PONCA CITY – Elementary students of the Ponca City Public School District can’t get enough of reading together. The district has participated in twelve One Book, One District selections in recent years and plan to begin book number thirteen on October 28. Teri Vogele, Associate Director of Curriculum, said, “Participating in OBOD has provided our schools and community with opportunities to reap the benefits of reading together. Through OBOD, conversations about characters, themes, vocabulary, and comprehension improve. Parental involvement is a huge part of the success of this initiative as well, and the District hopes that parents continue to support this very important reading initiative.” This year the district is expanding the OBOD initiative to include the students, parents, teachers, and staff members of East and West Middle Schools.
During the OBOD events at each elementary site, educators work hard to engage parents and students from the beginning by decorating the building, organizing assemblies, implementing art projects, assigning creative writing assignments, and providing text dependent questioning to guarantee the entire district is buzzing with conversations about what the students have read with family members the night before. Vogele continued, “Our hope is that the middle school students and faculty will be just as excited about coming together to read the same book at the same time.”
Each family at every elementary and middle school site in the PCPS district will receive a copy of the latest OBOD book, along with a daily reading schedule. A schedule of daily reading assignments can also be found on the district’s website at www.pcps.us for parents and community members to refer to while reading the selected books.
All elementary sites will be reading the book entitled A Boy Called Bat by Elaina K. Arnold. This book is about Bixby Alexander Tam or BAT for short. For BAT life tends to be full of surprises—some of them good, some not so good. Bat’s mom, a veterinarian, brings home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter. The minute Bat meets the skunk kit, he knows they belong together, but he only has one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might make a pretty terrific pet.
East and West Middle Schools will be reading the book entitled Restart by Gordan Korman. This is a story about a popular boy named Chase who loses his memory when he falls out of a window. Chase doesn’t remember falling off the roof. He doesn’t remember hitting his head. He doesn’t, in fact, remember anything. He wakes up in a hospital room and suddenly has to learn his whole life all over again . . . starting with his own name. He knows he’s Chase. But who is Chase? When he gets back to school, he sees that different kids have very different reactions to his return. Some kids treat him like a hero while others are clearly afraid of him. Restart is the spectacular story of a kid with a messy past who has to figure out what it means to get a clean start.
“The District hopes family and community members will join us in reading these two titles together, both which have life lessons embedded within the pages,” said Teri Vogele. “The District encourages parents and community members to make a commitment to read the assigned chapters each night along with the students of The Ponca City Public School District because: When everyone reads the same book at the same time there is a lot to talk about!”