SeDoMoCha Elementary families will be finding their way through ‘Lost on a Mountain in Maine’ together with One Book, One School

DOVER-FOXCROFT — Again in the 2017-18 academic year SeDoMoCha Elementary School families will have the opportunity to read together as part of a shared reading experience through the eighth annual One Book, One School program. For about a month through early October students and family members will read and discuss “Lost on a Mountain in Maine” and then be able to attend an ending celebration on Thursday, Oct. 5.

Families were introduced to this year’s One Book, One School selection at a program kickoff on Sept. 6 prior to an open house a week into classes. Those who will be reading the book together joined administrators and staff in the multipurpose room to learn more, and they were told their students’ teachers have copies of the novels to hand out later in the evening.

The shared reading experience is intended to increase literacy awareness within the community and to get families reading together more at home, while creating fun and memorable connections to the school community.

“We are really excited about our One Book, One School this year,” literacy teacher and program organizer Carolyn Clark said.

“Lost on a Mountain in Maine” tells the story of the late Donn Fendler who as a 12-year-old Boy Scout in 1939 was lost for over eight days in the wilderness around Mount Katahdin where he walked more than 30 miles before the end of the ordeal.

“Because of the book we wanted to do some outside activities in October so the timing was perfect with our open house,” Clark said, as during the previous seven years One Book, One School had been held in January and February. “We are not sure of the timing yet,” Clark said as a schedule for Oct. 5 will be announced in the weeks to come.

“We are going to order potatoes and have a potato bar,” she said about one planned activity.

“This is our eighth year and every year it’s been fun and interesting,” Clark said. “Your family reads at home over four weeks and there are activities at school to enrich the experience.”

Clark explained parents will be given reading guides with questions to help the students think about the book, and completed reading logs can be entered into prize drawings at school. “Depending on the grade level you might want to have your child read to you or you may want to read to your child,” she said.

“(Principal Julie Kimball) will read some facts that (grade 4 teacher Danica Wilson) has prepared for each chapter,” Clark said about the morning announcements. “We are also going to have a bear that’s going to visit each classroom — not a real one a wooden one,” she added as some children excitedly gasped upon Clark’s mention of the bear.

Clark said various One Book, One School happenings will be posted at

“Unfortunately Donn Fendler passed away last year,” she said. “He was a huge advocate for education and he used to visit schools. I know we can still learn a lot from him.”
The first SeDoMoCha One Book, One School took place in 2011 as students and families read “A Castle in the Attic” by Elizabeth Winthrop and then enjoyed a medieval feast after they finished the novel. A year later “The Indian in the Cupboard” by Lynne Reid Banks was the program selection and the ending evening event featured a Western motif and activities. In 2013 One Book, One School featured E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web” and this novel led up to a night at the fair. In the ensuing year the selection was “The Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, with a trip to Emerald City concluding the program. In 2015 families all had a golden ticket with Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

In 2016 the book choice was “The World According to Humphrey” by Betty G. Birney with the ending evening featuring activities based on the book’s classroom hamster protagonist. A year ago One Book, One School featured the junior novelization of the animated film “Finding Dory” as the SeDoMoCha Elementary community then traveled under the sea with ocean-themed activities.

Bangor Daily News file photo
LOST ON A MOUNTAIN IN MAINE — The front-page story in the July 26, 1939 edition of the Bangor Daily News celebrated the safe return of Donn Fendler, the 12-year-old boy who had been lost on Mount Katahdin. Fendler’s journey through the wilderness is told in “Lost on a Mountain in Maine” which is this year’s selection in the annual One Book, One School family reading program at the SeDoMoCha Elementary School in Dover-Foxcroft.

Bangor Daily News file photo/Ashley L. Conti
STILL TEACHING AFTER NEARLY 80 YEARS — The late Donn Fendler reflects on the 75th anniversary of his being “Lost on a Mountain in Maine” in 2014 at his camp in Newport. Fendler, who passed away last fall, spoke to many schoolchildren over the decades about his experience in the wilderness around Mount Katahdin.

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