In past years, “One Book One School” has been a favorite collaborative project at Powell GT Magnet Elementary School. For this project, one book is selected for the entire student body to read and study. Because the book must serve kindergarteners and fifth-graders equally, a picture book has been selected whose subject can be researched and studied in-depth.
However, this year, the school is excited to be doing “Three Books One Community.” The school has chosen to study Greg Mortenson’s heroic story of building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, promoting freedom and bringing education to remote mountain villages. This story is told at three different levels in three different books. Listen to the Wind, a wonderfully illustrated picture book, will be studied by all of the students. In addition, third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students will study the novel, Three Cups of Tea, The Young Reader’s Edition, and for the first time ever, an adult book club consisting of parents and teachers will be included in this project and will read Three Cups of Tea.
Each classroom teacher will teach the books in alignment with their curricular goals and objectives. This year students will make tea cups with the help of the school’s arts specialist, Shari Burgdorf, drink tea, and enjoy Middle Eastern food, provided by Tin Roof Teas and Neomonde Cafe’ and Market.
From Feb. 28-March 4, Songwriter in Residence Shana Tucker will be working with the school’s second-graders and the advanced orchestra on a songwriting residency. She will teach them storytelling through song using Listen to the Wind as the text. She and the students will create a Powell Listen to the Wind song for our Three Books One Community student performance. The kids, with Tucker’s help, will teach this song to the rest of the school on March 4 in a whole school performance. Reporters are invited to visit the school throughout the week to talk with the second-grade students and the Songwriter in Residence.
An important aspect of the Three Books One Community project is that every family at Powell receives a book to take home to include in their home library. By the end of the project, the books will have taken on real meaning for the students, and the children will read them over and over again. Often, it is one important book that transforms a child from a non-reader into a life-long reader.
The arts specialists work together to structure a culminating multi-media, multi-arts experience that is created and performed by many students. The school community attends this performance, led by the school’s drama specialist, Marta King, and the media specialist, Paula Barnes-Cardinale. The performance is scheduled for Thursday March 17 at 7:00 p.m. and Friday afternoon March 18 at 2:15. The public and press are welcome to attend.