One School One Book brings students and adults together for reading

Children at Normandy and Westerly elementary schools in Bay Village will gather at Bay High auditorium the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 4, to watch a variety of popular characters take the stage with a performance designed to leave them happy and filled with delight.

No, it isn't a rock concert, a celebrity appearance by television stars, or a game show host giving away lovely cars and vacation prizes. It is, in fact, all about a book. A book! This week is the kick-off of the One School One Book program that began at Normandy Elementary in Bay Village last year and has spread to Westerly Elementary this year.

The kindergarten through grade four students have been waiting for weeks to learn the title of the one book they will all read together. The suspense has been almost unbearable! They have watched three hilarious video clues. Most students have guessed the book has something about an egg, but which egg-titled book could it be?

Actors will perform a scene revealing the mystery – "The Enormous Egg," written by Oliver Butterworth and illustrated by Mark Crilley, is the high-quality children's novel selected for the program. Each student will receive his or her own copy, thanks to a grant from the Bay Village Education Foundation and with support from Normandy and Westerly PTAs.

Parents are to read the book aloud to their children according to a chapter-by-chapter schedule. Teachers, administrators, bus drivers, and other school employees, as well as local business owners and employees, will also be reading "The Enormous Egg." Everyone will be talking about the book as students collect raffle tickets when they spot Norman Bee, Westerly Wolf, and the book's Uncle Beazley pictures posted at various businesses and organizations around Bay Village.

Trivia questions, special "egg-themed" lunches, and clues about which businesses have the raffle tickets (we won't give them away here) will keep the excitement about the book going. Bay Village Library will host an egg-related scavenger hunt, and the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center will present its own Enormous Egg Exploration Day with presentations about eggs and the animals who lay them. A very special visitor, "The Enormous Egg" illustrator Mark Crilley, will visit with the students and show them how he draws the book's characters.

"One School, One Book is a literacy and community building program," said Normandy Elementary principal Dan Sebring. "It is based on the simple premise that listening leads to literacy." Sebring notes that research by reading professionals shows that reading aloud to your children will help them become better readers, which will lead to greater success in school. Listening to chapter books read aloud also creates excitement and discussion about books, promoting the healthy habit of reading.

(Note to readers: Parents of the K-4 students have been warned that this article reveals the "secret" a day early, so please don't discuss this with any youngsters until Wednesday afternoon. We appreciate your discretion!)

Karen Derby

Director of Communications for the Bay Village City School District

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 9:34 AM, 02.04.2015