The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA

One School, One Book

One School, One Book

Welcome to the Lower School’s ninth annual One School, One Book project!
What is One School, One Book? Simply put, it's an opportunity for all students, teachers, and parents in the Lower School to take time to read the same book and reflect on its themes and message. This year, our reading selection is The Dreamer by Pam Muńoz Ryan and Peter Sís. 

Neftali is a dreamer. He loves words and stories, collecting treasures, and listening to the rain. He wants to write and to help people who cannot speak for themselves. But Neftali’s father ridicules his dreams and has his own plans for Neftali’s future.

With a bravery he never knew he had, Neftali sets out on an inspiring journey of self-discovery that will transform his life, and, ultimately, the world. (from The Dreamer book jacket, 2010).
The Dreamer is a fable-like biography that tenderly reveals the soul of an artist of a Nobel Prize-winning poet. This Lower School read demonstrates the power of resilience and the need that many of us, young and old, have to dream. The Dreamer almost reads like a fairy tale with its elements of cruelty and beauty. And then there is the presence magic that we all have the power and opportunity to create and sustain in our lives. This is a story that will take the Lower School community on an emotional adventure that is a celebration of childhood, imagination, and the strength of the creative spirit.

This winter, each Lower School child will bring home a “book bag.” Each bag contains:
• A family copy of The Dreamer
• A bookmark for parents identifying the traits of a meaningful shared reading experience and good questions to ask while reading
• A syllabus and schedule of planned student/parent events and activities
• A research article supporting the importance of shared reading practices for older children

We ask that each family set aside time each evening to read aloud with their child. Time will be spent each day at lunch discussing an idea or two encountered in the previous evening’s reading. Additional time will also be spent in various classes developing background knowledge or exploring information presented in the text.
An audio version of The Dreamer can be purchased and downloaded through We would once again ask that if you choose to listen to the audio version, please commit to do so as a family. There is something powerful about listening to the language of this particular book together.
We are extending invitations to all parents to take part in multiple venues:
  • Morning meetings are on Wednesday mornings at 7:50 in the Primary School Multi-Purpose room. Please reference the syllabus for dates. Please feel free to accompany your children to school those mornings and join us for this community time. A special parent/child collaborative activity is scheduled to follow morning meeting that will begin at 8:15 on February 19 in the Root Meeting Room. Please note that on that particular morning, morning meeting will be held in the Root Meeting Room as well.
  • A parent round table discussion will be held on Monday, February 24 at 8:15 in the Root Meeting Room. Please join Paul Abeln, English Department Chair, Julie Porrazzo, Director of the Educational Program, and me as we discuss the text and share ideas and insights.
  • We will be piloting a family-based Flipgrid virtual discussion based upon the nightly readings, insights, or thoughts about The Dreamer.
Once there, enter the password: Th3Dr3am3r
If you prefer an app on an ipad or iphone, it can be downloaded from the App Store. You will be asked for a flipcode which is: 4721571a
When accessing the app, you will be asked for a password which is the same as above: Th3Dr3am3r
You will need to log into either a Google account or Microsoft account.
Flipgrid posts can commence once you see a posting by Ms. Gleason and Mrs. Schuster.  We would ask that flipgrid posts be made as a family post – not as individual student posts.
Reading is valued and loved in our Lower School hallway. Children walk through the halls with open books and rush to share “hot reads” with teachers and classmates. And fingers are used as bookmarks just hoping that there will be some stolen minutes at the beginning or ending of a class to read just a few more pages.
Click here for a detailed calendar of One School, One Book events.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
8:15 a.m.: Morning Meeting Family Collaborative Activity
Root Meeting Room

Monday, February 24, 2020
8:15 a.m.: Parent Round Table Discussion
Root Meeting Room