One District, One Book is a program designed to create a shared reading experience across an entire school community.  Choose a classic children’s novel.  Provide every student – in every school – with a copy.  Following a common schedule across your district, every family reads that book together at home. Every family in your school community reads the same book at the same time.

In each school, you maximize the shared reading experience by presenting enriching activities that enable children to share and experience the characters and world of each book.

The ideal titles for the program are those that can be understood by early readers and yet still interest experienced readers – classics such as E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, newer titles such as Betty G. Birney’s The World According to Humphrey series. When you choose to read two or even three titles together in a year, you expose your students to a wider array of characters and worlds, and you continue to lay a firm foundation for family literacy.

During the month it takes to read your One District, One Book selection, schools implement a variety of activities each day to heighten and promote interest in and discussion of the book, from daily trivia questions to exciting assemblies to school-wide art and music and projects. Students experience the story with their family and enjoy participating in the follow-up activities at school the next day. This strategy builds daily awareness of the details of each story and encourages deep, attentive, and personally gratifying listening habits. When your school models the habit of regularly reading together as a family, you create a strong foundation for literacy in each child’s life.

When you read a children’s novel – or more than one novel – across an entire district, you spark a community-wide conversation.  That conversation takes place on playgrounds and parking lots, in grocery stores and churches, across your district.  A conversation that rich, involving hundreds and thousands of students and families, inspires a rich appreciation of literature and lifelong readers.  It establishes a culture of family literacy.