More than 12,000 Little Rock School District elementary pupils, their teachers and their families will over the course of three weeks this month read the same book -- "Billy Sure Kid Entrepreneur," by Luke Sharpe.
This is the eighth same-book reading campaign initiated by the Little Rock district and its community partners since 2017 to promote excitement in reading and financial literacy among the district's youngest students.
The reading initiative, formerly known as One District One Book, has undergone a name change and is now titled One Rock One Book.
Also new this year, pupils over the next few days and weeks will participate in virtual challenges that include "Shark Tank" style competitions. The activities are meant to spark student creativity, critical thinking, and their abilities to design, pitch and market a product as a way to win prizes.
District leaders kicked off the book campaign Thursday with an introductory video by Superintendent Mike Poore and TikTok social media-style promotions by students and sponsors.
Since beginning the reading initiative in 2017 in conjunction with the national organization Read to Them, Little Rock pupils have read the "Lemonade War," "The World According to Humphrey," "Cleo Edison Oliver -- Playground Millionaire," "Frank Einstein and the Electro Fingers," "Zoey and Sassafras -- Dragons and Marshmallows" and "The One and Only Ivan."
Books and materials are provided to students free of charge through contributions made by community organizations. Sponsors for the 2021 campaign are Rotary Club 99, Arvest Bank, Southwest Power Pool, Economics Arkansas, the Museum of Discovery, the Innovation Hub, the Clinton Center and the Venture Center.