One Goal: More Than a Book. A Motto.

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Each summer, New Hampton School selects a piece of literature to unite students, faculty, and staff in reflection, regardless of how far the summer might take us from campus. This annual all-school read provides a basis for discussions around poignant themes and relevant, real-world events that offer context and a platform for exploration.

United in Literature

New Hampton School selected One Goal: A Coach, a Team, and the Game That Brought a Divided Town Together as this year’s all-school read earlier this spring. Following past selections that continue to offer conversations on diversity, equity, and inclusivity such as The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, and others, this year’s read becomes even more relevant in the wake of protests and riots throughout the summer.

As Coach McGraw offers one of his legendary pregame speeches, defender Abdiaziz Shaleh listens with deference. McGraw has used the rules of the game to bring kids of all backgrounds to the team, emphasizing the need for them to work together on the field and off. (Amy Bass)

Finding Parallels

“One Goal tells the inspiring story of a soccer team in a town bristling with racial tension that united Somali refugees and multi-generation Mainers in their quest for state-and ultimately national—glory.” according to Goodreads.com. As we move through the fall, the Student Life Office, in collaboration with the English Department, has worked to incorporate the learnings in this book and apply them to the issues of social justice that we are facing in the country today.

This past weekend, students and faculty took advantage of Saturday’s advisory time to delve deeper into the book in small groups. Several open discussion questions guided the conversation as students pulled out the essential themes of the book, including the notion of freedom, ignorance, community, and camaraderie. From there, students worked to select one of six prompts to inspire an essay about this title.

One Goal all school read
Maulid Abdow, Abdi Shariff-Hassan, Zak Abdulle, Ben Doyle, and their teammates climb up the bleachers to share the state championship trophy with family and friends. “They deserved it as much as we did,” Abdi H. said. (Daryn Slover, Lewiston Sun Journal)

Forward with Purpose

As we forge ahead with this school year and try to make sense of the turmoil that surrounds us, One Goal is a heroic true-story that serves as a reminder of the good, the power of community, and the promise of better things to come. To further support and discuss the subject matter in the book, the Student Life Office is scheduling a Zoom call with the author, Amy Bass. We look forward to hearing directly from the author and having students engage her with their questions and reflections.

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