Jenna Marvin has always had an interest in reading and improving the literacy of people around her. She now is in a position that allows her to mold young adult’s mind, serving as the school librarian at Howenstine Magnet H...
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Jenna Marvin has always had an interest in reading and improving the literacy of people around her. She now is in a position that allows her to mold young adult’s mind, serving as the school librarian at Howenstine Magnet High School in Tucson, AZ. Marvin has served for over 20 years as a school librarian and has realized that in order to reach her students today and get them excited about reading, she has to change her approach to highlighting literature.
“When I started 20 years ago, I was dealing with a different set of kids and in order to meet the needs of these kids today, I have to be willing and wanting to change in order to give what’s best for them.”
NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign visited Howenstine Magnet High School last year, where the school saw some initial successes from the School Improvement Grant. Howenstine teachers have benefited from the grant as they have been able to contribute more to designing professional development courses and using programs established by the NEA to reach out to the community to assist schools in developing their students.
Marvin has been dedicated to making Howenstine a central part of the surrounding community. The school has surveys given out to members of the community to find out what parents, the neighborhood, and other organizations expect from the school. Marvin and school officials have used this information to improve the school and create a “shinier gem” then they already have.
“By having community members do that survey we will know where to head from here. We have a lot of ideas but we can’t do it alone. We want that input and collaboration between us and the community.”
Marvin also highlighted the importance of keeping a librarian on staff at every school. Along with having access to numerous databases, librarians can educate teachers and students on current tools to use in everything from presentations to projects. She feels that librarians are a huge asset to the students in the school because they run what Marvin sees as the center of every school.
“Not having a librarian takes away the person who can help a student through a classroom or individually succeed in school on their research projects. We can get students excited about reading.”
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