Alder Flats School uses only one book!

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In January Alder Flats Elementary School embarked on our third annual One School, One Book event.  Every family received a copy of the same book – Kate Dicamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie- and was asked to read it at home over the month of January.

Reading aloud at home is valuable because it better prepares children to be an effective reader.  But it is also a fun, worthwhile family activity. With the One School, One Book program, we aim to build a community of readers at our school. Everyone - students, parents, teachers, even administrative staff participated, and reaped the many benefits.

Each family received his/her copy of Because of Winn-Dixie at a special school-wide assembly introducing the program and the book.  A rescue dog was brought into the school so that the students could make connections throughout the book between Winn-Dixie and Bear (the rescue dog). They also received a tailored reading schedule that asked them to read two chapters a night – about 15 minutes per night.

Every morning the children were invited to answer daily trivia questions to encourage and reward attentive, aggressive listening.  We also had a crossword puzzle using vocabulary from the book.  Prizes were awarded for correct answers. 

We ended the three week long program with a school-wide viewing of the movie and a bulletin board display of “10 Things We Liked About Winn-Dixie.”

One School, One Book is a novel program in that children at all grade levels will all be listening to the same book. Strange or daring as that may seem, it actually makes sound educational sense. Reading professionals recommend reading material out loud that is beyond a child’s own reading level.

All throughout the program students are excited to answer the questions and discuss events from the book.  “When a whole school reads a book, there’s a lot to talk about.”  The hallways of the school are buzzing with conversations about Because of Winn-Dixie.  

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