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Classroom library love in Berkeley!

favicon This is big news!

My good friend and former colleague Nancy Jo Turner, who teaches ninth graders in Berkeley, has launched a new and very impressive classroom library.

Want to check out the awesomeness? It’s right here waiting for you.

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I’m very excited and can’t wait to share more pictures once the students see what their teacher has built for them. (Yes, teachers do work over the summer!)

What’s also great is the story behind this beautiful classroom library. When Nancy Jo and I were colleagues in San Francisco, we shared a classroom and often talked about one of our core beliefs: the importance of reading. She introduced an additional novel to an introductory leadership course and also had her students read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Nancy Jo understands the power of reading not only to educate but also to transform.

Fast forward more than a year later. Nancy Jo had moved to a school in Berkeley and I had become an instructional coach in Oakland. We kept in touch, and Nancy Jo grew more and more interested in building an independent reading program. She already had many excellent titles. But why not supplement her books with the books stored in my garage?

And so it was done. In June, I stuffed all my books into my Honda Civic and headed over to Berkeley. We unloaded all the boxes and stacked them into her immaculate classroom. My part was finished, but Nancy Jo had just begun. Since that day, she has organized all the books, cataloged them, built beautiful bookshelves, and completed two DonorsChoose projects for additional resources. And now she’s on Facebook and Twitter promoting the cause. (Check her out and please donate!) Nancy Jo is focused and knows what’s best for kids. I can’t wait to see what she does this year!

All told, her classroom library stands at 600+ titles right now.

Independent reading is spreading in high schools. We need to re-introduce students to the fun and power of stories. I’m so happy that Nancy Jo is leading this work for ninth graders in Berkeley.

Please share your thoughts in the comments! Or share this post with friends so they find out about this greatness! favicon


    • Mark Isero

      Ms. Williams-Zou: Is that you in the corner of the picture, partly hiding and partly reading? 🙂 I can’t wait to come visit and see the classroom library in person! NJT has done an excellent job. Thank you for supporting her!

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