SOUDERTON — Even if the students can't be physically together right now, all the elementary school students are on the same page.
That's because they're doing a one-book challenge, reading “Friendship According to Humphrey” by Betty Birney, in an ABC (A Book Connection) project.
The Indian Valley Education Foundation provided about 2,200 copies of the book so each family in the district with elementary school children would have a copy, Ruth Potter, Indian Valley Education's executive director, said in a telephone interview.
Beginning Wednesday, May 20, a different mystery reader each day was scheduled to read one of the 15 chapters in the book, she said. The readers are either high school students or district administrators or teachers, she said. The high school readers included one from each of the district's six elementary schools, she said.
An email is being sent to the elementary school students each day with a link to that day's reading, she said.
“They can tune in whenever they wish and kind of curl up and follow along or read independently, however they would like to do,” Potter said.
Oak Ridge Elementary School Librarian Colleen Buck brought the idea for the one book program to IVEF, Potter said.
“This was something that we just thought the timing of it would be perfect, bringing all of our kids together, giving them an opportunity to see the faces of other people in the community when we're all separate,” Potter said. “It's a unique partnership and the Indian Valley Education Foundation is very grateful for the opportunity to serve our schools in this capacity.”
Activity packets and custom bookmarks were also provided with the books, IVEF said in a release.
The program was designed to engage all elementary school students in a unified activity during a time when the students are required to be separate, the release said.
All Pennsylvania school buildings have been closed since mid-March and will not reopen this school year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Even though we aren't together right now, we are all still connected,” Superintendent Frank Gallagher said in video posted on the district website as an introduction to the one-book project.
He also encouraged the students to, “keep reading, keep creating and be sure to get outside and explore.”