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Counselor loves books, utilizes bibliotherapy

ON THE COUCH: Dr. Jana Moore, right, speaks to students at Bovina Elementary School. (Austin Vining/The Vicksburg Post)

ON THE COUCH: Dr. Jana Moore, right, speaks to students at Bovina Elementary School. (Austin Vining/The Vicksburg Post)

Sitting in front of a shelf filled with books, Bovina Elementary’s School Counselor Dr. Jana Moore said she loves to read.

“I like historical fiction, especially if it’s southern rooted,” she said.

Moore said Mildred D. Taylor is one of her favorite authors and Taylor’s “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” is one of her favorite books.

“I try to read what they read as well,” she said, referring to the students. “I use a lot of bibliotherapy in my group sessions. All these books — the Berenstain Bears — there’s always a teachable moment.”

Moore said books are her favorite counseling tool.

“I also use bibliotherapy for individual sessions because it lets the children see that they’re not the only ones that are going through things, that other people have gone through similar things, and how there was light at the end of the tunnel for those people,” she said. “Every time I get extra money with school I’m always online ordering books.”

School counselors use the American School Counselor Association standards, Moore said.

“I use play therapy, sand tray therapy, role play, to do group sessions and individual sessions,” she said. “I work on the academic, social, personal and career goals of the students.”

Moore also identifies students who are at risk for failing academically or who have behavior problems.

“I’m the coordinator of the teacher support team, which is an intervention process,” she said. “It’s a state, three-tier program to identify at-risk students.”

Moore also enjoys counseling her peers when she gets the opportunity.

“I’m also just an ear for my coworkers, just to come in and sit down and have a session as they say, she said. “I love it. I have a heart for people, and I really want to help them.”

Moore said she can sum up how she does her work in a quote from Martin Luther King, “Whatever your life’s work is, do it well,” and she’s known she wanted to help people since she was in the tenth grade.

“I feel like my strong faith in God is what keeps me going every day because some people are not able to do it,” she said. “You start seeing neglected kids, kids who are just hurting and even adults who are hurting. Someone needs to be there for those people. If not me then who, that’s how I look at it.”

The job has rewards, too, Moore said, like the time a teacher was feeling stressed and her students told her to “go see Dr. Moore, she makes everything better.”

“I don’t make everything better,” she said. “I just pull it out of the person. They have it in them, so I just pull it out.”

Moore said she lives in the Bovina community and before taking this job seven years ago she worked in mental health for seven years.

“I really feel that I’m blessed to be in this position,” she said. “It’s actually a position I prayed for.”

When Moore isn’t at the school, she enjoys shopping.

“I will shop anywhere,” she said. “Even if I just have five seconds, I can go in a mall and cover it. I would rather shop than eat.”

Moore and her husband, DeCedric, have one son, Micah, a six-year-old kindergartener at Bovina Elementary.

Moore said she thinks her son likes having his mom at school with him, except for the fact she’s always the first to know when he gets into trouble.