By Julie Donnelley
Special to NFP
Tuesday, Feb. 7, marked the official community start for the Lewiston-Porter Primary Education Center and Intermediate Education Center reading initiative known as "One District, One Book."
The PEC and IEC students (pre-K to fifth grade) were invited to participate in a book vote hosted by the Lewiston Public Library. The vote was between two well-known children's novels: "The World According to Humphrey" and "My Father's Dragon." Over 400 votes were collected.
To the delight of many, the winning book, "The World According to Humphrey," was revealed at the Lewiston Public Library during a celebration party on Feb. 7. Several local businesses supported the Lew-Port District on its special night. DiMino Tops Lewiston donated a beautiful cake and beverages. Local restaurants, including The Spicey Pickle, Tin Pan Alley, The Brickyard, the Youngstown Village Diner and Apple Granny, offered a night of "Kids Eat Free." Favorites Pizzeria donated 100 slices of pizza to the first kids to arrive at the community party.
The atmosphere was filled with excitement and anticipation.
The following day at school, over 900 students received a copy of the book to keep and take home.
As this reading initiative is moving forward during the next few weeks, its goal is to provide a meaningful family activity. As PEC Principal Mrs. Tamara Larson stated, "The benefits of reading aloud are remarkable - studies have shown that reading to children helps them to listen better and longer, build bigger vocabularies, understand concepts better, feel positive about both books and learning, and more. When an entire school reads the same book, the buzz and excitement around the book being read increases these benefits, and there is the added joy of building a community in the school."
As a parent volunteer, I can attest that this initiative has expanded past the school community and has become a Lewiston community initiative. Several community members have volunteered to read and record chapters. Those videos are available online at the school district website, lew-port.com (click on the hamster).
Two chapters and community readers will be unveiled each week. Watch for Dr. Jason Marshall, DDS (of Lewiston Family Dentistry), and Arial, a Lewiston No. 1 Volunteer Co. firefighter, to read their chapters next week.
A reading timeline and activities was provided to families. Over the next few weeks, several businesses will continue to show their support by offering special incentives to Lew-Port student readers until the program conclusion on April 21.
Thank you, to the Lewiston community, teachers, school administrators, families and parent volunteers. It is a privilege to be a member of this wonderful community.
Julie Donnelley is a Lewiston-Porter school-parent volunteer.
Students react to Lew-Port Superintendent Paul Casseri's announcement of "The World According to Humphrey" as the "One District, One Book" winner.
Lewiston-Porter's "One District, One Book" choice.
Lewiston No. 1 Volunteer Fire Co. member Arial will be one of the chapter readers for next week.