Flashback: The Big Read 2009

. at 23:42 Leave a comment

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.

Flashback: Read-a-Thon 2009, “A Lesson Before Dying” The Big Read – a new kind of stimulus package

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Pick up your official Big Read Hayward event brochure today! Available at many locations around town.
Download the calendar.

Join The Big Read on


Multigenerational Poetry Slam

Saturday, May 7, 1-5pm

Attend a workshop to get help preparing your poem.
Saturday, Mar 19 @ 1:00-3:30pm
Saturday, April 9 @ 1:00-3:30pm
Saturday, April 16 @ 1:00-3:30pm
Main Library
Registration is required. Call 510-881-7700.

What is The Big Read?

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts. Its goal is to revive the love of reading for fun and enjoyment across America. The community of Hayward is honored to be a Big Read participant in April 2011. Learn more.

Sponsor Links

%d bloggers like this: