Our school is about to embark on a special project, an all-school book club called Arkansas Reads One Book. Every family will receive a copy of the same book – The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney – and will be asked to read it together at home over the next few weeks. I am personally asking you to make time available for your family to participate in this special activity.
Reading aloud at home is valuable because it prepares your child to be an effective reader, and it is also a fun, worthwhile family activity. With the Arkansas Reads One Book program, we aim to build a Community of Readers at our school and throughout our state. Everyone – students, parents, teachers, even administrative staff will all be following along together.
Your child will receive a copy of The World According to Humphrey at a special assembly that will introduce the program and the book. Along with the book, you will receive a reading schedule so that you can keep up at home. Generally, you will be asked to read for about 15-20 minutes each night.
In school, your child will be invited to answer daily trivia questions to encourage and reward attentive listening. You will soon find that your child will take pride in knowing and anticipating the details of the story as you read together. In class, students will explore the book through activities and discussion. You will want to make sure your family follows the schedule so that your child can be included. Throughout the month, everyone will be talking about The World According to Humphrey.
Arkansas Reads One Book is a novel program in that children of all grade levels will all be reading the same book at home with their families. Strange or daring as that may seem, it actually makes sound educational sense. Reading professionals recommend reading material out loud that is at or beyond a child’s own reading level. We also believe that you can and should continue reading chapter books with your older children, even when they are able to read by themselves. We have selected a title that can be followed and understood by younger students but will still captivate and stimulate older children.
I know that you’ll enjoy this special reading time with your children. “When a whole state reads a book, there’s a lot to talk about.” With your help, we can build a Community of Readers at our school.