"If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow." --John Dewey

Sunday, March 25, 2012

We Give Books: Visit, Read, Donate!

Teachers are busy people, without a doubt.  Still, given the opportunity, most teachers I know will go out of their way, no matter how busy they are, to find the time to do a favor for a student or a friend or a colleague, or even a stranger.  It's what we do--we're "good-doers" by nature.  That's one of the reasons we're always so busy, I think.  We somehow find a way to do things for others in addition to the million things already on our own plates.  Wouldn't it be great if the things that we ordinarily do on a daily basis could benefit someone else without taking any additional time or energy?  Get ready to be a very excited good-doer, because now they can!

Check out http://wegivebooks.org.  Simply by reading the books available online at the site, you can not only teach and entertain your students, you provide books for needy children at the same time.  Doing good couldn't be simpler.  Sign up for a free account, select a literacy campaign who will receive your donation, read one of the many books online, and when complete, press a button to donate a book.  That's it!

The collection of books changes occasionally, and yes, most of the collection is currently for students aged 10 and under, but that means that they're short and easy to read in just a couple of minutes.  Now I know what you're thinking, you junior high teachers.  Why bother if there isn't anything for students of a higher reading level?  With a little creative thought, these books could be the basis for a bigger, more sophisticated project appropriate for your upper grade students.  As an example, in my computer classes, students have the opportunity to use the Smart Recorder on their computers to record themselves reading a story from the site.  The finished stories, now in movie form, are then uploaded to our UStream channel (more about this website another day) where they can become part of our weekly school news broadcast, and are available for viewing by primary classes.  Be sure to check the Resources for Educators link at the We Give Books site for more project ideas and, of course, resources.  There's something here for students of all grade levels.

There's something very satisfying about taking a two minute break from your work, enjoying a silly little story, and knowing that someone, somewhere is benefitting from your moment of literary escape.  So, when you have some time, visit, read and donate.  In the meantime, enjoy my effort at storytelling.  Something about this little book really spoke to me.  (I know the words are completely unreadable in this view of the video.  Visit We Give Books to read the text for yourself.)

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