Students create colorful hand cutouts with written messages to Ivan which will be hung in the school to remind students of the lessons learned from reading the book.

Hubbell Elementary School students celebrated the conclusion of the “One Book, One School” program recently by participating in a day of activities centered around the book, The One and Only Ivan which was read by the entire school.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, winner of the 2013 Newberry Medal, is inspired by the true story of Ivan, a gorilla who was kept in captivity for 27 years at The World Famous B&I Circus Store, Tacoma, and later moved to Zoo Atlanta.

The book chronicles the story of Ivan and his friendship with Stella, the elephant and the other animals at the mall where they’re confined in glassed domains, and includes his journey from being a victim to becoming a victor. And how he gives his best to keep up the promise he’s made to Stella. The students learned lessons about courage, friendship, perseverance, and hope as each grade read the book.

Throughout the month of May, as students read the story, they would engage in rich discussions and write responses to daily trivia questions.  Each day, winners were selected by grade level and students were able to earn prizes for their hard work and effort.

On May 30th, the school wide culminating activity began in the morning from 9:30-11:00 for Kindergarten through Second Grade and then in the afternoon from 1:30-3:00 for grades three through five. Students had a chance to partake in group and individual activities that included a memory game, painting a hand with written messages to Ivan, a reader’s theater, and an estimation station.

“It was wonderful to see the students and staff come together as a collective community to inspire one another and experience the power and joy that comes from reading a thought-provoking piece of literature!” – Lisa Ayotte, Literacy Support Staff at Hubbell School

“It was a way to bring ALL students K-5 together as a community throughout the entire month of May.  I’m very proud of my “Lovely Literacy Ladies”, Lisa Ayotte, Veronica Beaudoin, and Tracie Sinkwich, for organizing this event to support all students at Hubbell.”  –  Kristen DeLeo, Principal of Hubbell School

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