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John Muir Elementary focuses on family reading with Our Book, Our School program

Our Book, Our School Family Night at John Muir Elementary School December 2, 2019


John Muir Elementary School went wild for their Our Book, Our School program this November.

For two weeks, every student, teacher, support staff and administrator read “Babe: The Gallant Pig” all at the same time.

Then on November 14, the school invited families for an Our Book, Our School Family Night to celebrate a great finish to the annual program.

Dr. Karl Schneider, principal at John Muir, said this was the fourth year for the Our Book, Our School program, which not only gets everyone in the school excited about reading but also focuses on families reading together.

“The two most important instructional activities are reading and writing,” he expressed. “We wanted to do something specific to really highlight that and get the kids excited about that, but also connect it with their families and the community. For us, this is a unique way to do that.”

The culminating family event had animal-themed activity stations throughout the school for students and families to do together.

“One station they made a mask of one of the characters from the book, then there was a graphing station where they got animal crackers and they could graph how many of each type of animal they got in their bag,” Schneider described. “One was is a measurement station, where we had different stuffed animals and they could measure them, so including some math in there. Then there is a read-aloud station, and finally one of our staff members did a small presentation about sheep and wool.”

There were also plenty of activities leading up to the event. Some of those engaging activities included answering questions about the book for prizes, solving clues leading up to the reveal of the title of the book, and completing different activities in the classroom that emphasized comprehension and vocabulary. In addition, the school hid a stuff pig, named Babe, and classes had a competition to see who could find Babe first.

“The family night really wraps the program up and is a nice way to say ‘thank you’ to the families for participating,” Schneider added. “Tri-C also helps us out with volunteers through their Learning Explorers program, which is great.”

Our Book, Our School emphasizes to students the importance of reading, especially when families are involved.

“The simplest way to help kids with their reading and comprehension is having people read to them, or taking turns reading as a family,” Schneider expressed. “This is a nice, easy way to create opportunities to do that. Families read one or two chapters at home, and then we read it or go over it in class. Since it is school-wide, K-4, some students might need more support, but we keep everyone connected to the book. This shows students that everyone cares about reading.”


PHOTO CAPTION: John Muir Elementary School families were invited into the school on November 14 as part of the Our Book, Our School program. Every student and staff member in the school read “Babe: The Gallant Pig” for two weeks.