Gurney Students Thrilled by Golden Ticket Book Reveal

Roars of excitement filled Gurney Elementary School on February 28 for the annual reveal of the next One School, One Book selection. This beloved tradition has students, teachers and parents all reading the same book together over a month.

This year's book was unveiled in spectacular fashion when none other than Willy Wonka and his Oompa Loompas sent a letter to Dr. Jones inviting Gurney students and staff to meet him outside the Wonka Factory gates the next morning. Students left the building pondering who would get a Golden Ticket and planning their return the next morning. After a dramatic entrance the next day, the fictional candy maker presented golden tickets and copies of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to delighted students.

As Mr. Wonka himself emerged through the Wonka factory gates, 500 Gurney students grew silent. Once the Oompa Loompas passed out the Wonka Bars (which were actually wrapped Charlie and the Chocolate Factory books), Mr. Wonka told the students to unwrap and look for a golden ticket. “The gym filled with cheers as every single Gurney student ripped open the wrapping to find Mr. Wonka’s special book and a golden ticket,” said Principal Rachel Jones. “They all waved their golden tickets above their heads in excitement!” That’s when Mr. Wonka revealed to all that this year’s books for One School One Book was none other than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Bringing the whimsical world to life even further, a giant Wonka gate archway was constructed by the Chagrin Dads’ Club and placed at the gym entrance. Students enjoyed walking through the magical gates into the Wonka Chocolate Factory and seeing the flowing chocolate river. Chagrin PTO members transformed each hallway of the building into a room of the chocolate factory. 

Over the next month, Gurney students, staff, and families will connect with Charlie, Willy Wonka, and the themes in the book in many ways. Students will take a replica Willy Wonka home then write or draw a picture of the fun they had with him. Each Friday a masked reader will read the nightly reading. Students will try to guess who is reading before the reveal on Monday morning. The service project this year is in conjunction with the Harvest for Hunger food drive connecting it to how Charlie and his family couldn’t afford healthy foods. In addition to classroom activities, students and their families can participate in a scavenger hunt in downtown Chagrin. 

A special thank yous go out to retired Intermediate School teacher, Gary Dole, for transforming into Willy Wonka and to the Oompa Loompas, current Intermediate School students Avery Gebler, Mairead Malley, Grace Pelsozy, and Emma Uehlinger who surprised Principal Rachel Jones with the letter from Willy Wonka. 

Mairead Malley, Avery Gebler, Gary Dole, Rachel Jones, Emma Uehlinger, Grace Pelsozy 

First grader, Iliyana Hughes, was all smiles as she opened her book and received a Golden Ticket! 

Mrs. Sarah Ross, first grade teacher, handed out the books that were wrapped to look like Wonka Bars!