Mission statement of Ebooks for Students, Ltd., a non-profit in Washington D.C.
Please let us know at email@example.com how the biographies and trade books we have published are working with your students. Which titles do they enjoy? Which do they find boring? Are they doing more reading in these ebooks than they had been doing in their World History, American History and Civics textbooks? We would like your feedback and their feedback. Here is our mission statement.
The goal of this 501 (c)(3) non-profit is to provide students with with exciting, informative and low-cost ebooks in order to increase the amount of reading accomplished in secondary school classrooms. Too often in the past, teachers have not been able to obtain a class set of books—with a book for each student—needed to provide abundant reading opportunities. With free or low cost ebooks, you can remove this barrier.
The amount of print exposure in the years before college or employment could increase. With more reading and writing successfully completed in high school, students will then be more likely to avoid the remedial classwork in community college which delays their progress toward degrees.
Do the quality of reading assignments matter? Will excitement and drama of biographies and stories about life and death in Korean War, the Civil Rights Movement, the Mexican Revolution and the Middle East help build the habit of reading or are textbooks enough?
Do students need the repetition of characters and setttings available in a biographies or can weaker readers handle the blurring abundance of topics in world history textbooks?
Our favorite reformer of the 1980s said that bad books damage students and schools. In “Horace Compromise,” Ted Sizer wrote that…
“Dennis’ bright eyes deadened as the class proceeded. His paper was as neat as his haircut and tennis shirt, but it was clear that he could barely write. It was as though he were copying nonsense ideographs. He persisted for a while and then slowly sank, head downward, asleep, propped up by his over-eight-hundred-page world history textbook, virtually none of which he could either read or understand. Roman fires and sewers, Chinese horses, Indian cities, dates B.C. and A.D., were light years from this youngster. Morpheus put him out of his misery.” (Ted Sizer, “Horace’s Compromise” p.97)
Sizer’s ideas continue to inspire us. He wrote that “Even though they (teachers) are expected to be competent scholars, they are rarely trusted with the selection of text and teaching materials they are to use, a particularly galling insult.” We agree with every word Sizer wrote and are working to make more texts available to teachers and students.
Finally, for some of our titles we have included writing assignments. In teaching some of these books, we found that including writing assignments with the reading encouraged students to actually finish the readings. For a writing assignment to be acceptable, it had to have paraphrases or direct quotations from the readings.