Thursday, August 22, 2019

JES Students Get Caught in Charlotte’s Web

Johnson Elementary recently kicked-off it’s “One Book, One School” reading program with the classic, Charlotte’s Web. In keeping with the district’s Once Upon a Dragon reading initiative, JES Principal Lori Allison wanted to create an opportunity for JES families to come together around a shared story. For some, this was the first time to read the book, for others it was a time to revisit a childhood favorite.

JES parent Kimberly Orosco said, “I vividly remember reading “Charlotte’s Web” as a child; in fact, my daughter and I read the story from my antique copy. She was fascinated to see how I wrote my name inside the book cover in elementary school.”

JES bus drivers, custodial and cafeteria staff also read the book. “One of our goals was for students to have conversations about Wilbur and Charlotte on the bus and in the café serving lines,” Allison said. “We provided them copies of Charlotte’s Web to share with their families.”

“It was great for the students to see the drivers reading their books and hear the children commenting on the story as they loaded the buses in the afternoon,” Allison said.

“Each week we designated specific pages for families to read,” Allison said.  “During our morning announcements we had questions associated with the assigned reading.”

JES café manager and parent Ana Pereira thought the book was humorous and entertaining.

“The cafeteria ladies loved the book,” Pereira said. “Every morning we discussed the occurrences in each chapter and laughed at how comical Charlotte and the animals in the farm were.”

“My daughter and I spent about 20 minutes reading every day until we finished the book,” Pereira said. “We were shocked towards the end because we did not think that Charlotte’s life would end since she was a main character and helped Wilbur throughout the entire novel.”

Fourth grade student Toni Afolabi agreed that the book was entertaining. “Charlotte’s Web is a great story and a lot of fun to read,” Afolabi said. “Usually, I read by myself so this gave my mom and me time to read together again.”

After completing the book, students watched the movie and discussed the differences between the two.

“My friends and I really liked the story. A lot of us hadn’t read it,” Afolabi said. “We had fun talking about what was different in the movie and the book.”

Allison was thrilled by the participation and enthusiasm of the students, parents, and staff.

“I would highly recommend this type of reading program to other schools,” Orosco said. “It generated a lot of excitement at our house for reading – something schools are always striving for.”

“We are already planning do this again,” Allison said. “Our next book is The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks.”