BIG HORN — Beginning Monday, students, teachers and staff at Big Horn Middle School will kick off their One Book, One School program with guests from the community joining students to read the first few chapters of “Chop Wood Carry Water: How to Fall In Love With the Process of Becoming Great.”
This is the school’s fifth year participating in the program, and organizers said the process helps build common language and experiences among students and teachers.
“We want to promote school-wide literacy and a shared experience around a common book,” teacher Susie Mohrmann said. “This allows for students and staff of all varieties to discuss the book, and we make the book accessible to students of all reading levels.”
Each year, Mohrmann said, the school varies the genre of book chosen for the program. In the past, books have included “The Truth As Told by Mason Buttle,” “Refugee,” “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” and “Wonder.” Books are chosen based on the themes they present, such as resilience, growth and friendship, and their ability to appeal to the masses.
Monday’s event will feature community members such as local politicians, school board members, coaches, principals, business owners, law enforcement and parents. All will read the first three chapters of “Chop Wood, Carry Water” with students and talk about the lessons within them.
“Becoming great — that’s what we want for every student who walks through our doors, and we try to support them in their pursuit of that,” BHMS principal Brian Lawson Lawson said of the purpose of the program.
Following the kick-off event, Lawson said, teachers will read the book in class and discuss its contents. Each student will also keep a copy of the book.
Past support to pay for the books has come from various local entities, including the Big Horn ABC Club, Lions Club, Sheridan Recreation District and local families. This year, support for the program came primarily from First Federal Bank and Trust.
“I am an advocate for a culture of literacy,” Mohrmann said of why the program is important. “It is important for students to see different adults in the building modeling, reading and discussing a book.
“When books are read aloud it creates a sense of community and excitement around a book,” she added. “The lessons presented in this book are applicable to all students, all subject areas and all future jobs. We will read that good things require hard work, and we can learn from the experiences we encounter. The book reinforces the notion that anything worthwhile requires time, effort and discipline.”