NCSD Brings Community Together Around A Shared Reading Experience
Published: May 12th, 2023

NORWICH — On May 10, the Norwich City School District kicked off a community-wide event engaging all readers in a One Community, One Book shared reading experience of Tony DiTerlizzi’s book, "Kenny and the Dragon."

The district partnered with community organizations to plan an experience involving every family, educator, and staff member in each elementary building synchronously reading "Kenny and the Dragon" The initiative kicked off with an opening assembly at each elementary building.

“This is the second year the Norwich community has partnered with organizations such as Improve Norwich Now, The Place, Guernsey Memorial Library, Family Enrichment Network, local businesses to put a spotlight on literacy, and we are very excited to see students’ reactions to the exploits of Kenny and friends,” said Stanford Gibson Principal Jennifer Oliver.

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Several nights a week, families read chapters of the book, and then during the school day, teachers and students participate in trivia, vocabulary development, and crafts. Community members and students are also reading chapters aloud to broaden the experience for students.

“This is the perfect time of year to spotlight reading and send our students off to their summer vacation with strong reading habits,” said Perry Browne Principal Sara Gilbeau.

"Kenny and the Dragon" features Kenny as the little rabbit with a huge problem: His two best friends are heading into a battle of legendary proportions — with each other! In one corner, there’s Grahame, a well-read and cultured dragon with sophisticated tastes. On the other hand, there’s George, a retired knight and dragon slayer who would be content to spend the rest of his days in his bookshop. Can Kenny avert disaster?

Norwich community groups have played an essential role in this One Community, One Book experience. Improve Norwich Now and The Guernsey Memorial Library coordinated with The Place and Family Enrichment Network to sponsor a month-long scavenger hunt at local businesses to coincide with the book.

According to INN Co-Founder and President Jen Westervelt, “It is certainly rewarding to see the effectiveness of collaboration benefit our community as we come together to promote literacy and small businesses.”

Guernsey Memorial Library Children's Librarian Kim Hazen said, “We are excited to be a part of a community-wide event that encourages reading. A book is one of the greatest gifts to give to a child.”

For more information, contact NCSD Director of Teaching, Learning, and Personnel Jessica Poyer at or 607-334-1600 ext. 5777.

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-Information provided by INN