It Takes a Village…

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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.

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8 thoughts on “It Takes a Village…

  1. One School One Book is one of my favorites too! We kicked off on Thursday. I love the idea of every student touching the wrapped book beforehand. That must really build anticipation! WHat are some of your other favorite events/projects?

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  2. The power of bringing a community together around a book is incredible. What I love about the One Book Experience is that you can talk with almost anyone in the community (kindergartener, principal, parent, fifth grader) about the book. “Hey, what did you think about _______? Can you believe it? I wonder what will happen next?” It’s a great way to join together in thinking about and enjoying books.

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  3. One Book, One School is something I would love to implement at my school. I love the way the classroom teachers participated in the kickoff. I am not familiar with Appleblossom the Possum! so I’m off to check it out. Have fun with your event. ~Amy

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  4. This sounds absolutely amazing!!! What a great kick-off. The reveal – what fun to be a part of!! You are so right – it takes a village. So happy that you are a part of that village!

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