Eastside Elementary in Greenbrier has figured out a new way to pull parents, students and the school community together.

Principal Mandi Dunlap said last year, they held, “Eastside Reads as One,” a initiative that allowed the school to read two books as an Eastside community.

“Families read chapters at home each week according to the reading schedule we sent home,” she said. “Parents were great in support this initiative last year and we are excited to start reading, ‘The Chocolate Touch,’ this semester.”

The school kicked off the book with students Oct. 5 and read one chapter as a school.

“We purchased a book for all students [kindergarten through fifth grades] and a book for each staff member,” she said.

Dunlap also went Facebook Live Oct. 8.

“I wanted to explain a little more about our ‘Eastside Reads as One’ to parents and provide an interactive way for families to engage with the reading,” she said. “I also wanted to connect with families on a more personal level, which is why I went live from my house. With social media being an avenue that so many people access in the evenings, I knew going live on Facebook would be a great option.”

Dunlap said there as more than 630 views in 24 hours and several comments.  

“My favorite part of [the initiative] would be that families and staff are engaging in the same text,” she said. “It truly builds a community of readers.”

Dunlap said assistant principal Hanna Manning will be going live next week to read chapter 3 and will have other staff members read future chapters too.