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We are "One School, One Team!"  This year, for summer reading, we will be focusing on a theme that winds its way from junior kindergarten to twelfth grade: Environmentalism and Conservation.  This idea has been an integral part of our curriculum this year from our recycling programs, to our water-bottle filling stations, to our outdoor classroom and gardens, to our new bee population!  We encourage you to read your child's summer reading book along with them to make these important concepts a part of their daily dialog.
By focusing on a theme, students will meet throughout the year with those in different grades to share what was learned at their level and how it applies to all of us, young and old.  In addition, you will see Monday Morning Meetings that focus on our summer reading.  Mrs. Nowak and Mrs. Legacy have compiled resources for our teachers to bring hands-on activities to our students throughout the year to take what they have learned from their summer reading beyond the page.
Parents and faculty: We look forward to launching our own Big Read Program at Millwood School by asking that our adult community reads Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv.  In this influential work about the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression.  We will be holding book discussions during the year to open the dialogue and bring us together as a community.
Rising junior kindergartners through second graders: Here Comes the Garbarge Barge by Jonah Winter.  This New York Times Best Illustrated Book is a mostly true and completely stinky story that is sure to make you say, “Pee-yew!” Teaching environmental awareness has become a national priority, and this hilarious book drives home the message that we can’t produce unlimited trash without consequences. 
Rising third graders through fifth graders: The Wild Robot by Peter Brown. Through this illustrated novel comes a heartwarming and action-packed tale about what happens when nature and technology collide. When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is all alone on a remote, wild island.  She realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island’s unwelcoming animal inhabitants.
Rising sixth graders through eighth graders: Willa and the Wood by Robert Beatty.  In this fast-paced fantasy novel that carries a strong environmental message, Willa and her forest-dwelling clan have always been stewards of the forest, living in harmony with the plants and animals. With the arrival of settlers and clear-cutting loggers, her way of life is changing in unpredictable and terrifying ways.
Rising ninth graders through twelfth graders: Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.  Through this non-fiction work, students take the journey with the courageous woman who took on the chemical industry and raised important questions about humankind's impact on nature.  She reminds us all that "man's attitude toward nature is today critically important simply because we have now acquired a fateful power to alter and destroy nature. But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself?"
Ready to show your involvement? Simply take a photo of your child (or yourself) reading your summer reading book and post to social media with #MillwoodReadsGreen - one lucky family will win a Barnes and Nobles Gift Card and an "Adopt-a-Plot" place on campus to show your commitment to keeping Millwood green!