November 21, 2017

Angela Crockett | Movers & Shakers 2006

Schoolchildren’s Champion

2006_Angela_Crockett

For years, the New Jersey Department of Education required low-income districts to provide library media centers and librarians for their schools. When she noticed K – 3 schools had been dropped from that regulation, Angela Crockett got to work. Colleague Alice Yucht says Crockett, a longtime media specialist in the Paterson schools, has made a career of ‘speaking up for those who don’t have her gumption.’

Crockett had already founded the Urban School Libraries Committee of the New Jersey Association of School Librarians (NJASL) to help urban school librarians network, share solutions, and learn the art of grant-writing to improve funding for their libraries.

Backed by the NJASL, she presented a powerful case to the Department of Education for the ‘direct correlation between high-quality library media programs and student achievement’ and their special importance to students with ‘limited access to books, technology, and other information resources.’ Colleague Mary K. Lewis says Crockett’s ‘tireless advocacy resulted in an administrative code change that will require a school library program and school librarian in every school in all of the lowest income districts.’

Her advocacy doesn’t stop there. She has a ‘conversational relationship’ with her assemblyman, congressman, and mayor (since one assemblyman is pastor at her church, she ‘advocates’ with him every Sunday). Crockett has turned down offers from better-funded suburban districts because she cares about inner-city kids. She keeps a poster of Muhammad Ali in her office to remind her and her students that background need not determine outcome. ‘I teach future champions,’ she says.

Vitals

 

Current Position Library Media Specialist, Paterson Public School 24, NJ
Degrees MLS, Rutgers, 2000; B.A. in elementary education, Felician College, 1985
Fun fact Active in the Praise Team Music Ministry at her church

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