One District, One Book
Envision an entire community embracing the same book – the conversation spreading from students and teachers and parents to include other members of the community – even custodians, bus drivers, cafeteria personnel. Anticipate, from that simple premise, said families acquiring 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.”
Participating School Districts
For more information on the schools, please visit the ODOB Map.
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Sauk Rapids-Rice, Minnesota
Monroe Township, New Jersey
Northern Neck, Virginia
Berkeley, West Virginia
Roane County, West Virginia
About the Program
Once you bring the program to your community, it will actually be acquired and executed by 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. The program is enabling. Families will learn how to do it themselves, without further direction from school or anyone else.To reach those families – you go through the schools. That’s where the 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 will help the district of schools choose a book – probably one of the books recommended by the national non-profit advocacy group, Read To Them (RTT), which developed the program. You may even help the schools acquire the books, too – although that is an open-ended question, very likely to require a different method or solution in each district.
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 parents 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.)