Everyone’s ready . . . to read
Lakeview Elementary has turned its ‘One School, One Book’ reading program into an annual event for students
It was a big day for Lakeview Elementary students. The whole school, from pre-kindergarteners to sixth-graders, were gathered in the auditorium. When Susanne Lee asked, everyone tapped out a “drumroll” and counted down to a big announcement. When the countdown reached zero, the auditorium’s projector screen revealed the reason for the excitement: the title of a book.
For the past eight years, Lakeview has participated in a reading program called “One School, One Book.” The focus of the program is to get kids and families reading together through the month of February, but at Lakeview, it’s also become a yearly event. Each year’s book is revealed at a school assembly, complete with skits and audience participation.
“The staff keeps the book a secret, and we have a kickoff,” said Lee, the intervention and literacy coordinator at Lakeview. The reveal helps get everyone excited to read, she said.
This year, Lakeview elementary students and their families will be reading “The Lemonade War,” by Jacqueline Davies.
“When you look around the room, everyone is going to have a copy of that same book,” Lee explained to students. But, she asked, “What would a lemonade war look like?”
Right on cue, Lakeview teachers Bree Holleman and Lindsey Sabin appeared on the stage in costume. They acted out setting up rival lemonade stands, while the kids in the audience got into the performance, cheering for their favorite “side.” At the end of the skit, Lakeview third-graders got to play the part of customers at the lemonade stands.
While the book reveal got students excited, the real meat of One School, One Book happens when kids and families do readings every night. To encourage students to read and listen carefully, Lee said, “There are questions about the reading the next day in the classrooms.”
Teachers and school staff also read along with the book, so they can take part in the conversation, Lee said.
One of the interesting things about the program is the way it can stick with students year after year. Current sixth-graders at Lakeview will have participated every year since starting school.
Taking part in One School, One Book was also a lot of fun, Lakeview students said.
“You learn a lot about different books,” said sixth- grade student Jailee Hartle. “Some you read, and you might want to read them again.”
“Or they’re part of a series,” and you might decide to read the rest of the series, said Korysa Harrick. “The Lemonade War” is the first book in a series, Lee told students.
Some of the past books students said they liked included “The Indian in the Cupboard” and “The World According to Humphrey,” a book written from the point of view of a classroom’s pet hamster.
The Lakeview Parent Teacher Organization and the Lakeview Booster Club donate funds so that every family can get a copy of the year’s book to keep, Lee said. The event is a fun way to promote reading, as well as bringing Lakeview parents, students and teachers together.
“Every school works to think of ways to connect more with families,” Lee said. Organizers hope the One School, One Book would be a way to make that connection.