One School, One Book

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September 9, 2013 by Brad Currie

Below you will find a letter from our One School, One Book Committee that was sent out this past June. It lays the groundwork for what will be our annual One School, One Book initiative this school year. Our school takes pride in its cross-graded advisory program and enables these sorts of learning experiences to flourish. Through this vehicle we are able to promote a positive school culture and advocate for every child. As our students return from summer break they will begin discussing themes from this year’s book titled The Wednesday Wars in their advisory groups. At Black River Middle we are very fortunate to be a community of unity.

June 14, 2013

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Last year BRMS launched a summer reading initiative called “One School, One Book” where the entire school community—entering 6th graders, rising 7th and 8th graders, and all faculty, staff and administrators—read the same book. The program was a great success allowing us to promote literacy and unite our school community in a shared reading experience. In addition, we were able to incorporate themes from the book into our Advisory program throughout the year. One significant outcome was the creation of the new BRMS guidebook, “The Inside Scoop”, which your son or daughter has already received. Building on our success we will again do an all school-wide read this summer.

What are we reading?
The title of the book is The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt. It’s a touching coming-of-age story of 12-year-old Holling Hoodhood set against the backdrop of the explosive 1960s. Events that are touched upon include the Vietnam War, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mickey Mantle and Shakespeare. Like last year, we will design activities around the themes in the book to use during Advisory. All students will receive a copy of the book to borrow for the summer. Family members are encouraged to participate along with your reader at home.

What do I have to do?
Your part in this program is to ensure that your child comes to school in September having completed the novel.

What does my child need to do?
Your child will have a copy of the book for the summer. All he/she needs to do is read and enjoy it! Discussions of the book will take place during Advisory periods in the fall. Books are expected to be returned in September.

If you have any questions please contact Mr. Mullen or Mr. Currie at 908-879-6363.

The faculty and staff are excited about uniting our school and our community through reading. Thank you for your support!


Janet Aaronson
Michele Connahan

One School, One Book Committee Chairs

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Brad Currie

Brad Currie

Brad Currie is the Middle School Dean of Students and Supervisor of Instruction for the Chester School District in Chester, NJ. He is the co-founder and co-moderator of #Satchat on Twitter. Brad is passionate educational technology and social media in the school setting.

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