Kennedy students learn about ‘Ralph’ the mouse

Cori HilsgenFeatured News, St. Joseph0 Comments

by Cori Hilsgen

Students at Kennedy Community school are learning some mouse trivia such as the average mouse will breathe 163 times each minute, their tails have scales on that help them climb, they can make their own vitamin C and more as they participate in the One District, One Book program during February.

Media specialist Holly Nelson said students are reading Ralph S. Mouse written by Beverly Cleary. The book shares the adventures of Ralph the mouse who rides a motorcycle.

The St. Cloud school district gave books to the youngest child in each family in grades kindergarten through fifth grade. The book was revealed to students on Feb. 1.

Teachers showed a video Nelson had created to their classes, revealing the book, and then books were delivered to the classes.

“The program is a great way to have a fun focus on reading during the month of February, which is also I Love to Read month,” Nelson said. “The focus on one book makes for a collective response that builds community.”

The reading schedule includes Feb. 1-pages 11-20, Feb. 2-pages 20-27, Feb. 5-pages 29-34, Feb. 6-pages 34-39, Feb. 7-pages 40-45, Feb. 8-pages 47-54, Feb. 9-pages 54-64, Feb. 12-pages 65-76, Feb. 13-pages 77-87, Feb. 14-pages 87-91, Feb. 15-pages 93-98, Feb. 16-pages 99-106, Feb. 20-pages 107-121, Feb. 21-pages 123-137, Feb. 22-pages 139-150 and Feb. 23-pages 150-160.

Daily trivia about the book is read to the school during morning announcements and students can submit answers and earn a chance to win prizes.

Other activities include dressing up like your favorite book character, a classroom door-decorating contest about a favorite class book, an all-school Drop-Everything-and-Read event and more.

“I love when Ralph makes his nest,” said kindergartner Kenzlee Woltermann about the book.

“As a principal, I love the One District, One Book program because it provides the opportunity for families to read aloud with one another and celebrate the joys of reading and togetherness,” said Principal Laurie Putnam. “Our staff does a terrific job of incorporating activities related to the book into our school. Ms. Nelson and Ms. Ruhr decorate the library each year and we have trivia contests. We also do door decorating to celebrate I Love to Read month.”

The Local Education and Activities Foundation helped fund the purchase of the books for the event.

Readers can visit for mouse trivia and other fun facts. To view the reveal video visit:

The One District, One Book program evolved from a program created by the Read to Them non-profit organization promoting family literacy. The organization’s mission is to create a culture of literacy in every home.

contributed photo
Kennedy Community School kindergarten students (clockwise) Jake Theisen, Kenzlee Woltermann and Ian Bork read at a scene created for the book Ralph S. Mouse, written by Beverly Cleary. Students and families are reading the book for the One District, One Book program during February.

contributed photo
Kennedy Community School kindergarten students (left to right) Ian Bork, Jake Theisen and Kenzlee Woltermann look at books at a scene created for the book Ralph S. Mouse. The school is reading the book for the One District, One Book program during February.

Author: Cori Hilsgen

Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people’s stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.

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