Daily Reporter staff reports
McCORDSVILLE — As one of 20 schools in Indiana participating in the “One School, One Book” program, every person at Mt. Comfort Elementary, including cafeteria workers, bus drivers and all staff and students received the same book, “School Days According to Humphrey,” by Betty G. Birney.
The books were purchased from funds raised through the Box Tops for Education program. Each book included a bookmark with the reading schedule at the kickoff. The “One School, One Book” convocation included a staff classroom skit, complete with line dancing and the class pet, Humphrey, dancing in the spotlight.
School activities such as math lessons, daily trivia with prizes and surprise character visits will encourage all readers to participate. There will also be a prize at the end of the book for one lucky trivia contestant.
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Broadening the reach of the community, some school board members and administration are even joining in the “One School, One Book” fun of reading “School Days According to Humphrey.”
The “One School, One Book” website can be located under “Parents” and “Students” on mce.mvcsc.k12.in.us. On the website, guest readers in the community have recorded chapters to help the younger students. Some of the guest readers include an Olympic gymnast, a Colts player, a school board member and principal Heather Whitaker.
“When a whole school reads a book, there is a lot to talk about,” Whitaker said. “This is the fourth year we have participated and have a lot of exciting activities planned for this particular book.”
During the month of February, students are directed to read for 15 minutes each night at home, part of an effort to build a community of active readers at the school, she added.
Parents are encouraged to read the book aloud at home so the family can take part in the discussions.
“Reading aloud at home is valuable because it better prepares children to be an effective reader while at the same time serve as a fun, worthwhile family activity,” Whitaker said.
“Reading professionals recommend reading material out loud that is beyond a child’s own reading level. It is also recommended to read chapter books aloud with older children, even when they are able to read by themselves.”