The goal of creating an English Resource Room at a community school is to encourage English learning by providing a comfortable and safe space for the 950 students attending the school, 65% of whom are girls. By providing a centralized location where authentic English language books, games, and materials are organized we believe it will encourage students to relax and enjoy studying. It would also provide a home base for the 27 girls and 15 boys who make up the English Club. Additional resources beyond the textbooks may also encourage creativity in teachers lesson plans and enable them to share a wider range of examples for language objectives. The room will be used to hold English classes and English club. The school has provided a room, some used furniture and equipment, and started purchasing English language books for this project. As the project continues, the school will contribute the labor for setting up and running the space. The potential impact of the project is increasing the students' English language ability in helping to prepare them for final exams, university, and jobs. Additionally, this resource room will increase awareness about the United States and the world.
In discussion with English teachers about their hopes and dreams for the school many ideas were brought up including an English Resource Room. The ideas that seemed most feasible and interesting to the teachers were then presented to the English Club. This female dominated group prioritized the English Resource Room and has taken on a huge roll in creating this space. The idea was presented to the principal and we were given approval and a room to start renovating.
The intention is to involve as many of the English teachers at the school as possible, and all six have taken part in planning meetings. Mrs. Rina has taken point on grant writing with the volunteer. Teachers and students have given input on what resources they hope to see in the room and what activities they hope it will be used for. Students have committed to helping paint a world map for the room. The plan is that everyone who has been a part of these steering meetings will continue helping with designing, making purchases, setting up, and running the room. Eventually the English club students will take lead on spreading the word around the school and encouraging their friends to come make use of the room. A system for using the space and its resources will be created with specific roles and responsibilities distributed amongst the group. This will ensure the smooth running of the room and the ability to keep it running smoothly through future student and teacher turnover.
The room will be used for English classes and English club both of which are well established and will continue in the future. They will be improved by the materials and equipment purchased and created during this project, which thankfully once purchased the school will have forever. Only if they wish to replace items or make additional purchases will more money need to be spent. This is with the exception of a few continuous costs such as electricity and Wi-Fi which the school already covers. Additionally, the teachers helping to create the space and ready to run it initially are a minimum of several years away from retiring, which should be plenty of time to institutionalize the use of the room as a English department norm before they move on.