Sudduth Elementary first grade teacher Mary Robert Gannon hands out copies of “The World According to Humphrey” to her students Friday. All elementary students district-wide will read the book together.

Elementary students in the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District and their families will read the same book over the next few weeks.

Students at Sudduth Elementary School, Henderson Ward Stewart Elementary School, Overstreet Elementary School and West Elementary School will all read “The World According to Humphrey,” by Betty G. Birney. The book follows the adventures of class pet hamster Humphrey, and is 15 chapters long. The book is provided by the Reading to Succeed Literacy Grant from Read to Them, a national family literacy organization.

Grant Project Manager Susan Barlow said the book was chosen for being simple enough for the lower grades to read or have read to them, while still being interesting enough for upper elementary students.

“Every night, they read one chapter with their parents, and when they come in the next day there’s activities and trivia and things like that that go along with the chapter they read the night before,” Barlow said.

The official kickoff to the program will be Monday, but students were given their copies of “The World According to Humphrey” Friday.

“The reason we’re doing this program is so that we can support family literacy,” Barlow said. “We want parents to be involved in their children’s education, and a big part of that is literacy.”

Barlow said although the district was focused on literacy, to her knowledge this was the first time a program like this had been used.


For more on this story, read Monday's Starkville Daily News.

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