Humphrey the hamster has played a key role in Sunny View Elementary’s first “One School, One Book” program, an initiative that promotes a shared reading experience within an elementary community.

Sunny View students chose to read The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney. During the six weeks of reading, students were engaged in many activities at school as well as home. Every student, staff member and teacher volunteer received a copy of the book along with a bookmark, notepad, pencil and tote bag to carry their supplies.

The school was also fortunate enough to be able to borrow a real-life Humphrey from Saluda Elementary School. During the three weeks of Humphrey’s stay in Sunny View, he spent a day with each classroom, where he interacted with the students.

Some of the Humphrey-related activities included bulletin boards, community readers, weekly trivia questions for students in grades 2-5, book talks and vocabulary studies. Students read their Humphrey chapter at school each day, then read it again with their family at home each night. Many were sad when the book ended, but thankfully, there are other Humphrey books in the series, which students are excitedly reading now.

This reading experience has sparked a literacy-based enthusiasm among the Sunny View School community that the faculty and staff hope remains forever.