Flashback: The Big Read 2009
Over 2,500 adults and children participated in The Big Read 2009 series of events and activities during March of this year. Of those 2,500 participants, over 1,000 were students at area high schools and colleges, who read and discussed the featured book, A Lesson Before Dying, in their classrooms as part of The Big Read. The National Endowment for the Arts provided $15,000 in grant funding to support the 2009 program, the bulk of which was spent to buy copies of the book (over 900 copies) to give to these students, thus removing economic barriers and providing more stimulus for them to participate.
Other program highlights included:
- The Big Read‐A‐Thon opening event, in which 85 community members (including the Mayor and City Council) took a turn at the podium to read the featured book, A Lesson Before Dying, out loud from cover to cover. The event lasted 9 ½ hours, and was recorded for broadcast on KCTH‐TV. Segments from the event are currently airing on local Comcast Channel 27 every weekday at 7:00 p.m.
- A special Big Read engagement featuring theater company Word for Word, who performed “More Stories by Tobias Wolff” at the Chabot College Little Theater.
- A book talk and signing by Oprah book club author Lalita Tademy at the Main Library.
- A live interactive videoconference with Ernest J. Gaines, author of the Big Read featured book A Lesson Before Dying, who streamed in via the web from his home in Louisiana. The event was a three‐way connection between Louisiana and the two audience locations at Cal State East Bay Hayward and Cal State’s Oakland center.
- A “college hour” appearance by local broadcast personality Brian Copeland, author of Not A Genuine Black Man.
- A Poetry Slam competition at Hayward High School, with original poetry performed by local high school students.
- The Big Read Wrap Party, an awards and recognitions event which featured a dramatic sketch from the book performed by two Chabot College theater students; a performance by two Teen Poetry Slam champions of their winning poems; and recognitions of City Council members, project partners, and others whose participation of the Big Read made the program a success.
Entry filed under: Events.