English teachers get $3000 to build a classroom library


Azriella McClearen

Student enjoying classroom library

Azriella McClearen, News Writer

Mrs. Gilmore gets a $3000 grant, Mr. Langford gets a $3000 grant, Mrs. Bryant gets a $3000 grant, Mr. Naber, Mrs. Stone, Mr. Serang. Every English teacher across the county has been given a $3000 grant this year to build their own classroom library. No grant of this amount has ever been given to teachers individually for their classroom.
Director of Secondary ELA Melissa Agee announced in a county wide English Language Arts teacher meeting on Aug. 25 that each English teacher would be given a grant to build up their own classroom library to encourage independent and choice reading.
“You should have the ability to choose books for your classroom,” Agee said. “You know your kids. You get to know what their interests are, what their likes are. You need to have that power to choose those titles,” West English teachers had many different reactions when the news came out.
“I was stunned. I was absolutely floored” English teacher Stuart Egan said. Some English teachers couldn’t even believe it was true.
“I thought they were..like.. joking. Because in the 22 years I have been here we have begged and pleaded for books. When she said it was for everyone, my mouth dropped. I was like ‘oh my gosh’ I can get so many books for so many kids” English teacher Theresa Bryant said.
The excitement at the opportunity is felt department-wide.
“Three thousand dollars is a lot! That gets a lot of books. We had to order through a certain site, so it’s not like we can go to McKays and get books there, but still I think I ended up getting over 200 different books. It’s pretty crazy,” English teacher Kelley Miller said.
This grant comes with limitations. A teacher can only order seven books of the same copy, this means no classroom sets. The goal is for the classroom library to only be used for individual choice reading, yet can be used for specialized classes like Shakespeare or Social Injustice for new copies of testimonies and plays.
“It would be nice if there were fewer limitations on it, because we can only get so many books of one kind. It could be a little bit more constructive if we had a little bit more freedom. But I understand the problem proposed by giving teachers free reign over these title choices,” stated English teacher Daniel Naber.
Although there are still limitations, all English teachers still get the chance to choose the books for their classrooms.
“I just went all across the board, mostly young adult stuff, but literally every genre I could think of. Horror, mystery, some fanfiction stuff, manga, because a lot of the kids seem to be into that right now,” English teacher Tavia Gilmore said.
All in all there there is overwhelming excitement among the English department for the new resources to be brought into the classroom. And an overall agreement that this will benefit the students of Forsyth County