Kevin English, Wayne Memorial High School, Wayne, MI
I'm in my third year of teaching at Wayne Memorial High School in Wayne, Michigan, where I teach ninth- and tenth-grade English language arts. I'm a graduate of the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor and a teacher consultant for the Eastern Michigan Writing Project. At Wayne Memorial High School, I am also a teacher leader of the district's Reading Apprenticeship team and a member of the building's literacy committee.
I was introduced to book talks and young-adult literature in college. I remember when the methods instructor introduced a book talk assignment the first time, and I've been reading young-adult literature to share with my students ever since. While my passion for reading didn't develop until after high school, I've vowed to not let this happen to my students by never letting an opportunity pass when I can share or recommend books.
The Book Love Foundation's grant has been a godsend. Last year, I struggled getting students to read with the meager classroom library. Even though I would give book talks frequently, the few books I had only enticed a few readers. Thanks to the BLF, more readers' tastes and needs are met than ever before. Word has spread like wildfire throughout the building, and it's not uncommon to see other teachers' students in my room to find a book. Choice empowers and motivates readers, and students are quick to talk about the teacher with great books!