Who will read “The Little Red Hen” this fall?
“Not I,” the older students might say. After all, the classic folktale about a hardworking hen and her freeloading friends is meant for beginning readers. But Great Bend children from pre-K through grade 2 will read the story this fall. Misty Straub, Principal at Lincoln Elementary School, will lead the Great Bend Reading Initiative when it kicks off later this year.
“The book will focus on harvest and the concept of sharing the workload or working together,” Straub said. Promotional displays will go up sometime in October. Great Bend Public Library will also get involved with related events as young readers share this book.
In 2015, USD 428 launched the program “One District, One Book,” designed to create a shared reading experience across an entire school community. Every child in grades K-6 received a copy of the book, “The World According to Humphrey,” and the entire community was invited to get involved.
The next year children read “The One and Only Ivan” and in 2017 they read “The Lemonade War.”
Great Bend USD 428 fine-turned the program, and “One District One Book” was renamed the “Great Bend Reading Initiative.” Last year, children in grades 1-6 read “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.”
Finding a book that could be shared by children across all grade levels at the elementary schools was difficult, said Tricia Reiser, USD 428’s director of teaching and learning. This year, the chosen book, a Scholastic press version of “The Little Red Hen,” will only go to students in grades pre-K-2. Next year the district will choose a book for grades 3-6 and the schedule will continue to alternate.