The One School, One Book project enters its second year at TCS! Classes have been reading the same books selected each month to further support the work teachers are doing to celebrate our students’ diverse cultural experiences and heritages.
One School, One Book means that each month, every classroom will enjoy reading and discussing the same Read-Aloud book. We sometimes select different books for upper classes and lower classes at both the ICT and the ASD sites. Books are chosen with the goal of ensuring that all students are exposed to stories that feature diverse characters, including books that center people of color, gender diversity, LGBTQ identities, people with disabilities, immigration experiences, and ethnic, cultural and religious traditions that are historically excluded from school curricula. Our goal is to create a school in which all students see themselves in the pages of classroom texts, and are exposed to cultures and perspectives from our diverse community and beyond.
The One School, One Book project began at the beginning of the year, here is a recap of the books we have read so far this year:
September’s theme was Kindness:
The story is about a new girl who comes to school and tries to make friends. When Chloe, the narrator, is unkind, the girl keeps trying. And then the girl is gone and Chloe is left only with the memory of her unkindness. In the author’s own words “At some point in our lives, we are all unkind. At some point, we are all treated unkindly. I wanted to understand this more. I think too often we believe we’ll have a second chance at kindness – and sometimes we don’t. I do believe, as Chloe’s teacher, Ms. Albert, says, that everything we do goes out, like a ripple into the world. I wrote this because I believe in kindness.”
Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni was selected for ICT pre-K and kindergarten and ASD elementary school.
The story is about Little Blue and Little Yellow who are best friends, but one day they can’t find each other. When they finally do, they give each other such a big hug that they turn green! How they find their true colors again concludes a wonderfully satisfying story told with colorful pieces of torn paper and very few words.
October’s theme was Indigenous Authors:
Coyote Columbus by Thomas King and William Kent Monkman was selected for ICT 1st through 5th grade and the ASD middle school.
A Coyote Columbus Story is the only children’s book about Columbus was written by a Native American. The indigenous American storytelling style may be surprising to our students, who are accustomed to Eurocentric storytelling traditions.
Dear Primo – a letter to my cousin by Duncan Tonatiuh was selected for ICT pre-K and Kindergarten
The story is about two cousins, one in America and one in Mexico, and how their daily lives are different yet similar. Charlie takes the subway to school; Carlitos rides his bike. Charlie plays in fallen leaves; Carlitos plays among the local cacti. Dear Primo covers the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of two very different childhoods, while also emphasizing how alike Charlie and Carlitos are at heart. Spanish words are scattered among the English text, providing a wonderful way to introduce the language and culture of Mexico to young children. Inspired by the ancient art of the Mixtecs and other cultures of Mexico, Tonatiuh incorporates their stylized forms into his own artwork.
November’s theme is Mixed, with one book telling the Thanksgiving story from a native American perspective while the other has themes of intergenerational connection and inner-city community.
Squanto’s Journey by Jospeh Bruchac was selected for ICT 4th and 5th grade.
This picture book biography of Tisquantum (Squanto) by renowned Native American children’s author Joseph Bruchac presents the fascinating, often tragic and heartbreaking story of Squanto’s abduction and enslavement in Spain, his long journey back from Europe to North America, only to find that his people, the Patuxet, had been decimated by sickness, to finally, his essential and historic role in helping the Plymouth Colony settlers survive in the so-called New World (what to plant, how to plant, Squanto’s role as peacemaker and interpreter).
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena was selected for pre-K to 3rd grade and ASD site.
Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them. This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share and comes to life through Matt de la Pena’s vibrant text and Christian Robinson’s radiant illustrations.
We encourage families to become involved by joining the committee, submitting titles of their favorite books that align with our mission, or leading enrichment activities that refer to the book’s themes in the classroom. Activities can be simple and brief for instance samples of music, food, dance, arts/crafts, photos or stories. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your feedback with us or to get involved.