The Chestertown Rotary Club chose GES and the One School One Book program to benefit from their annual Soup & Sip fundraiser. Rotary Clubs are part of a diverse group of professional leaders working to address various community service needs. The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise.
Rachel Hopkins, Title 1 Specialist at GES, carefully considered many titles before making the 2022-2023 school year’s selection. The title chosen had to be accessible to all families which means they needed to choose something that was also available in Spanish. They also wanted a novel that had a picture book companion for their youngest readers (PreK-1st grade).
One of the novels that met all the criteria was WONDER by R.J. Palacio. This book has captivated its readers with a mixture of humor and sadness. The main character, Auggie, is a ten-year-old boy who has been homeschooled until the 5th grade. Auggie was born with facial abnormalities and desires to fit in and make friends at his new school. Along with kindness, the book has many other themes such as anti-bullying and having compassion and empathy for others. The author tells the story through different characters’ points of view. Each point of view is beautifully woven together to inspire the reader to be a better person. At the end of the book, readers are amazed at how one kid can positively affect an entire school.
It was very important to GES school that families with low literacy levels could also access the text and have this valuable shared reading experience with their children. GES created videos so they could listen to the text being read aloud. Teachers took sections and recorded themselves reading the text. GES partnered with Kent County High School to record the text being read in Spanish. These videos can be found on the school’s Facebook page and website.
Each day there was a trivia question about the assigned sections from the day before. Students submitted their answers for a chance to receive a prize. All the names of students who answered the question are read during the morning announcements. A winner was chosen live, in the video announcement studio, while the classrooms watched on the smart boards in the classrooms! This was such a fun experience that GES created “grand prizes” for the students who correctly answered the most questions in each grade level.
Chestertown Rotary Club was proud to sponsor the Galena Elementary School One School One Book program by funding the books and the Magic Shows to cultivate a culture of literacy!
To learn more about how you can join the Chestertown Rotary Club, contact, Les Moorhouse at [email protected].