GRANT #369:

The Inclusive Middle School Classroom

10/22/2019
Every Child Deserves To Feel That They Belong, So Let’s Create Welcoming Classrooms.

It’s a given that today’s classroom needs to be inclusive, making every child feel they have a right to be there, and to be treated equally.

But what does it take to create a truly inclusive classroom, where the books and other materials feature characters from a variety of backgrounds, who reflect the many differences in real people?

Patrick Newsom has some ideas about that. He teaches at a middle school in South Bend, Indiana, and he’s planned out a way for students from all backgrounds, regardless of their race, sexuality, socio-economic status, religious identity, gender identity, or immigration status, to find their place in the class. He wants to build a library right there in the classroom, shelves filled with books starring people of color, differently abled people, people who aren’t binary, people whose lives and experiences are familiar to the kids in the classroom.

Patrick came up with The Inclusive Middle School Classroom details with an employee at The Brain Lair, a local bookshop where there are many resources to help teachers make their classrooms more friendly to all. Teacher resources are a part of the in-class library, too.

Our Awesome Without Borders grant will pay for bookshelves and the books to fill them. (Guess where they’ll buy the books?)