- The California Reader
- Coshocton Tribune
- Chimborazo Elementary School Receives First Donor’s Grant in Richmond
- “One School, One Book” by Gary Harker
WARSAW — Two weeks into the new school year, parents and students at Union
Elementary School were given a two-week challenge: take part in One School,
Read to Them, a Virginia-based nonprofit organization that advocates reading
to children, developed the program designed to create a shared reading
experience within a single elementary school community.
“The big idea is getting families reading together at home,” teacher Terri
Lowery said. “Other schools have done this … across the country, and had a
lot of success and lots of enthusiasm with reading. Our big idea
was just to get families involved with their students and reading.”
About 200 of the 240 students at the school read “Frindle” by Andrew
Clements with their families at home.
“We picked the book, ‘Frindle,’ because we thought it would be appropriate
for kindergarten through sixth-graders,” Lowery said. “We’re excited about
the number of families who participated. When I read on a website a lot of
schools had 40 percent participation … and we’ve had almost everybody,
The book tells the story of fifth-grader Nicholas Allen, who decides to
start calling pens “frindle.” When use of the new word catches on, his
teacher, Mrs. Granger, is not pleased.
Each family received a copy of the book, paid for by federal Title I
funding. During school, students answered a trivia question about the book
each day. On Friday, students and families celebrated the end of the project
with breakfast and learned tips for reading success.
“I think it’s a wonderful way to start the school year,” said Beth Edgar,
mother of four. “It gives them bonding time with the other students …
something common to talk about.”
Edgar enjoyed spending extra quality time with her family. She incorporated
her children’s reading time into their daily after-school routine.
Justin Cooper, Edgar’s son, said the house always was quiet as they read
“Everyone paid attention … and we would take turns reading,” he said. The
fourth-grader said he would read a chapter at a time, while his younger
siblings read to their own abilities.
“I think it helped bring us all together as a family,” Edgar said.
Even siblings who attend junior high and high school enjoyed the challenge,
teacher Jackie Martin said.
“That’s the message we want to get to parents: Don’t stop reading to your
child when they can read independently. Keep reading to them. … They need
it, they enjoy it. It’s a family thing,” she said.