Students can explore the characteristics and strengths between two animals this year as 1BookBG returns for all elementary students in Bowling Green.
The “Who Would Win?” series was selected as this year’s book that will be shared with all students K-5 in the city’s public, private and parochial schools.
Student readers can learn which one would win in, for example, a challenge between a hammerhead vs. bull shark, hornet vs. wasp, and polar bear vs. grizzly bear.
All elementaries in Bowling Green are participating in 1BookBG, and all will get books purchased through donations.
Crim Elementary teacher Stacey Higgins explained this year’s program at the Jan. 23 school board meeting.
Higgins has been coordinator of the program for several years. 1BookBG was started in the 2015-16 school year.
The program “has provided a shared literacy experience for all elementaries in Bowling Green with partnership not only with the schools but with the library, businesses and families,” Higgins said.
The program has evolved a lot over the past few years with a lot of changes due to staffing, changes in the 1BookBG committee, and the expansion to non-public elementaries.
Financial constraints caused the program to go from one book per child to one per family, she said, and the pandemic caused the program to go online.
“We’re proud to keep the program going but we’d like to try things in a slightly different direction this year,” Higgins said.
Crim teacher Michelle Thomas said that last year, Bowling Green State University had purchased all the books.
This year, the Wood County District Public Library will fund a public presentation along with visits to all the elementaries by “Who Would Win?” author Jerry Pallotta.
Maria Simon, youth services coordinator at the library, is making that happen.
Simon said the library will host Pallotta on May 14. He will visit the three BGCS elementaries, St. Aloysius, Bowling Green Christian Academy and the Montessori School on May 15-16.
She called the “Who Would Win?” series “dynamic” and hopes youngsters will want to write their own book about who would win.
Simon said organizers picked the series because it’s so popular.
“We’ve never had a nonfiction author before,” she said.
During Pallotta’s visit, students will learn how he does his research for each book and how much fun he has doing it, Simon said.
Books from the series are available at the library, but “they’re pretty popular,” she said.
Help is needed to make sure every child gets a book, Higgins said.
“We want to get back to the true mission of the program, which was one book, one child,” she said.
With 25 books in the “Who Would Win?” series, it makes sense to give every child a copy and allow them to trade, she said.
The author is making the books available for $3 each, so $50-$75 can provide books for each classroom, Thomas said.
In order for every elementary to participate, 1,800 books are needed, she said.
Chloe Higgins, who is a member of the Stu Crew executive board at Bowling Green High School, said there are non-financial ways to contribute.
Local businesses are needed to serve as mission stops, and in May the high school is planning a family fun day with activities tied to the books, she said.
The high school teachers are taking over something the elementary teachers used to do, Stacey Higgins said.
“By doing this, expanding the partnerships, with more buildings being involved, all of our community participating, we can really boost literacy and have it be something to celebrate this year,” she said.
Donations are tax deductible and can be made out to Bowling Green City Schools with 1BookBG in the memo line.
By the end of the meeting, $207 had been collected.