WOODSTOCK – Melinda Parrent will take a sharpened aptitude for research through the nation's library when she starts at Northwood Middle School in the fall.
The library media specialist was chosen from more than 400 applicants to attend the Primary Source Summer Teacher Institute in Washington D.C.
From June 9 through 13, Parrent will explore the archive of digitized historical artifacts and documents available at the Library of Congress while learning how to bring those primary sources to her students.
"I'm just excited to bring it back for students," she said. "I think it's a fantastic opportunity. I've always wanted to go to the Library of Congress."
Parrent, who has been at Olson Elementary for seven years, will make a transition to Northwood in the fall.
Parrent will join other library media specialists, administrators and classroom teachers from several school districts across the country during the week.
"It will be great to [converse] with other educators and get ideas from them," Parrent said.
Parrent will be presenting what she learns to others in District 200, she said.
Primary sources are documents and objects created during the time period researchers are studying – the "raw materials of history," according to a news release from the Library of Congress.
Educators can access the materials and strategies for teaching with primary sources at www.loc.gov/teachers.
Parrent said that teaching with primary sources will help create excitement for the subject matter and bring research alive. Finding and analyzing the materials encourages critical thinking, as well, she said.