Lenape District’s “One Book” Initiative Starts Exciting Next Chapter
The Lenape Regional High School District, during the 2016-2017 school year, evaluated its summer reading program, formerly titled “One Book, One School,” to see how it could benefit students even more as part of the district’s academic programming and overall emphasis on reading across all subject areas. The outcome of this effort is that all students and staff of the LRHSD will have the opportunity to read the same book as one community.
A committee with representation from all schools, under the direction of Assistant Principal Dave New, identified successes and opportunities for growth under the former approach and recommended the step forward to offer all students the opportunity for learning and service through reading the same book. The committee’s recommendation was founded on the belief that “One Book” should focus on building community AND encouraging reading. Dave New stated, “Our district is always looking for ways to improve in all areas, including supporting dialogue among students and staff about a book they have all read, and across all subject areas.” In this way, “One Book, One School” is now “One Book”: with increased ways of connecting school to school, as well as school to community, across our eight municipalities.
Students and staff were able to vote this spring for their summer reading selection from among the two finalists: The Crossover by Kwame Alexander and Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. The logo for “One Book,” created by Lenape District TV staff, was used to promote the contest on the school homepages, Twitter, the LRHSD app, and other venues.
The announcement of the winner, “Hidden Figures,” currently the subject of a major motion picture, is being shared with students and staff from the LRHSD and the schools of our eight sending districts. Media centers across the district will promote the book as well. Cherokee High School media specialist Lisa Bakanas shared, “Media centers are a community hub, where students and staff connect and communicate. ‘One Book’ is an excellent opportunity for communication, and our media specialists are committed to fostering connections between students, staff, and community.”
In the months ahead, the Lenape District schools will work to create community-building opportunities centered on the themes of Hidden Figures, the “One Book” winner.