Yesterday, our school executed one of my favorite events of the year-our One Book, One School book reveal and kickoff. If you don’t know about One Book, One School, it is an experience where an entire school community (kids, families, and staff) read the same book. This was my fourth year being part of an event like this and each year I am left with this intense feeling of pride and joy. It truly takes a village to pull off an event like One Book, One School. First there is the book selection…not an easy process. Once a book is selected the real planning begins. Letters need to be written, calendars planned, scripts written and rehearsed, and readers rallied.
This year, our amazing technology teacher recorded every students and staff member passing around a wrapped copy of the mystery book. He compiled the footage into an upbeat video that ended with one of our assistant principals running towards the auditorium. Cut the video and the assistance principal runs through the auditorium, live, to hand off the book to our principal for the big reveal. The air is thick with anticipation as the book is unwrapped and the principal’s voice announces, Appleblossom the Possum! The kids explode into applause even though we are pretty sure (and even hopeful) that the book is unknown to most.
The actors are then called to the stage. Eight teachers wearing gray, fuzzy ears, and with rope tails swinging from their behinds assume their positions as a family of possums . The baby possums listen attentively as their mama teaches them all about the monsters of the world and their best defense against them, playing dead and the power of magical stinky gas.
As one of the possums, I had the best seat in the house. I was able to look out into the crowd and watch the mesmerized eyes of students grades kindergarten to five, in awe of the scene unfolding before them. They were catching a real life glimpse into the story that will, with any luck, captivate them and provide quality time with their families over the next few weeks.