A reading tradition at lakeview

COTTONWOOD – The Lakeview auditorium was bubbling with excitement Monday afternoon as youngsters waited for organizers to reveal the title of the book the entire school will be reading as part of the 5th annual One School, One Book program.

The special project is promoted in coordination with I Love to Read Month (February) and encourages kindergarten through sixth-grade students, along with School Readiness and Head Start children, to read with their families and to share the experience together at school.

“We’re one elementary school, and we’re all going to be reading the same book,” Lakeview literacy coordinator Susanne Lee said. “It’s one chapter each night. And along with each teacher, we are even sharing our books with our nurse, cooks, paraprofessionals, custodians and bus drivers, so everyone in our school. It’ll be a nice, shared experience.”

During the One School, One Book kick-off assembly on Monday, students were given clues about the book selected for 2014.With teachers assistance, a video was put together to help reveal the title.

Clue No.1 revealed that the book was written in 1945, back when candy bars cost five cents, the two volunteer teachers on the video said.

The second clue noted that the setting of the book was in New York City. Other clues followed, including one that revealed that the main character was taken away in a garbage can and another that pointed out that the main character was small and fuzzy.

“The clues were really funny,” Lakeview sixth-grader Ashley Mauland said. “Our school is really creative, like with the clues.”

After nine clues were given, Lee went around the room and fielded student guesses about the book title. Some of the students correctly guessed the answer, but Lee kept the suspense going.

Twelve teachers then got up on stage to spell out the title. When they revealed their letters, however, it didn’t spell out anything. Some of the teachers held their letters up sideways, too, which got quite a few laughs from the student audience.

Finally, the teachers assembled in the correct order, spelling out “Stuart Little,” a book by E.B. White, and the students cheered.

“I thought the book choice was pretty good,” Mauland said. “I never really actually read it before, so it’ll be good to try a new book. I like reading. I think I might read it with my family so they can read it, too.”

Lakeview Principal Phil Lienemann then encouraged students to take part in the program, noting that he would ask daily questions regarding information in the 15 chapters of the book.

“If you have an older brother or sister, they’re going to get your family’s copy of the book,” he said. “What you need to do is follow the schedule. (Monday night), you need to read Chapter 1. Because (Tuesday) morning, there is a video of my lovely face, reading a question. And you get a chance to answer that question in your classroom with your teacher.”

Lienemann stressed keeping up with the daily schedule, so that everyone can be on the same page.

“You get a question every day, so it’s very important to read as much as you can with mom and dad, brother and sister, grandma and grandpa, aunt and uncle, or you can read to your dog or cat,” Lienemann said. “You can always read to your teddy bear, too.”

Past One School, One Book selections have included “The Indian in the Cupboard,” “The Trumpet of the Swan,” “A Cricket in Times Square” and “The Mouse and the Motorcycle.”

Lakeview sixth-grader Cody Caron said he likes this year’s book selection.

“I’ve read it before, and I’ve seen the movies,” Caron said. “I’ll read it again with my family because I like the book.”

Books for each family and school personnel were donated by the Lakeview PTO and the Lakeview Booster Club as a way to develop a community of readers.

“Teachers have told me that their students are fired up about this,” Lee said. “Reading aloud at home is valuable because it prepares children to be effective readers. Discussions regarding the story will also be part of the classroom curriculum and pop up throughout the building at P.E., music, art and library time. We aim to build a community of readers at our school.”