hughes-Hassell The number of multicultural titles published each year, though still inadequate, has increased steadily over the past decade.
Novels such as these offer confirmation and validation of the lives of urban youth as well as legitimization of their inner-city cultures. The best of these books also counteract stereotypes of urban adolescents by creating characters who in the details of their lives challenge social expectations borne of stereotype.
They do this by featuring adolescents—both male and female—who, for example, are successful in school and plan to attend college, understand and choose to avoid the dangers of drug use, and leave gang life behind Collins ; Guild and Hughes-Hassell ; Tatum Many of the students in our study indicated that they read best in Spanish.
If our goal is to foster their love of reading, then we need to provide materials in their first language. Given their preference for magazines, educators who work with urban youth should consider acquiring not just books in Spanish but magazines and newspapers as well. This has the potential to accomplish two goals—to get students to read, and to engage them in conversations about reading with their parents, many of whom may speak only Spanish. Created by Isabel Schon, the Barahona Center is a comprehensive, bilingual database for books published in Spanish-speaking countries or translated into Spanish from other languages.
Aggressively Market Books and Other Reading Materials to Urban Teens Many of the students in our study indicated that they enjoyed reading but were unable to locate materials they liked. Book talks, podcasts, YouTube videos, and book trailers are all excellent ways to introduce teens to appealing reading material. He argues that to develop their literacy black male teenagers need to read texts that address their concerns as young black men living in turmoil and can help shape their ideas and their identity.
Another strategy that has proven effective is to use street literature as a bridge to more mainstream YA titles. Many of the teenagers in our study indicated that they wanted to read about teenagers like themselves. Street literature fulfils this need, but these titles are not often found in most school library media centers because of their controversial content. See chapter 5 for a continued discussion of street lit and urban teens. Adequately Fund School and Classroom Libraries in LowIncome Urban Communities For students in low-income areas, school is the primary source of reading materials, yet urban school districts are less likely to fund school libraries adequately than their suburban counterparts.
Neuman and Celano analyzed school libraries in both low-income and middle-income neighborhoods, assessing them in three categories: resources including quantity and condition of books and computers , staffing, and availability. Low-income schools were less likely to have a certified school library media specialist. In addition, for every computer in the library in low-income schools there were three in middle-income schools.
Finally, school libraries were open approximately three days per week for students in low-income neighborhoods compared with five days a week in middle-income neighborhood schools.