July 20, 2009
WVU Parkersburg and area public libraries to sponsor Mid-Ohio Valley "The Big Read."
CONTACT: Rhonda Richards, vice president for academic affairs, 304-424-8242.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
West Virginia University at Parkersburg is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts' grant to sponsor "The Big Read" in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
The Big Read is an initiative of the NEA designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The program brings communities together to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 30 selections from U.S. and world literature.
Joining WVU Parkersburg in the project are Parkersburg/Wood County, Vienna, Jackson County and Wirt County public libraries.
The Mid-Ohio Valley's "Big Read" selection is Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird," noted Kim Jones, WVU Parkersburg grantswriter and coordinator of the Mid-Ohio Valley "Big Read."
"We believe this will be a wonderful opportunity to share a literature classic across the generations, from first-time readers to those who will revisit it again," she noted.
The Mid-Ohio Valley's Big Read will include events and activities, including dramatic readings, during the month of October to engage readers in the classic. WVU Parkersburg will extend the project into surrounding counties through collaborations with the public libraries which will engage their local high schools and businesses with events involving the reading and discussion of the American classic. The film version of the book will also be screened.
WVU Parkersburg received $10,150 to initiate the reading program and is among 269 non-profit organizations awarded NEA grants to host Big Read celebrations in their communities. Part of the college's grant funding will go toward the purchase of copies of "To Kill a Mockingbird" and Kindle e-readers for the participating libraries.
Joining the NEA in partnership to present the Big Read are the Institute of Museum and Library Services in cooperation with Arts Midwest. Support for The Big Read is provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.