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District 91 encourages families to read together with One District, One Book program


IDAHO FALLS — Idaho Falls School District 91 revealed the book it is asking families to read together for the One District, One Book program, which kicked off Tuesday.

Elementary schools announced the book for this year is “Frindle” by Andrew Clements. This is the ninth year District 91 has held the district-wide book club. The goal is to promote reading, literacy and the importance of families reading together.

“The research is very clear that reading can help students be successful in school,” District 91 spokeswoman Margaret Wimborne said. “This is a great way for families to do that together.”

Every family with at least one child attending a District 91 elementary will receive a free copy of “Frindle” to keep. They’ll also be sent home with a reading calendar that includes questions to discuss about the 15-chapter book.

The youngest sibling will be sent home with the book for the entire family.

“I think our world is so busy, and we’re so connected to our technology, that sometimes we forget to crack open a book, and this is an incentive to do that,” Westside Elementary Principal Fran Teske said.

Families are encouraged to read the book over a two-week span.

“Our bus drivers and lunch ladies are reading the book too,” Teske said. “It’s that piece that we can say, ‘Hey, what do you think about this that happened in “Frindle”?’ It unifies all of us.”

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One District, One Book. | Brittni Johnson,

Wimborne said the book was chosen by a committee consisting of some principals and district leaders. They reviewed different options and reflected on books that were assigned in the past.

The price of the books was also taken into consideration when making a decision.

“We try to have a variety. Sometimes we’ll do a narrative. Sometimes we’ll do a realistic fiction,” Teske said. “We pick a book that will work for kindergarteners through sixth-graders like ‘Frindle,’ one everybody can relate to.”

Maeck Family Foundation helps make the One District, One Book program possible. Wimborne expressed her gratitude for them because she knows what a benefit it is for students and families to read as one.

“They’ve been big supporters of the program from the beginning,” Wimborne said. “They help provide the funding to buy the books and make sure we can get a copy for every family.”

Audio recordings of each chapter will be available on the District 91 website by Wednesday.

Whether listening to it in the car or sitting down and physically reading the book, Teske believes now’s the time to get in the habit of reading as a family.

“Follow it with fidelity and read the book, but also, don’t just make it a one time of year thing with One District, One Book,” Teske said. “Have those books you read together as a family because it really is a cool bonding (experience) for everyone.”

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The One District, One Book reading chart. | Brittni Johnson,
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