One District, One Book‘s Pioneer
In Bentonville, Arkansas, Apple Glen Elementary School completed the OSOB program in 2009. It was such a resounding success that the school’s principal, Lisa St. John, approached Bentonville’s superintendent with the idea of having all nine elementary schools in the district participate simultaneously in the program. After receiving approval she spearheaded this groundbreaking undertaking of One District, One Book (ODOB). The district-wide approach, implemented in February 2009 using the book, The Trumpet of the Swan, by E.B. White, has several remarkable advantages. All of the school principals worked collaboratively to implement the program in the best way possible. Organizations throughout the community joined in to promote and support participation. The local library scheduled book-related activities in conjunction with the program. The spontaneous “book buzz” interactions in Bentonville became a roar and were heard in places ranging from cub scout meetings to Wal-Marts. These incidental, grass-roots conversations, occurring all across the community, spurred a district-wide ‘cultural literacy shift’ which included other organizations like the public library. Bentonville has continued its district-wide implementation of One District, One Book every year since – our ODOB pioneer.