Students at Ballwin Elementary are uniting as a school through the “One School, One Book” program. Librarian Kristin Clark started the program in hopes of bringing her students together as readers. She is kicking off the program with “The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate. Clark felt it was a timely piece that fit with the jungle theme for the book fair.
“The winter is a great time to sit back and read a book,” said Clark.
Clark began planning for this program in October.
“It was a challenge to find a ‘wow’ book that would appeal to each grade level,” explained Clark.
Clark settled on Ivan, a true story about a gorilla captured in Africa and kept in a cage in a shopping mall until adopted by Zoo Atlanta. She then began putting together curriculum and activities for the month. The oldest child of each family was sent home with a kick-off packet including a copy of the book, a reading calendar, a bookmark and discussion questions for each week of reading. Students are given discussion questions to coincide with suggested chapters. Clark said, “The response has been amazing.”
The program will conclude with a spirit week in which students will be treated with Jeopardy questions about the book each day, a Welcome to the Jungle day, and a We're Bananas for Ivan day.
The program is funded by a grant from Walmart, Scholastic Dollars and a donation from the Ballwin PSO. Clark hopes to make this an annual tradition at Ballwin and hopes to find additional funding for next year.
The program is set to run through spring break.