Today, the National Book Foundation announced the inaugural recipients of the NBF Teacher Fellowship, “a new initiative to support and celebrate 6th-12th grade teachers using innovative methods to make reading for pleasure a part of their students’ school day experience.”
“The NBF Teacher Fellowship is the newest addition to our robust slate of education and access initiatives that aim to connect young people across the U.S. with access to exceptional books, authors, and a lifelong love of reading, and teachers are an essential ally in this work,” said Jordan Smith, Deputy Director of the National Book Foundation. “We see the NBF Teacher Fellowship as a unique pathway for the Foundation to support educators who are engaging with their students thoughtfully and dynamically, and who are committed to helping young people see themselves and their communities reflected in the books they read.”
Each Fellow will “develop or extend an initiative that promotes reading for pleasure in their classroom; incorporate National Book Award-honored titles into their curriculum; and participate in a professional learning community with their cohort.” They will receive a $2,000 budget for books, as well as a $3,000 stipend upon completion of the program.
Congratulations to the inaugural NBF Teacher Fellows:
Churchill High School
San Antonio, TX
9th and 10th grade English Language Arts
Project: A gamified reading competition that incentivizes reading for fun; throughout the competition, participating students and entire classes can win fun and academic prizes.
Tapp Middle School
Powder Springs, GA
6th-8th grade Reading
Project: “BLOOM – Brains Learning to Overcome Obstacles and Mountains,” an initiative that crosses content and cultures to expose students to a wide range of literature and promote community connection through reading and sharing about books.
Oskaloosa High School
9th-12th grade Spanish
Project: Holding voluntary book circles for students in upper-level Spanish classes with the goal of increasing language fluency, immersing students in the culture of Spanish-speaking countries and communities, and encouraging students to read diverse narrative experiences in English and Spanish.
George McGovern Middle School
Sioux Falls, SD
6th-8th grade Special Education
Project: Students meet weekly with a senior citizen mentor buddy to read National Book Award-honored titles aloud with the goal of improving literacy skills and building relationships.
Shawnee Middle School
6th grade English Language Arts
Project: Students read National Book Award-honored titles to learn about the United States’s history in preparation for creating their own graphic novel, zine, short story, or short video/podcast.
Science Leadership Academy
9th-12th grade English Language Arts
Project: A year-long contemporary fiction book club where, after students finish reading a book of their choosing, they create an “Author Emulation Handbook” to analyze the author’s craft, write their own creative scene inspired by the author, and share their projects gallery-style with their classmates.
Bronx Park Middle School
8th grade Social Studies
Project: Students read historical fiction and nonfiction titles aligned with their curriculum units covering 1865 to the present, which center marginalized voices traditionally less heard in history classes, increasing students’ connection to the text and making history lessons more relatable and enjoyable.
Rodrigo Joseph Rodriguez
William Charles Akins Early College High School
11th & 12th grade English Language Arts
Project: Student-led book and poetry clubs that focus on finding “bookjoy” through discussing the joys of reading, including personalized book reviews, recommendations, and in-person and online book chats hosted by students.