During the month of October, Martin Road Elementary students and families read the book Dragons in a Bag, together at home while celebrating and exploring the novel at school. It’s all part of a unique, national family literacy program called One School, One Book from non-profit Read to Them designed to strengthen the educational connection between home and school.
“Reading a common book together turns out to be a terrific way to unite a school community and increase parental involvement. Reading aloud at home ensures students come to school prepared to read and to succeed – in school and in life,” explains Read to Them Director of Programs, Bruce Coffey.
Martin Road Elementary joined schools and districts across North America who have undertaken this family literacy strategy. Families read and discussed Dragons in a Bag at home. In school, students answered trivia questions, and engaged in creative extension activities. Students also had the opportunity to access recordings of each chapter at home to read along with Mrs. Smail, an ELA RtI teacher at Martin Road Elementary.
One School One Book is the flagship program of Read to Them, a national non-profit based in Richmond, Virginia. The organization’s mission is to create a culture of literacy in every community. “The secret sauce of family literacy is to create a symbiosis between home and school. When students see their book being read and shared and discussed at home and school, they are surrounded by the culture of literacy,” explains Read to Them Director of Programs, Bruce Coffey.
“At Martin Road Elementary, it is our goal to build a community of readers. By participating in One School, One Book, students were encouraged to make reading a part of their daily routine at home,” explains Julie Andreozzi, Martin Road Elementary’s principal. “Our students were able to share their reading experiences with one another. It was truly amazing to see the excitement about reading in our school.”
Read to Them’s family literacy programs have reached over 2 million families in over 3,000 schools in all 50 states (and 6 Canadian provinces). A continually growing body of research demonstrates that children who are read to at home are better prepared to read, succeed in school, and graduate.
Pictured above are students from Mrs. Pulinski's 5th grade classroom - Deaira Watson, Claire Barker, Amir Ahmed, Jana Alrizami, Marvin Bobbitt, Alaa Gubran, and Taliyah Wardlow