One book, school and common effort

April Jorgensen, School Librarian, Schoo Middle School

One Book One Schoo is a yearly tradition of choosing a book that we encourage the entire school community to read that year.  We are on our fifth year of this tradition, and our current selection is “Half a World Away” by Cynthia Kadohata, and is about international adoption. 

Each year we build interest by book, speaking with the students about our title book during English class, and reading a selection during our monthly Safety Opportunity Attendance and Respect classes on Professional Learning Community days.  

Over the years, teachers across the building have brought their own interests and specialties to promote ideas related to the book.  This year, a reading teacher and a special education teacher have partnered to have a weekly club, where they read the book aloud to students in the morning.  We also partner causes and issues brought up in the selected book, with school clubs.  

For instance, the main character talks a lot about the extreme hunger he faced in the orphanage.  Student Council held a food drive, collecting 774 pounds of food from students and the Schoo neighborhood.  With different books selections over the years, various clubs have raised funds to build water wells, and hosted a visit from a nationally known speaker, Spencer West, to hear his life struggles as one without legs.  

Students have also raised funds to purchase providing goats for villages,  hosted a visit from a student with craniofacial abnormalities,  taken anti-bullying pledges, and traveled to Chicago to attend the We Day youth event.

Published: December 29, 2016, Updated: December 29, 2016