Read Across SMSD May 2024- Focus on Family

Read Across May 2024 Focus on Family
Shawnee Mission School District

The people and places a person sees as they journey throughout the day can play an important role in creating a sense of home.

During the month of May, Shawnee Mission will explore this concept as it celebrates the Read Across SMSD theme “Focus on Family.” Superintendent Dr. Michelle Hubbard recently joined several students from Ray Marsh Elementary School for a conversation about the places and people that give them a sense of belonging.

Click here to see a video.

The discussion was inspired by the elementary-level Read Across SMSD book “The Train Home” by Dan-ah Kim. In this book, the main character’s imagination takes her to a lot of different places, but this exploration of endless possibilities soon gets her thinking about the people and places she loves most.

As Winston Wolff thought about his journey throughout the day, he said the two hills he travels in his neighborhood help him recognize when he is back in a place where he belongs.

“Every day, I am glad to see my school because it is a fun place to learn,” Wolff added.

For Ethan Kelly, a highlight of every school day is seeing friends.

“Whether we’re playing football during recess, eating lunch, or making each other laugh with silly jokes, being with them is the best part of my day,” Kelly shared. 

During the day, Elyanna Moltane says her favorite moment is walking in the door and seeking classmates.

“I also really like math time, lunch time, and P.E,” Moltane expressed.

Dr. Hubbard joined the conversation by reflecting on her journey in the Shawnee Mission School District.

“Giving a smile and being friendly is something we all can do to help people feel a sense of belonging no matter where they are on their journey,” Dr. Hubbard shared. “That is one of my favorite things to see every day – all of the shiny, smiling faces of teachers and students in the Shawnee Mission School District. Thinking of the people in our community will always make me grateful to have been a part of ONE Shawnee Mission!”

May Reading and Learning Resources

Read Across SMSDis modeled after the national Read Across America program and is led in partnership with NEA-Shawnee Mission. Access to books for Shawnee Mission students is made possible through the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation.

Here are the Read Across America May titles from the NEA book list:


The Train Home

By Dan-ah Kim

Click here to learn more.


The Lost Ryū

By Emi Watanabe Cohen

Click here to learn more.

 Young Adult

Well, That Was Unexpected

By Jesse Q. Sutanto

Click here to learn more.

The links above provide activity ideas, discussion ideas, reflective writing questions, and related resources for more titles to try in each age group.

Read Across May 2024 Focus on Family