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JPS Elementary Schools Join One District, One Book for May

1,500 Jamestown Public Schools elementary school students will bring home a copy of Wishtree by Katherine Applegate, and begin reading it with their families and class on Monday, May 23rd. It’s all part of a unique, national family literacy program called One District, One Book from non-profit Read to Them designed to strengthen the educational connection between home and school.

“Reading a common book together turns out to be a terrific way to unite a school community and increase parental involvement. Reading aloud at home ensures students come to school prepared to read and to succeed—in school and in life,” Bush Elementary School Principal Kate Benson, who suggested the program to her fellow elementary school principals.

JPS will join schools and districts across North America who have undertaken this community literacy strategy by reading and discussing the story about a wise oak tree named Red who through his lifetime has experienced many changes in his community. In school, students will experience dynamic assemblies, answer trivia questions, and engage in creative extension activities.

One District, One Book is a family literacy program from Read to Them, a national nonprofit based in Richmond, Virginia. The organization’s mission is to create a culture of literacy in every home. “The secret sauce of family literacy is to create a symbiosis between home and school. When students see their book being read and shared and discussed at home and school, they are surrounded by the culture of literacy,” explains Read to Them Director of Programs, Bruce Coffey.

“We’ve heard about the effect One District, One Book can have on our students and families,” explains Katie Russo, principal of Lincoln Elementary School. “We are super confident that reading one great book together can ignite excitement about reading in our school community. I can’t wait to start hearing and joining in the conversations The Wishtree will spark.

Read to Them’s family literacy programs have reached over 2 million families in over 3,000 schools in all 50 states (and 6 Canadian provinces). A continually growing body of research demonstrates that children who are read to at home are better prepared to read, succeed in school, and graduate.