Reading effort touted in Nashville


Staff Writer

Monday, February 11, 2019

NASHVILLE — The business of governing Nashville was put on hold for a brief time last week at the town council meeting.

That’s because the five officials — the mayor and the four town councilors — heard from Nashville Elementary School’s top educator and a group of elementary school students about the importance of a literacy program crafted to bring people of all ages and walks of life together.

The program is called One Book, One School, One Community. Nashville Elementary Principal Quintin Mangano was quick to note he’d have some young special guests approaching the public speaking podium to help share the message of the program.

Mangano told the town officials that the program, conducted last year as One Book, One School, was a success.

“And this year, we wanted to expand it to One Book, One School, One Community,” he said.

The idea behind One Book, One School, One Community is for the school to select one book and purchase enough copies of it for every pupil to read over an approximately six-week period.

Mangano said the kickoff day for this year’s program is March 1, which is Read Across America Day. Then, the title of the book to read for One Book, One School, One Community is going to be announced.

The reading period is going to be followed by discussions and a celebration at the J.W. Glover Memorial Park and Complex.

Mangano invited town officials to read the book and be willing to have discussions and talk about the book as they read the contents with the pupils.

The 2018 choice of the book to be read was Chris Kurtz’s 2013 work, “The Adventures of a South Pole Pig.” The novel tells the story of Flora, an adventurous pig who seeks to break out of life in a pen and become a sled pig in Antarctica.

“We try not to pick something that’s totally mainstream,” Mangano told the council members. “And so we have teachers that go and kind of hunt and research the book.”

Moments later, four pupils addressed the council.

“My classmates and I would like to thank you for allowing us to come and speak with you this evening,” said student KeKe Hill. “We are so excited and honored that the town of the Nashville is joining us as we begin our second year of One Book, One School.”

Hill said she and her fellow pupils had a blast last year reading “The Adventures of a South Pole Pig.”

And she said she and her fellow pupils can can’t wait to find out what book they’ll be reading this year.

Conner Ezzell was next, saying the program “is a great opportunity to learn and grow as a whole school. It can also show other things we like as a class and as an individual.”

Town council members quickly voted to express their support for the program.