“Be you writer or reader, it is very pleasant to run away in a book.” This sentiment, expressed by author Jean Craighead George in her novel My Side of the Mountain, was evident at Providence Elementary’s One School, One Book launch on Tuesday. The school was filled with students and their families, all gathered together to celebrate reading.
One School, One Book is a program created by Read to Them®, a non-profit organization which promotes family literacy. The premise of One School, One Book is that students will discover a love of literature, as well as develop literacy skills, through reading aloud with their families. As part of the program, participating schools each select a book for their entire student body to read at the same time. A reading schedule is provided, and students who keep up with the assignments can enter a drawing for prizes. The real motivation, however, is intended to be the joy of reading the book together as a family.
This happiness could be seen throughout Providence Elementary, as students and their parents, siblings, and even some grandparents, united for the One School, One Book launch. After enjoying a free breakfast, courtesy of Lee’s Marketplace, Meadow Gold and Great Harvest, families picked up their student’s copy of My Side of the Mountain and hunted out a good reading spot. Providence’s panda mascot, Oreo, as well as a Ridgeline cheerleader and Splash, Ridgeline High School’s Riverhawk mascot, were on hand to meet and take pictures with students.
Katie Sena, the mother of a Providence student, was enthusiastic about the One School, One Book launch. “It’s great to have a kick-off,” she said. “We all get together, pick up our books, gather for breakfast and have fun. It gets the kids excited about reading their new book.”
First grade teacher, Barbara Miller, appreciates that the One School, One Book program involves all the families in the school, from Kindergarten to sixth grade, and that the schedule keeps students reading at the same pace. “The children are excited to read because they’re all reading the same chapters each night,” she explained. “Then, there’s a Question and Answer program that the principal announces over the loudspeaker. The children that have read can enter to win a little reward for reading.”
An added benefit of the One School, One Book program is the unity which it brings to the student body as they work simultaneously to achieve a common goal. Breanne White, who serves on Providence’s PTA, shared, “My favorite thing about this event is that it brings a dual immersion school together as we all read together.”
Providence Elementary is not the only school in Cache County School District to take part in the One School, One Book program. Birch Creek, Canyon, Lincoln, Lewiston, Millville, Nibley, Park and Summit Elementaries are also participating. For more information about the One School, One Book program, check out the Read to Them® website.