SARTELL -- Getting kids to become life long readers, not just readers at school but also readers at home, is a goal in the Sartell - St. Stephen school district.

Students are about to start a new reading adventure with the "One District One Book" program. Instructional coach at Oak Ridge Elementary, Laura Arndt says unlike other reading programs, One District One Book focuses on reading at home.

"One of the benefits of the One District One Book program is trying to get that feel good, literacy experience with their families. But also just to try to get them to really just love reading and love everything that has to do with reading." - Arndt

The program focuses on students in kindergarten through 4th grade. This year, kids will be reading the "Big Friendly Giant" by Roald Dahl. Arndt says the district is working in connection with GREAT Theatre to promote the book to students.

"As Roald Dahl's 100th birthday and GREAT Theatre has chosen to do a number of Roald Dahl shows as part of their season so we wanted to kind of hook in to GREAT Theatre and do something that would coincide with Roald Dahl's birthday." - Arndt

To get students excited to read the book, each school will host a kick off day assembly filled with activities related to the book. Instructional coach at Pine Meadow Elementary, Dawn Gent says each school plays a trivia game that encourages kids to keep reading the book.

"Laura has trivia questions that we will read on the morning announcements. So from the chapter the night before so then the kids really want to go home and read it because they want to get the right answer for the trivia question." -Gent

With everyone reading the same book, Gent says kids are thrilled to talked to their friends about the story.

"Especially when they are at the same place in the book and then they can talk about the characters they like or maybe what they thought was funny in the story." -Gent

"One District One Book" will begin Friday and run throughout February, which is "I Love to Read Month."

The Holdingford School District is also participating in the program this year.

Chrissy Gaetke, WJON
Chrissy Gaetke, WJON

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