National initiative instills importance of reading at McHarg Elementary

Kearson Carter and Ben Spaulding, both second graders at McHarg Elementary School, read “Gooseberry Park” together. The Woman’s Club of Radford and the Radford High School Foundation donated 425 copies of the book so all McHarg students could participate in the “One School, One Book” event.

A single book recently united McHarg Elementary School students, faculty, staff and parents in an effort to foster an appreciation for reading.


“Reading is so important to success in school and in life, and it is so much fun to all be reading the same book at the same time,” said McHarg reading teacher Kelly Wheeler.

“Reading is so important to success in school and in life, and it is so much fun to all be reading the same book at the same time,” said McHarg reading teacher Kelly Wheeler.

Wheeler said this is the sixth year the school has participated in “One School, One Book,” a national initiative to improve literacy by encouraging students to read at home with their families.

Every night between Jan. 23 and Feb. 19, McHarg students were supposed to read aloud one chapter from this year’s book, “Gooseberry Park” by Cynthia Rylant, with their families.

“Encouraging families to become a part of their children’s reading experience builds children’s vocabularies, extends what they know about the world, teaches them reading and comprehension skills, helps them listen better and longer and creates time for loving face-to-face interaction with a real person,” Wheeler said

Jenny Rippe reads “Gooseberry Park” with her daughter Evie Rippe, a second grade student at McHarg Elementary School.

Farah Leighton, a McHarg parent, said that she and her daughters love spending the time together reading.

McHarg provided copies of “Gooseberry Park” to families so that there would be school-wide participation in One School, One Book. Wheeler said the 425 books were able to be purchased and given for free because of donations from the Woman’s Club of Radford and the Radford High School Foundation.

In addition to funding, a key component of the program is participation from adults, Wheeler said. Staff and faculty members also read the book in order to participate in book-related school activities with the students.

For example, during the school’s morning announcements, special guests hosted a discussion of the chapter and asked trivia questions about the book. If students answered the questions correctly, they won a bookmark.

“It was a great event to build our school’s sense of community, as well as to connect with the families at home,” Wheeler said.

The post National initiative instills importance of reading at McHarg Elementary appeared first on Radford News Journal.

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