Why We Use Children’s Literature

Books need to do more than support reading comprehension and model good writing; books need to help students relate to their world and consider the complexities of the human experience. Authentic literature is at the heart of our literacy programs. Children’s books are deeply interwoven into every lesson, either in a read-aloud or as part of individual student work.

Once a child sees himself represented in a book, his existence is validated, and he feels that he is part of the world. Conversely, when a child does not see herself represented in books, she doesn’t feel as though she is part of the world, and her life, her existence, is not validated.

 Eric Velasquez, children’s illustrator and author

Our Book-selection Process

We engage a dynamic group of experienced teachers, curriculum developers, and children’s librarians to select books for our literacy programs and companion libraries. Drawing from over 100 publishers and imprints, the team discusses and evaluates every book. They consider the quality of the writing, compatibility with lesson goals or appropriateness for the library set, Guided Reading and Lexile levels, gender and ethnicity balance, journal reviews, and their own experiences in the classroom and with student response. As a result of this rigorous process, books in our programs and libraries:

  • Serve as mentor texts to support writing instruction
  • Expose students to a variety of current and classic, high-interest, high-quality children’s literature
  • Represent multi-cultural perspectives in both fiction and nonfiction
  • Explore the full range of human experience and knowledge
  • Contain relevant social and ethical issues

How Libraries Are Used in Our Programs

Our programs are well known for their blending of literature and lessons; our Companion Libraries further the impact by providing just-right books for all students at every part of the day. Check out the Individualized Daily Reading (IDR) and Comprehension Strategies libraries (companions to our Making Meaning program).

Literature for Students in After-school Programs and for Struggling Readers

In addition to our IDR and Comprehension Strategies libraries, we offer AfterSchool KidzBook sets (a companion to our other after-school programs) that support literacy in out-of-school time, and Fluency Libraries (companion to our SIPPS program) that support struggling readers.

Read our Author Interviews for additional perspectives on the important role quality children’s literature plays in the life of a child.