Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Fight to Learn: The Struggle to Go to School

Annick Press 2016. 168 pages
First published: 2016
ISBN: 9781554517985 (hardcover)
9781554517978 (paperback)
Original language: English
Dewey: 306.43
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

conflict, layout, multimodal, setting

Award

The Forest of Reading – The Silver Birch Award (Non-Fiction) Nominee – 2018

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

“Poverty,” “Discrimination,” “Violence”: the chapter headings of this book summarize the problems for countless children around the world who dream of a better life. These true stories portray the challenges facing adults and youth who help children (and their communities) by making learning available. Their extraordinary accomplishments are inspiring and uplifting.

“The Boy with a School in his Backyard” tells of a student who brought his learning home to working peers in West Bengal: “On any given day, there might be close to 400 students squeezed into the yard.” “Caught in the Crossfire” describes high school students of Chicago’s West Englewood neighbourhood and their efforts to graduate with college-ready standing—and to avoid getting shot.

Whatever the reason for marginalization—Roma in Europe, girls under the Taliban, the poor in Chile—this book shows the creative thinking that brought education into the lives of children, teens and their families.

Every spread is illustrated with quality colour photography. One photo shows rows of children sleeping on the floor under vividly coloured blankets: “Former child soldiers get some much-needed sleep at a refugee camp.” Another shows a group of laughing girls, who gaze—clear-eyed and direct—into the camera: “Mushahar girls, with the knowledge and self-confidence … ready to face life’s challenges.”

The final chapter, “Protest Movements,” highlights youth who led the charge in challenging their governments for change, including the late Shannen Koostachin’s successful fight for a school in her northern Cree community of Attawapiskat, Ontario. An introduction and afterword provide general context. Additional back material offers sources, further reading and an index.

  •  

    Read and discuss the short afterword, prior to reading the text, in order to get a sense of the scale of the issue.

  •  

    Activist Elmir Selimi writes: “In the end, when you get to know a person, you understand that they’re much the same as everyone else.” Consider how this idea relates to the contexts presented by the text and in the world.

  •  Research one of the stories to learn what the situation is like today. Share the findings through a multimodal presentation.
  •  

    In small groups, discuss the possible obstacles to schools and education faced by kids and teens around the world. How do some manage to overcome those obstacles?

  •  

    Write a journal entry at the end of each section of the book, briefly explaining the situation you just read about and how it makes you feel.

  •  

    Select one of the extraordinary individuals fighting for education and prepare an awareness campaign about their cause and what they have accomplished.

  • To adopt effective work methods
  • To communicate appropriately
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Career Development
  • Personal Development