Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
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Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

November 8, 2018 Mid-Prairie students, staff ‘Read One Book’
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

It is not just last week’s trick-or-treating that has put chocolate on the minds of everyone at Mid-Prairie West Elementary School.

Three Mid-Prairie teachers organized “M-P West Reads One Book,” and that book is “The Chocolate Touch” by Patrick Skene Catling.

“Chocolate is a universal love of most children and adults,” third-grade teacher Jill Hartsock said. “We thought the kids could identify with it. Once our thought process got rolling, there were so many activities that we could do centering on chocolate.”

The idea is to have all the students, faculty and staff to read the same book over the same time period, with a number of activities revolved around the book’s theme.

“We chose the book ‘The Chocolate Touch’ because in our building we have preschool all the way through fourth grade,” fourth-grade teacher Emily Pennington said. “So of course, some will be able to read it independently, and some will need to read it with their families. Our hope is that they all read with their families. All teachers, all staff are reading the book, and we can discuss it together and have a shared reading experience.”

Students are assigned a chapter or two each night to read at home with their families.

“Each morning, we’ll have trivia questions that the kids can respond to and answer,” Pennington said. “We have several chocolate-themed activities planned, including a field trip to Kalona Chocolates. We have them finger painting or writing cursive with chocolate pudding.”

The school did a similar event last year, where the whole school read the same book over a two-week period. The school subscribed to the program through an outside company, which provided all the materials.

This year, Pennington, Hartsock and fourth-grade teacher Karen Bender decided to organize a similar program on their own.

A lot of thought went into choosing the right book to use.

“We have pre-K through fourth in our building, so the book is very manageable,” Pennington said. “It’s not a very long book. We have to be careful to choose a title that would fit all of our population.”

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