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Wed, Aug. 21

Clarkdale teacher on Scholastic books panel
One of 22 to review children's books

VVN/Philip Wright<br>
Jennifer Shilling, kindergarten teacher at Clarkdale-Jerome School, reads a book to some of her students. They are seated on a rug Jennifer received when she was selected to serve on an advisory panel for Scholastic Inc. The book she is reading is a book that the company asked Jennifer and her kids to read and critique.

VVN/Philip Wright<br> Jennifer Shilling, kindergarten teacher at Clarkdale-Jerome School, reads a book to some of her students. They are seated on a rug Jennifer received when she was selected to serve on an advisory panel for Scholastic Inc. The book she is reading is a book that the company asked Jennifer and her kids to read and critique.

CLARKDALE - Jennifer Shilling wants books to be important to her kindergarten kids at Clarkdale-Jerome School.

"When we go to the library, I have my kids hug their books," she said. "I can tell which kids love books and know how to take care of them."

Jennifer wants all of her kids to love books, but most of all she wants them to be avid readers. She knows that reading skill is the foundation for how well her kindergarten kids will do throughout their education careers. She knows that state law requires that her students must read proficiently when they reach third grade in order to move on to fourth grade.

Recently, Jennifer was one of 22 teachers selected nationwide to become part of an advisory panel for Scholastic Inc. books and classroom newspaper company. She was one of 6,000 teachers who applied, and she is the first-ever Arizona teacher to serve on the Scholastic book advisory panel.

"I had to submit an application," Jennifer said. "I thought maybe I'd get some free books."

She did indeed get some free books for her kids and her classroom, and she also got selected to critique children's books.

"Two representatives from Scholastic came to visit the school and Jennifer's class in February," said Superintendent Kathleen Fleenor. "When they came they brought each student in her class a new book to take home and books for her classroom library."

Jennifer was selected by Scholastic.

Fleenor said Jennifer received an expense-paid working trip to New York during early March. She met with the company CEO and other executives and the other teachers chosen for the panel.

"Scholastic Books is a well-recognized company," Fleenor said. "She will work with her kids, and she and her students will critique books."

Jennifer and the other teachers reviewed children's books while in New York and provided feedback regarding book selections.

"We had a discussion panel," Jennifer said. "It was "how do we reach the non-reader.'"

She said she is now getting books to review with her kids. She received a large rug for her classroom to use during listening time, and a listening center for the classroom. Not only did Jennifer get a free selection of books for her classroom, she got a $50 gift card and is receiving books to review with her students.

Fleenor explained that Jennifer was a school mom when she decided to go back to school at Northern Arizona University to earn her teaching degree.

"This is her second year in teaching," Fleenor said. "She is a delight. She's very energetic and enthusiastic."

Jennifer was a recipient in 2009 of the Yavapai County Education Foundation's teacher education grant for teachers entering education.

In 2011, Jennifer was a nominee for the New Teacher of the Year in Yavapai County.

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