Nearly 30% of all public school children attend school in large or mid-size cities, totaling more than 16 million students in 22,000 schools. For schools serving culturally and linguistically diverse populations and large numbers of children living in poverty, a significant achievement gap persists. Proponents of multicultural education often advocate for instruction with culturally relevant texts to promote inclusion, compassion, and understanding of our increasingly diverse society. Less discussion has focused on the significant body of research that suggests that culturally relevant texts have important effects on language and literacy development. By connecting the dots of existing research, More Mirrors in the Classroom raises awareness about the critical role that urban children's literature can play in helping children learn to read and write. In addition, it provides practical step-by-step advice for increasing the cultural relevance of school curricula in order to accelerate literacy learning.
Jane Fleming is a reading specialist with more than 20 years' experience working in urban public schools in Chicago, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. She is co-founder of KIDS LIKE US, a nonprofit organization dedicated to research, professional development, and advocacy around teaching with culturally relevant texts. Susan Catapano is Professor and International Coordinator in the Watson College of Education at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. She has a doctorate in higher education with concentrations in adult learning and early childhood education. Candace Thompson is an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, North Carolina. Her research interests include culturally sustaining applied learning in teacher preparation, and youth empowerment. Sandy Ruvalcaba Carrillo is a resource teacher of English learners in a school on the Southwest side of Chicago with 17 years of experience in education. She earned her undergraduate degree in bilingual/bicultural education from Western Illinois and completed a graduate degree in early childhood education at Erikson Institute.
Candace M. Thompson, Jane Flemming, Sandy Carrillo, Susan Catapano