“In our multicultural society, culturally responsive teaching reflects democracy at its highest level. It means doing whatever it takes to ensure that every child is achieving and ever moving toward realizing their potential.”
--Joyce Taylor-Gibson

Beyond the Barriers: Culturally Relevant Literacy Instruction

The Research: Why Is It Important to Be Culturally Relevant?
Here are statistics given for the year 2008 of students between the ages of 16-24 who were not enrolled in school and have not received a high school diploma. Whites: 5%, Blacks: 10%, Hispanic: 18%, Asian: 4.4%
Although drop out rates are decreasing as a whole, our diverse populations are still dropping out at high rates.
Students born outside of the country are more likely to dropout than students born in the U.S. However, both statistics are still higher than the average dropout rate of their white peers.
http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/?q=node/300The Research On Culturally Relevant ClassroomsLadson-Billings: "But That's Just Good Teaching! The Case for Culturally Relevant Pedagogy- In this article, Ladson-Billings recognizes that often teachers take a students' cultures and find ways to integrate them into education. She suggests that instead, we take education and insert it into the students' cultures. The term "Culturally Relevant" stemmed from research done by Gloria Ladson-Billings. She defined cultural relevance as "teaching... specifically committed to collective, not merely individual, empowerment (Ladson-Billings, 1995)."Culturally Relevant Teaching: Presentation done by New York University's Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, Ph.DCritical Issue: Addressing Literacy Needs in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Classrooms What types of knowledge are important in diverse classrooms?Supporting Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learners in English Education (NCTE) This is the position statement published by the National Council of Teachers of English. This articles places at the forefront the importance of cuturally relevant teaching. It gives practical questions to ask yourself and your collegues as well as K-12 activities and assignments.Culturally Responsive Teaching Website- This website provides 7 characteristics for culturally responsive teaching. It then shares the What, Why, and How for each characteristic. The resources listed at the bottom also provide a place to go for furthur information.Culturally Relevant Texts- This is a chapter from a great textbook that gives examples and information on culturally relevant practices.
Hooking Reluctant ELL Readers Activites you can use immediately in your classroom to help engage your diverse learners. 
Sample Lesson Planshttp://www.dpi.state.nc.us/curriculum/languagearts/secondary/rightdirection/p62
Culturally Relevant Webquest for teachers... If you are interested in learning more

Red Scarf Girl
Book trailer
Lego Movie
Multicultural Booklists
Multicultural Youth Award Winners This link will take you to a website that lists the different awards offered to multicultural texts. Here are a few of my favorites: Amelia Bloomber Projects James Addams Children Awards Americas AwardMulticultural Book Reviews: Dedicated page where teachers can contribute to a growing number of multicultural books. These are seperated by ethnicity.Cynthia Leitich Smith: Lists Children's and Young Adult Lit. Resources