Let's build a community of readers
A letter from Dr. Steinhoff
Happy New Year. I am pleased to announce that our elementary schools will again be leading our unique district-wide book club called Four Schools, One Book. Every family in every elementary school in PDSD will receive a copy of the same book –Elise Broach’s Masterpiece – and will be asked to read it together at home over the next few weeks. Our staff understand how busy lives can become. Still, we are personally asking you to make the time, and enjoy the cooperative reading experience so that your child can fully benefit from this special activity. Having considered feedback from parents, we moved the Four Schools, One Book program to the winter season when schedules are less hectic and can avoid competing with Fall and Spring activities. The district is thrilled to offer this for the 6th year now, and we are happy to help grow personal book collections in the process.
With the Four Schools, One Book program, we aim to build a Community of Readers throughout our entire school district. Everyone – students, parents, teachers, even administrative staff – will literally be on the same page. Each family will receive one copy of Masterpiece following a special assembly introducing the program and the book to our students. Along with the book, they will receive a reading schedule so that you can keep up at home. Generally, you will be asked to read about 15 minutes each night.
In school, your child will be invited to answer daily trivia questions to encourage participation. You will soon find that your child will take pride in knowing and anticipating the details of the story. In class, students will explore the book through activities and discussion. We are at a period when parents are looking for alternatives to digital devices and screen time - Masterpiece provides just that.
Four Schools, One Book is a novel program in that children of all grade levels will be hearing the same book being read. Strange or daring as that may seem, research tells us that it makes sound educational sense. Reading professionals recommend reading material out loud that is beyond a child's own reading level. We also know there is great value in continuing to read chapter books with your older children, even when they are able to read by themselves. A committee of teachers has selected a title that can be understood and enjoyed by younger students, but will still captivate and stimulate older children as well.
I know that you’ll enjoy this special reading time with your children. Our staff look forward to talking to the students about a beetle named Marvin, his unlikely friendship with a boy named James, and their mutual appreciation for the detailed drawings of Albrecht Dürer! As we like to say, "When a whole district reads a book, there's a lot to talk about." With your help, we can continue our Community of Readers in PDSD. Feel free to share your time spent reading together with the hashtags: #PDSD4S1B, #PennDelcoReads and #friendsinallsizes on Twitter. Enjoy the book and have a terrific 2020.
Dr. George Steinhoff
Superintendent, Penn-Delco School District