Beth Hettinger, media specialist, Arland D. Williams Jr. Elementary School, presented the 2021 One Book, One School program to the Mattoon school board during their monthly meeting June 8.
The book, “Fenway and Hattie,” was selected by WES to be featured as this spring’s One Book/One School selection. Victoria J. Cole, author, wrote the children’s book from the dog’s point of view chronicling his adventures with his young owner Hattie.
Hettinger liked the book because it was written from a different perspective. The book is part of a series. She likes promoting books in a series because if students like the first book and are interested in the characters, they will want to read additional books.
One Book/One School encourages children, their families and the staff to read chapters throughout the week and then discuss them at home and in the classroom. The program is funded in part by Howell Adams Family Foundation and Title I.
Dog-themed prizes such as paw print tattoos, necklaces with dog tags, pencils with dog prints were awarded in class to students who correctly answer questions about what they’ve read each day.
The big prize (and it wasn’t an April Fool’s Day prank) was the appearance of the Homewood Grill ice cream truck delivering 750 cups of ice cream. Dairy Queen certificates were given to remote learners.
The ice cream is a tie into the book as Fenway the dog believes he is protecting his owner from a white truck (an ice cream truck) that has a tinky-tinky-tink-a-too sound.
The ice cream replaced the annual One Book One School Family Night that traditionally serves as the finale of the program. The COVID-19 mandates restricted the number of attendees so the ice cream will helped fill the void of a family night.
Hettinger described “One Book, One School is “a great collaborative effort of teachers representing all grade levels. The teachers reviewed a list of books and assisted Hettinger in selecting a book is age appropriate for kindergarten-fifth grade.
It isn’t always an easy task to find a book that appeals to a wide age range, Hettinger said.
The bookmark (with the scheduled chapters and dates) on it was made by a teacher and several teachers wrote the questions accompanying the nightly readings. Hettinger added there were a couple of teachers who are scheduled to help with the ice cream.
This year, Hettinger, recorded herself reading the chapters, and shared it through Schoology. Offering an audible option opened the book to more readers especially those in kindergarten who are learning to read.