Throughout the month of March, thousands of Dublin students and residents will take part in a collaborative reading project to encourage literacy and community.
The program, known as One City, One Book, invites the public to read the same book together during the same month. Dublin officials said they hope the initiative creates connections within the community through the shared literary experiences.
The program was initially founded as "One School, One Book" by Catherine Brown, a first grade teacher at Frederiksen Elementary School. In 2020 the program expanded due to its success and was renamed "One City, One Book" to include the entire Dublin Unified School District and the larger Dublin community.
For this year's book, "Manjhi Moves a Mountain" by award-winning author Nancy Churnin was selected. The book follows the true story of Dashrath Manjhi and his heroic and tireless work for his village in India.
Over the span of 20 years Manjhi worked to carve a path through a mountain that connected his isolated, underprivileged town with a larger village.
The larger village having adequate amenities such as schools, stores and a hospital was what drove his work. Manjhi completed this task using only a chisel and hammer.
Brown spoke about the book's major themes and how important One City, One Book is for school children in Dublin.
"The book is largely about determination, hard work, all things that are good examples for the students to be reading about," Brown said. "Even for the younger kids it can be incredibly moving and impactful."
Brown actively champions reading and literacy, both in and out of the classroom. She believes literacy engagement activities, such as reading aloud with a student, is one of the best things a parent can do.
"Programs like these, that engage and draw together a whole community through literacy, increase reading levels. Students just soar," Brown added.
One City, One Book is sponsored by local Dublin businesses and partners who have contributed funds for program needs. Physical copies of the book were delivered to schools across the district at the beginning of the month.
All DUSD schools, public and private, are participating in the month-long event.
The city is also hosting a second special event to encourage literacy, Books in the Park, in which a picture book is left on a bench in all 25 city parks. Families, children and students are invited to read together and then leave the book on the bench for further use.
To view more information about One City, One Book or Books in the Park, visit dublin.ca.gov/CivicAlerts.