Texas Reads One Book Kicks Off for Third Year on April 3

  • For the third year, Dallas Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett will launch the statewide Texas Reads One Book program.
    On April 3, elementary students across Texas will simultaneously watch Garrett’s videotaped reading of the first chapter of "The Lemonade War."


Texas Reads One Book

  • TROB Texas Reads One Book is a statewide version of the One District, One Book and One School, One Book programs — community reading experiences sponsored by Read to Them, a national family literacy group that has partnered with more than 800 school communities in 47 states.

    TASA and AASA are pleased to partner in this effort to create a culture of reading in schools and communities throughout Texas.
    Student engagement is critical to educational success, and the Texas Reads One Book program fosters that engagement while also involving families and the entire community.

How It Works

  • Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett kicks off Texas Reads One Book each spring when his videotaped reading of the first chapter of the selected book is shown in participating elementary schools. During the three weeks that follow, families take up where Coach Garrett leaves off, reading a chapter from the book each night. 
    Because every family in participating schools receives a copy of the book, even reluctant readers and parents who don’t normally participate in school activities get involved. Spanish-language copies of the selected book are available for Spanish-speaking families.
    Daily trivia questions, discussions, and other activities in the schools ensure that reading takes center stage in the home, school, and community throughout the duration of the program.
    By stimulating family involvement in the reading process and boosting student engagement with books, the Texas Reads One Book program can contribute to breaking the cycle of illiteracy and poverty. Reports from districts in Virginia and New York that have used the “One Book” model for several years indicate higher test scores and increased interest in reading among students.

5 Reasons for Your District to Participate

  • Texas Reads One Book ...
    1. models reading as a positive, fun, and meaningful activity for all students and their families regardless of their backgrounds, past experiences, reading scores or literacy levels.
    2. promotes vocabulary and literacy development in the home and is especially effective with at-risk children, raised in poverty, who have a 30 million word deficit in their language exposure by the time they enter school.
    3. builds relationships and turns family members into “Literacy Leaders.”
    4. creates lasting systemic change especially when multiple programs are instituted annually.
    5. is flexible, fun, easy, and cost-effective and leads to a community of readers.ODOB Graph

    Although many individual campuses participate in Texas Reads One Book, district-wide involvement is ideal. According to Read to Them, when all the elementary campuses in a district are involved, an average of 95 percent of families participate, creating a shift in attitudes about reading and resulting in increased reading scores.

What's Included

  • Cost per student is $5.95, and participating schools receive everything they need for the program:
    • an exclusive video of Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett personally addressing the students and reading aloud the first chapter of the selected book (The Lemonade War for 2017)
    • a copy of the selected book for each student
    • assembly ideas
    • suggested activities
    • daily trivia questions
    • classroom reproducibles on spelling, vocabulary, etc. (English and Spanish)
    • school/family/community outreach materials that include:
      • letter home (English and Spanish)
      • home reading schedule (English and Spanish)
      • 10 tips for reading aloud (English and Spanish)
      • "Help Your Child Become a Strong Reader" (English and Spanish)
      • "How to Do Texas Reads One Book"
      • community sponsor letter
      • "Our Texas Reads One Book Model"
    The 2017 selected book, The Lemonade War, includes a focus on financial literacy. So this year's packet also includes:
    • financial literacy activities
    • extended financial literacy activities
    • financial literacy vocabulary
    • Evan & Jessie's "Ten Tips for Turning Lemons into Loot"
    • Jacqueline Davies' "Ten Terrific Tips"
    • 6 reproducible worksheets on costs, sales, profits, and comparison shopping
    • 3 reproducible worksheets on how to read a receipt
    • teacher instructions for reproducibles
    Districts and schools can fund the program in a variety of ways. Some use Title I funds or apply for grants. Others seek support from businesses and community organizations. At the school level, PTA groups might provide funding.

The 2016-17 Selected Book

  • The Lemonade War The 2017 Texas Reads One Book program will kick off April 3, 2017, and feature the book, The Lemonade War, which includes a focus on financial literacy.
    The book is about Evan Treski and his sister Jessie. Jessie wants to keep up with her older brother, which is easy because she's smart — math smart, business smart. What Jessie is missing is that social sense — some call it Emotional IQ — that allows her to read and understand how others react to her intelligence and her drive. Her brother Evan has this.
    Evan and Jessie's relationship — and both characters' confused feelings — form the backdrop to Jacqueline Davies' perceptive, sensitive book. Evan and Jessie compete, with their friends, because of a bet over who can sell the most lemonade over the summer. Their competition makes for a lively, brisk read that engages students and parents.
    As Evan and Jessie duke it out over supplies and advertising and marketing techniques, they also have to use some math. And Davies does not shy from providing the math lessons that will interest, and perhaps challenge and motivate readers.
    No, it's not a math book. It's a well-written, funny, insightful children's novel — that includes math. And that means you can do all the traditional Texas Reads One Book activities with it — the funny, mysterious, engaged assembly; the daily trivia questions; the "best lemonade" tasting banquet — and you can also do some math.

How to Participate

Why Participate in Texas Reads One Book?

  • "For the past three years, Texas Reads One Book has engaged elementary families across Texas. Each year, Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett kicks off the program by reading from the first chapter of the selected book: 'The World According to Humphrey,' 'Charlotte’s Web' and, this year, 'The Lemonade War.' Such family-focused programs can be true “game changers” that engage teachers, students, and parents and ignite systemic change that revolves around a love of learning rather than test scores. The excitement generated among students and families continues long after the shared reading experience concludes."
    Gary Anderson, founder, Read to Them

    “We all talk about needing more parent engagement, but most educators struggle with how to get parents engaged. Parents want to be helpful. We just have to show them how. Texas Reads One Book has given us a mechanism to show parents how they can work with their kids and help, and have it also be an enjoyable experience.”
    —José Parra, Irving ISD superintendent, Texas Reads One Book Advisory Committee chair

Advisory Committee Members

  • The following Texas superintendents serve on the Texas Reads One Book Advisory Committee:
    • José Parra (chair), Irving ISD
    • Jeanette Ball, Uvalde CISD
    • Diane Frost, Corsicana ISD
    • Ricardo Lopez, Mission CISD
    • Andrew Peters, Caldwell ISD
    • Jill Siler, Gunter ISD