Shamrock Springs Elementary School launches One School, One Book

By Renee Larr

From left, Michael, Owen and Christopher Lutomski read “The Lemonade War.” (Submitted photo)

From left, Michael, Owen and Christopher Lutomski read “The Lemonade War.” (Submitted photo)

Shamrock Springs Elementary School wanted to find a way to get the whole school excited about reading. Tara Lynne Sinicki, literacy specialist at SSES, attended a conference last year and learned about a program called One School, One Book.

“The whole premise is that everyone reads – teachers, students, custodians and cafeteria staff. The idea is that we have this one giant book club and families are doing the reading at home, either themselves or along with the teachers doing the reading in the classroom,” Sinicki said.

The Parent Teacher Organization provided copies of “The Lemonade War” to all the staff and students.

“We asked the teachers to pick from a variety of titles, then we compared the book to what our core values are at our school,” PTO President Sherry Shuler said. “We ended up choosing the book “The Lemonade War.” It’s a book about siblings and their rivalry in regards to having a lemonade stand over the summer to make money.”

The school began reading the book last month. Along the way, students and staff participate in trivia related to the book. Trivia contests often leads to bigger discussions about the idea behind the book.

“We have a family trivia that goes home every week. We have trivia on our announcements and in the cafeteria. All three of those places are an opportunity to talk about things like friendship, what you’re good at, how you treat people,” Sinicki said. “Grit is a big word here at SSES. We talk about having perseverance to carry on. We try to incorporate a lot of these ideas into the discussion.”

The custodial staff and cafeteria service workers were excited to be included.

“When I personally delivered the books to them, I explained the One School, One Book concept, and that they were part of our school. They were truly excited to get the book,” Shuler said.

Upon completion of the book, students and staff will participate in a celebratory luncheon. SSES plans for the literacy program to become an annual event. For more, visit wws.k12.in.us.