April Staff Feature

Jenni Norum – Site Coordinator at Edmunds Elementary School

Jenni Norum is a self-proclaimed book enthusiast, mystery book writer and carries a degree in sociology, law crime and deviance. Her love of books started in elementary school and has not stopped in her adult life.

“When I was in elementary school I found a safe haven in libraries because my teachers would have me assist in the library in between class times,” Jenni said.  “I then took this love with me to Minneapolis where I worked as a manager of the children’s book department of a Border’s Books in the city.”

Jenni noted that she brings this experience and “the experience of being a mother of two sons (Cole and Sam)” to Everybody Wins! by site-coordinating at Edmunds. Prior to this she was a mentor at Lovejoy Elementary in the 2016-2017 school year.

Jenni and her husband Chris came to us through United Way because they wanted a way to be involved in the community in a positive way. They both read at Lovejoy Elementary last year and absolutely loved the experience and connection they made with the student’s there.

When asked why she decided to take the leap and be a site-coordinator, Jenni said, “I saw a need and felt I could fill it.” She also felt as though the office staff were great people to work with and wanted to be more involved.

As a site-coordinator she has enjoyed seeing the positive change in the students in the program. “There are a lot of shy children that have really began to open up and girls that have really come into their own because of the program.” Jenni said. She really likes seeing how the students in the program grow from the beginning of the school year to the end of year.

Jenni noted, “Edmunds is such a diverse program.” English is a struggle for some of the students and she says, “the change in confidence they have is awesome to see.” To highlight this, she likes to send notes of positivity to the teachers so that they know what is going on in the reading time each week.

When asked what her favorite thing about being a mentor was, Jenni said “getting a chance to connect with students in a positive way. I am also impressed with how articulate some of the students are.” She ended by saying, “as a site-coordinator, it’s important to give students a chance to read if they would like to because that helps them grow and express themselves.”

Thank you Jenni for being a great asset to our team. We appreciate all you do.

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