Nine schools, one book

Minot elementary school students are all reading the same book this month, “The World According to Humphrey,” by Betty Birney.

Krista Mueller, the reading specialist at Bel Air Elementary, said every family in the nine participating schools received a free copy of the book and have been encouraged to do activities related to the book at home.

“We wanted to get families more involved in reading,” said Mueller, who said the connection between home and schools “isn’t always there.”

Along with the book, families also received a packet of information including suggested reading comprehension and vocabulary questions to ask kids about the book and activities.

Different schools have also done different activities related to the book, such as having special dress days. Teachers have been asked not to read the book in school, but kids may talk about the book in class and different teachers may ask reading comprehension questions or have kids journal about what they have read in the book.

“Every morning over the morning announcements, we have a trivia question of the day,” said Mueller and each class is asked to send their answer to her. Mueller is keeping track of how many questions each class gets right. The winning class will get an extra recess.

Mueller said it is important for parents to read aloud to their children even after the children are able to read, and this is another way to encourage that.

“Last year just Bel Air and Edison did it,” said Mueller. “We decided to try it and we were so happy with the results and participation and got positive feedback.”

This year Longfellow, Sunnyside, North Plains, Bell, Washington, Lewis and Clark, and McKinley have joined Bel Air and Edison in the campaign that is sponsored by a company called Readtothem.org.

Two activity nights will also be held today, one at Longfellow and the other at Washington, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., with fun activities for the children. The event is being held because February is National Reading Month.