Sonia Yanez, a digital communications teacher at Globe High School in Globe Unified School District, will use the AZEdNews Classroom Grant for her Reading Matters initiative to buy more books for her classroom library for students.
“Our school implements sustained silent reading time for our students in 30-minute intervals,” Yanez said. “If students don’t bring their own reading from home, they pick a reading choice from our classroom libraries.”
“I would love to have more choices for them to pick from,” Yanez said.
“Some students love novels. Some love horror stories. Some love non-fiction. Some love comic books. I want all of these choices available to them daily,” Yanez said.
Video by Heidi Otero/ASBA: Globe High School’s Sonia Yanez wins an AZEdNews Classroom Grant
“I want to build my classroom library to give students more reading choices, because once students find something that they love to read, they have more of a chance of becoming lifelong readers,” Yanez said.
Globe High school students know that reading will positively impact every aspect of their lives, in and out of school, Yanez said.
“They know they have to read for science. They have to read for math. They have to read for theater arts. It’s needed for almost every subject,” Yanez said.
“I also work to help them understand that they will need to have good reading skills for both their professional lives and personal lives in the future. A good reader can go far,” Yanez said.
In addition to the $200 AZEdNews Classroom Grant, Yanez receives a free membership to Treasures4Teachers and a $20 gift card to their stores. Treasures 4 Teachers, which just signed on to sponsor AZEdNews Classroom Grants for teachers, provides donated school supplies and other items for low-cost or for free to teacher members, and it has locations in Tempe and Phoenix.
Globe High School students’ reading comprehension is tested each year, and it is also assessed through Accuplacer testing for the local community college, Yanez said.
“We compare reading levels from year to year, and we are hopeful that our newly-implemented sustained silent reading will lead to positive results,” Yanez said.
“We want our kids, from a small, rural school, able to compete with everyone else,” Yanez said.
Globe Unified School District and its Governing Board highly value reading, Yanez said.
“They are supportive of any programs that improve student reading and do everything in their power to ensure student success,” Yanez said.
“I am the adviser for the high school yearbook and newspaper and have received so much positive feedback from the Governing Board on the changes they have seen in my program over the past five years,” Yanez said. “All the credit goes to the students.”
Yanez said she implemented reading at least weekly, before it was a school-wide mandate.
“You can tell that the increased reading has made the students better writers,” Yanez said.