One School, One Book

On January 16, Cleveland students finally got to open two large wrapped boxes that they’d been walking by every day for almost a month.

The contents?

Over 650 copies of “The World According to Humphrey” by Betty G. Birney were presented to students, one for each student to take home and read with their family.

“The One School, One Book program is designed to create a shared reading experience within a single elementary school community,” said Jeannie Hawkins, third grade teacher at Cleveland, who organized the program.

As part of the One School, One Book program, a chapter book is chosen, every student receives a copy, and every family reads the book at home over the course of a month or two. Activities at school coordinate, promote, and enrich the shared reading experience. The purchase of the books was made possible through an Innovative Learning Grant from Elkhart Education Foundation.

“Students seem to love the program,” said Hawkins.” I’ve had a lot of students comment about reading with their parents and enjoying the book. We hope students gain a love of reading for enjoyment and promote family reading in the community. A lot of teachers are excited to have an engaging reading activity to motivate students, and are already thinking about what we should choose for next year’s book.”

As for the second box?

Well, it’s a little furrier than books. Cleveland’s Learning Commons is now home to Humphrey the Hamster, who is a centerpiece of student lessons in reading and writing.

“Humphrey has become a bit of a school mascot,” said Katrina Healy, Library/Media Specialist. “Student observe him during their library time. Students have learned facts about Syrian hamsters – about their cheek pouches, about their nocturnal schedule, about their solitary lifestyle. Students stop and ask me how he’s doing. Humphrey is something they look forward to, and once he’s settled in, we’ll be spending some more hands-on time with him.”