Jennifer Kelly, Woodstown Middle School, Woodstown, NJ
My name is Jennifer Kelly and I am very proud to say that I was born and raised a Jersey Girl! I live in Stratford, NJ, with my husband, Golden Retriever, and five of my six children. We have a blended family, but I have raised my three stepchildren as my own from the time they were very young. My oldest son recently returned from his deployment in Kandahar, Afghanistan with the US Army 10th Mountain Division. We also have a son attending Drexel University and two daughters attending Rowan University. Our two youngest sons are both juniors in high school. In two years, we will have five children in college at the same time, so we are preparing for lots of peanut butter sandwiches!
For 22 years, I have been teaching 8th Grade English Language Arts at Woodstown Middle School. I am still striving to learn and utilize best practices every day.
Thanks to Book Love, I now reach my students with their reading and writing in ways that I never thought were imaginable. Our new library has helped me to hear the most beautiful sounds in my classroom. Gone are the groans of taking out their novels and the slapping of the notebooks on their desktops.The walls of my classroom now hold sounds of pages turning during independent reading, the silence of a tear quietly rolling down a reader’s cheek, the chuckle at a funny moment, the whisper of students referring books to each other in the library nook and the roar of excitement when students discuss their latest reads.
Our library has brought life to our classroom. My students bring in others from around the school to search for the perfect book. When a student doesn’t recognize my name, others clarify with, “You know, the teacher with the AWESOME library RIGHT in her classroom.” Our new library has helped us to break down the walls of our classroom by taking us to literary worlds that inspire us to make global connections to other readers and authors. The Book Love library has been a gift to our classroom and school community. It has become the hub of our room and the heart of my teaching. My students are now excited, motivated and empowered as they venture into all the literary worlds granted by the Book Love Foundation.