As a college prep school (not to mention a school named after a poet!), it is critical for JJSE to have a high-quality library. University libraries can be intimidating for first-generation college students, and students who are already comfortable with libraries have a better chance of staying and succeeding in college.
Developing and supporting a school library is a real challenge given the extremely limited education funding provided by the state. But thanks to the heroic efforts of a dedicated core of volunteers (including especially Adrienne Torf, Sherri Sawyer, and Jonathan Seyfried) and one amazing library-loving math teacher (Bridget Brew), JJSE has a modest but growing collection, and now also a beautiful physical space to house the books. Special thanks also to E. Ethelbert Miller, Director of the African-American Resource Center at Howard University, for his generous donations of poetry books!
The library’s collection includes literature that supports our curriculum and our goal of providing students the opportunity to create positive social change. We have many books about social movements, works from authors from the time of the Harlem Renaissance, and lots of poetry (including plenty by June Jordan). We have nonfiction from various fields, such as environmental science, psychology, and photography. We have a large fiction collection, including a few graphic novels and comic books, and a small Spanish language collection. The library website also gives our students access to online databases to help them do research for their papers.
If you would like to donate books or provide funding support for the library, please contact us.