Celebrating our Supporters of One Richmond, One Book

The second installment of our One Richmond, One Book program has come to a close. One Richmond, One Book will be occurring each fall and spring for ten years. This spring, students, families, teachers, and staff read Cleo Edison Oliver, Playground Millionaire by Sundee T. Frazier.

Over the summer, each student will receive one more book as part of our Superstar Summer Readers program. Our generous sponsor, Capital One, and their employees have been helping us prepare materials for the for the Superstar Summer Readers book give-away…

Capital One employees enthusiastically helped us pack over 13,000 books across multiple days. Students will receive a book, pencil, fruit snack, and some tips for families about reading aloud.

We couldn’t have made this program a reality without the help of Capital One and their generous employees! Their help with this program supports literacy across our city.

It is an honor to bring One Richmond, One Book and Superstar Summer Readers to Richmond and we are grateful for the dedicated volunteers, community members, and sponsors who helped make it happen!

Find more great pictures about our other programs on our Facebook page, Twitter, or Instagram account.

A District-Wide Read Like No Other

A dream 12 years in the making has finally come to Lethbridge School District in Alberta, Canada. A One District, One Book program unlike any other, Lethbridge has done something totally unique.

Learning Support Teacher, Michelle Dimnik, has brought One School One Book to her school, Dr. Gerald B. Probe School, for 11 years. During that time, she dreamed of bringing this reading program to the entire district of 24 schools.

Through much dedication and hard work, and help from resource teams across the city, Dimnik has finally brought One District, One Book to all of Lethbridge this spring. They chose to read Wishtree by Newbery award-winning author, Katherine Applegate. It’s a transformative story that is inspiring readers and schools across North America.

Most incredible?  Dimnik actually recruited the involvement of every student in Lethbridge. From kindergarten to 12th grade, all students received their own copy of Wishtree to read together. Reading K-12 is unprecedented at the district level.

Even more exciting?  The district got a visit from Katherine Applegate!

Lethbridge truly got the community involved with the book. The shared reading experience was featured on local news numerous times including an article written by the Chief of Police. A One District One Book Lethbridge Twitter page was created to share pictures and celebrate successes.

Here’s to Lethbridge’s first district-wide read! We can’t wait for next year.


Interested in something like this in your district?

Get in touch with our office or find more information here.

Our Winter 2019 Newsletter Has Arrived!

It’s that time of year again, our winter newsletter is here! Check out some of the highlights below.

Read to Them‘s hometown participated in its first city-wide read this fall. The One Richmond, One Book program will continue in fall, spring, and summer for the next ten years!

“Seeing students and families reading across the city this fall demonstrated this is a program that can truly energize and unite our city,” said Richmond Mayor, Levar Stoney.

Each of the 13,000 students participating received their own copy of Friendship According to Humphrey. Read to Them will support three reading events a year for Richmond students.

In other news of important firsts, R. P. Connor Elementary School in New York participated in One School, One Book for the first time.

R. P. Connor was especially ambitious and put on two reading events; one in the fall (The Lemonade War) and one in spring (The World According to Humphrey). The entire community got involved, local businesses even posted signs in their windows supporting the read.

Read to Them‘s website homepage has recently been revamped. Check it out! We’ve added new video series too! Our staff members discuss their favorite titles in our  Why We Love Books video series.

Don’t miss our author spotlight with Monica Brown. She is the author of the Lola Levine series and over 20 award-winning picture books.

“I wanted to create a loving, multicultural family not unlike our own, where mixed-race children were not described in fractions, but rather as containing multitudes and whole just as they are!” explains Brown.

Poplar Grove Elementary School in Illinois kicked off their seventh year of One School, One Book this winter.

The school read one of our newest titles, Dragons and Marshmallows, from the Zoey and Sassafras series by Asia Citro. The title is full of science experiments, discovery, and friendship.

And don’t miss our tips from the field!

Advice on how to generate excitement from students and when to plan your reading event. 

Find all this and more in our full newsletter. Click here to download!


Bryan Elementary School Goes Above and Beyond!

Bryan Elementary School in Bryan, Ohio kicked off their One School, One Book event last month. They also hosted their first ever literacy night. We loved these pictures and had to share!

During their kickoff assembly, staff members competed in a “motorcycle” race! Maybe you guessed it…Bryan ES read The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary. They also brought in an actual motorcycle and a Ralph stand-in.

Most impressive though, is this music video that involved just about everyone.

They made a parody of Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond. Don’t miss it!

Bryan ES spread the word on social media.

The school got families involved on social media and spread the word about their literacy night on Facebook. Social media is a great way to remind parents of the reading schedule and special events.

Thank you for sharing these excellent pictures, Bryan Elementary School! Interested in bringing One School, One Book to your school? Click here.



Kate DiCamillo on the Unmatched Magic of Reading Aloud

What is it that makes reading aloud so special? And why was Read to Them founded on this very idea?

Author Kate DiCamillo recently shared an intriguing story from her childhood that offers a fantastic explanation. She was featured on a short PBS segment. (3 minutes!)

You can find the entire video here.


“Reading aloud ushers us into a third place, a safe room, it’s a room where everyone involved, reader and the listener, can put down their defenses and lower their guard”, says DiCamillo.

DiCamillo reminds us all of our memories being read to or reading to someone else. “We humans long not just for story, not just for the flow of language, but for the connection that comes when words are read aloud. That connection provides illumination, it lets us see each other.” These moments are so precious, despite their simplicity, and remembered for lifetimes.

Kate DiCamillo is the beloved author of four books on our list. From the classic novel  Because of Winn-Dixie to the thought provoking and heart-wrenching story that is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.

Not to mention two incredible Newbery Winners; The Tale of Despereaux and Flora & UlyssesThe Tale of Despereaux will delight and most likely make you crave a bowl of hot, delicious soup. Flora & Ulysses delivers with wonderous illustrations, a squirrel sidekick, and an increasingly intricate adventure.

There is plenty to discover in each of these books. Whatever you choose to read, share it! As DiCamillo explains, “when people talk about the importance of reading aloud they almost always mean an adult reading to a child. We forget about the surly adolescent, and the confused young adult, and the weary middle aged, and the lonely old. We need it too.”

“We all need it.”

Find the entire video and listen to DiCamillo’s excellent story here.

Our Fall 2018 Newsletter Is Here!

Our newest newsletter is officially here! Click here to download it. Check out some of the highlights below.

Students, families, and staff at Janet Kahn School of Integrated Arts (JKSIA) have read 12 books together over seven years of One School, One Book. Quite an accomplishment!

JKSIA staff Lisa Miller, Sierra Ryan, and Michelle Desiree Lobato

Clues, hints, and posters appear around the school leading up to OSOB. The school has announced the title in a variety of ways, including through school assemblies, guest performances, and even movie trailers.

Clues, a Kenny and the Dragon trivia box, and JKSIA staff: Terri Gaussoin and Christy Sigmon

“Our youngest kindergarteners who once had the story read to them are now the proud big brother or sister who is reading aloud to their younger siblings”, explains Terri Gaussoin, teacher librarian. Read more about the school’s creative approaches and student feedback in the newsletter!

Artist Zach Davis with his mural

A former student at Berlin Intermediate School in Maryland painted a beautiful mural based off two One School, One Book titles. Students at Berlin Intermediate read Wonder last year and Fish in a Tree this fall.

The beautiful mural even got author Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s attention. She tweeted praise for students who read her book, Fish in a Tree, in both English and Spanish.

Author Asia Citro and her book Zoey and Sassafras

Have you heard of our new title Zoey and Sassafras, Dragons and Marshmallows? Read our interview with the author, Asia Citro. Zoey and Sassafras weaves together science and imagination in a creative story.

Student actors kick of The Lemonade War

Beaverdam Elementary School involved student actors in their kickoff assembly. The actors swore not to reveal the chosen book title to their classmates until the assembly. Beaverdam kicked off The Lemonade War by expanding on Read to Them‘s assembly ideas. 

Check out our full newsletter here for more about these stories, tips from the field, and the full Asia Citro interview.

Kathryn Starke’s Tips for Creating Lifelong Readers

“You cannot do anything without reading”, says Kathryn Starke, one of our fabulous literacy partners. We couldn’t agree more.

Kathryn Starke is a literacy advocate, author of the book Tackle Reading, and founder of Creative Minds Publications. She works tirelessly to advocate for reading, “we want all children to be able to feel successful as early as kindergarten and not already feel behind”.

She was recently interviewed on Laura Steward’s podcast It’s All About the Questions. Listen to the full segment here.

Kathryn educates adults on how to introduce reading to children. She and Laura discuss the best ways to engage children, “the more you talk with a child…you are increasing vocabulary, you are increasing language awareness, and all of these components are necessary for our little ones to become successful readers once they come to school”.

Any and all reading is great. Kathryn discusses the myth that students always need to be reading new and challenging books. She explains that reading anything, even billboards, is valuable practice. Reading is all around us!

Kathryn also introduces One School, One Book to Laura and talks about our growing statewide reading programs. She explains, “the whole goal is to create these communities that are reading together”. By reading together as a community we can create a culture of literacy. 

Find out how to “Tackle Reading” on Kathryn’s blog or follow her on Twitter.

Kathryn finishes the segment with this sentiment, “we have to be a lifelong reader and learner”. Great advice for all of us! Listen to the full clip here.


Two Books – One Exciting Video

Alice Smith Elementary School in Hopkins, Minnesota has taken One School, One Book to the next level. The school created a video that expertly shows the transformation that is possible during a school-wide reading event.

Alice Smith All-School Read from Hopkins Public Schools on Vimeo.

Alice Smith ES chose to offer two books to students depending on grade level. Older students are reading I am Malala Younger readers received a copy of a picture book also written by Malala Yousafzai.

When schools tailor our program to their community the results are incredible. From making the right book choice to including everyone in creative ways – Alice Smith Elementary School is off to an awesome start.

Did you know we also offer supplementary picture books for The One and Only Ivan, Wonder, and The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind? These beautifully illustrated books excite and involve even the youngest of readers! Send us a query or give us a call at 804.367.3195 for more information.

Happy reading Alice Smith ES!

Week 1 of One Richmond, One Book

Our city-wide reading event is in full swing thanks to the hard work of teachers, school staff, Read to Them staff, and volunteers. Students at 26 elementary schools across Richmond started reading Friendship According to Humphrey on Monday. Listen to our Executive Director, John Dwyer, talk all about the program on NPR here!

Below are the highlights from our first week of One Richmond, One Book.

Both the Mayor, Levar Stoney, and Superintendent, Jason Kamras, got involved with the program. The Mayor even issued a Proclamation that October 22, 2018 be recognized as One Richmond, One Book day!

One Richmond, One Book has been a wonderful opportunity for Read to Them to expand our impact in Richmond.

Exciting kickoff assemblies happened across the city on Monday where students were given their books to keep. The Mayor also visited J. B. Fisher to read to students.

The Principal and Chief of Police get ready to pass out books at Overby-Sheppard Elementary School.

Students at Woodville Elementary School got excited to read!

Have pictures? Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using our hashtag #OROB2018.

“We’ll invite the entire city to read together with us – a chapter a night, every night for about three weeks until the book is finished. We’ll do it together.” says John Dwyer, Executive Director on NPR. Find the clip here.

We can’t wait to see the progress students, families, and schools make next week. Thanks to everyone for your hard work!

Want to learn more about One Richmond, One Book? Click here!