One District, One Book

Picture an entire community embracing the same book.  The conversation among students and teachers and parents spreads out to include other members of the community – within the school (custodians, bus drivers, cafeteria personnel) and without the school (churches, libraries, grocery stores).  From that simple premise, your families will learn how – will acquire the habit  – of reading aloud together on a regular basis.

When a whole district reads a book, there’s a whole lot to talk about.



About the Program

Once you bring the One District, One Book to your community, it will actually be executed by your individual schools. The simple premise of the program is “to teach families how to fish.” That is, instead of just tossing books at them, One District, One Book, by asking families to read a children’s novel as a community (everyone reading the same book, at the same time, over the course of a month), all families, even those not very familiar with reading chapter books out loud, can discover and acquire the habit. ODOB is enabling. Ultimately, families will learn how to read books together on their own, independently.  You reach those families through your schools. That’s where your captive (and needy) audience awaits. But when each school – at your direction – agrees to adopt the program, they each still have the freedom to refine the program to suit their school, community, needs, capabilities, and resources.

You choose a book from our Recommended Reading List that suits the needs and interests of your entire community.  When your district reads a book – or more than one book! – every year, your families will discover the unexpected pleasures and joys of different characters, different contexts, and different environments.

As the leader of your district, you will curry support for One District, One Book in your community.  You will explain and bring on board your elementary school principles.  You may branch out from there and reach out to your intermediate or middle or high schools.  You will want to ensure other members of your community know about and support your initiative – community groups and foundations, the Rotary Club, local businesses, libraries, etc.  You will also want to make sure the press – newspaper, radio, TV, digital – knows what you’re up to.  In the 21st century, someone on your staff (it may even be you!) will probably be savvy enough to use social media to spread and crow about your family literacy initiative – One District, One Book.

Through Read to Them, you will acquire copies of your chosen title(s) and present them to all the families in your district – to your faculty and administrators – and to anyone and everyone else you want to include in your ‘community of readers.’  Read to Them will also supply your schools and families with the tools and materials and resources to enrich your ODOB experience.

Once the book is chosen, each school will find their own best ways (with their personnel) to explore and pursue the book as a community. All will probably rely on RTT’s tried and true simple first steps: send a letter home explaining the program; hold a school assembly (creative and fun – with materials and scripts supplied by RTT) to introduce the program and the book; hold a Family Reading Night to build enthusiasm and deliver some hands-on advice and encouragement on reading aloud; send home a reading schedule with the books; and – believe it or not – most simply and importantly: ask a daily trivia question each morning, to reward attentive reading and encourage and stimulate attentive listening. Many schools will do far more than this – holding auxiliary assemblies, hosting guests, and various community and individual student art projects (usually based on the particulars of the book chosen.)