Meet Julie Gagne, a 21-year veteran instructional coach at Central Elementary in Ferguson, MO.
We’ll officially meet her in March of 2023, when the Busload of Books Tour pays a visit to the Central Stars. Julie took a few minutes to tell us about herself, her students, and her school.
WHAT GETS YOU OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING?
Sharing my passion for literacy!
WHAT IS SOMETHING FUN OR QUIRKY ABOUT YOUR SCHOOL, STUDENTS, ETC?
Our school is the oldest two-room schoolhouse West of the Mississippi. A historic building, first built in 1890!
WHAT ABOUT YOUR SCHOOL MAKES YOU PROUDEST?
The dedicated teachers I work with.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SCHOOL TRADITION?
Our school parade at the end of the school year! We parade around the neighborhood and cars honk and neighbors wave!
WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE BETTER UNDERSTOOD ABOUT THE CHALLENGES FACING TITLE I SCHOOLS?
That our students do not enter our doors “school ready”. We need wrap around services for students to address all of their needs!
WHAT IS YOUR SCHOOL’S GREATEST CHALLENGE?
Poverty, learning loss from the pandemic. We’ve had to deal with virtual teaching, lack of mental health resources, homelessness, food insecurities and not enough staff to teach all the students adequately.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR TOP PRIORITIES IF YOUR SCHOOL HAD MORE FUNDING?
Books!!!! Interventionists. High quality materials. Parent outreach!
HOW WILL THE BUSLOAD OF BOOKS TOUR IMPACT YOUR COMMUNITY?
With most of our students learning virtually last year, getting our kids excited about reading and books will bring such a rich experience to their young lives! We especially want our families and students to get excited about reading and understand the importance of becoming powerfully literate members of our community. Our students are the most amazing young people on the planet!