WILMINGTON — Denver Place, East End and Holmes Elementary schools’ students, parents, teachers and administrators once again embarked on a special adventure — an all-school book club called One School, One Book.
The One School, One Book program aims to build a community of readers where everyone participates and everyone reaps the many benefits of reading. The program encourages children at all grade levels to listen to or read the same book at the same time.
Following the advice of reading professionals, teachers encouraged parents to join their children in reading the book out loud, even if the material was beyond their child’s own reading level. They also encouraged parents to continue reading chapter books with older children even when they are able to read by themselves. As strange as this might seem, such reading is a sound educational practice.
Every year, Wilmington elementary students look forward to the One School One Book reading event when book selections are revealed during special school assemblies.
Teachers and administrators worked together to build suspense and enthusiasm leading up to assembly and the big announcement that this year’s One Book was “My Father’s Dragon,” a children’s novel by Ruth Stiles Gannett about a young boy named Elmer Elevator who runs away to Wild Island to rescue a baby dragon.
The first book in the classic fantasy trilogy that has delighted children and their parents for generations, “My Father’s Dragon” has been reviewed as a favorite of young readers since the 1940s and was named a Newbery Medal Honor Book and an American Library Association Notable Book.
During the One School One Book assembly, students and teachers alike received copies of “My Father’s Dragon” which they read together following a reading schedule both at home and at school.
Students also participated in variety of activities geared to heighten interest and to assure that all students were invested in the daily reading. There were trivia questions and art, math, writing, and reading activities based on the story that both engaged students and encouraged interest.
As students completed the reading of their One Book, each school hosted a culmination celebration where family members joined in the fun.
Denver Place served up hot soup and cheese and offered face painting and crafts to its guests. East End shared refreshments and crafty activities, and Holmes Elementary transformed its hallways into a jungle where students participated series of games and crafts that further extended the books’ storyline.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several areal students.