Monday, November 30, 2009

A Novel Idea: One Book For All

How do we promote literacy for all students and all teachers across ability levels and across content areas? One high school in New Jersey has found a model that has reached about 80% of its students and has engaged most of its teachers. As far as literacy initiatives go, this seems to be a successful venture. What did they do? They created a "One Book, One School" model where all students and all teachers are responsible for reading and talking about the same book.

I think that this is an awesome idea. I would worry about the funding of this project, but it seems that if enough players are invested, then this type of initiative could have some success. I remember that when I attended the University of Maine at Farmington for my undergraduate degree there was a "One Book, One Campus" program where students and faculty were encouraged to use and talk about one title per year. I don't know if this initiative was successful or not, but they seem to have a similar program going on now. Its name has changed, but it seems to have the same flavor as the original program.

Even if funding did not exist to buy enough books for every student to have a single copy, there could be an initiative to include as many people as possible lending library situation. There is even room to extend this initiative past the walls of the high school and to seek to include community members and younger students. This just might be a grant project in the making!

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