What if an entire community read the same book during the same month? What if the book we all read together has a unifying message about kindness, neighborliness, and friendship? What if we celebrated these lessons with family-friendly events where readers can come together to discuss?
That’s the question posed by the City of Nixa, Nixa Public Schools, and the Christian County Library. The answer we came up with is what we call the “One Nixa, One Read” program. We’ll be encouraging the entire Nixa community, young and old, to read the same book together during the same month.
We are launching the program this July and for our first book, we will be reading “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio. In conjunction with the program, there will be a kickoff event at the Nixa Branch of the Christian County Library on Thursday June 29th from 6-8 p.m.
In the book, one of the main characters gets awkward stares and experiences bullying because of how he looks different from other children. In reaction to how he is treated, he wishes every day was like Halloween so he could wear his mask (an astronaut helmet) and people could get to know each other before knowing what they look like. Inspired by that sentiment, our family-friendly kickoff will be a masquerade type event (think Halloween in June) where costumes, masks and helmets are encouraged.
At the kickoff, families and anyone who wants to read the book with us can meet other readers, get information about this and other library reading programs, and even pick up a free copy of the book while supplies last. We’ll also hand out special “One Nixa, One Read” bookmarks!
Be sure to join the “One Nixa, One Read” Facebook group for updates about this program including how to get a copy of the book, reading assignments (2 sections each week), discussion prompts, and updates about events connected to the program.
The Christian County Library will also be hosting weekly book club meetings where we can discuss the readings, and we’ll livestream these discussions over Facebook so even if you’re doing some travel this summer; you can still participate!
Finally, we’ll wrap things up on Wednesday July 26th with a special Movie In the Park featuring the film based on the book!
We are looking to partner with local businesses, non-profits, and other groups on this program so if you are interested in supporting this effort, please contact Ashley Copley at Nixa Public Schools, AshleyCopley@nixaschools.net.