The Big Read – a new kind of stimulus package

. at 08:55 Leave a comment

Have you ever read a book that transformed your life? Books have the power to stimulate, educate, and open minds. That’s why we are proud to be a part of The Big Read in April 2010. The Big Read is an initiative of National Endowment for the Arts. It is designed to encourage people in communities across America to spend more time reading.

Why The Big Read? Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, a 2004 report by the National Endowment for the Arts, found that not only is literary reading in America declining rapidly among all demographic groups, but that the rate of decline has accelerated, especially among the young. Fewer than half of all American adults now spend any time reading any literature at all.

Why does The Big Read matter? Besides the obvious reasons – we all know reading is a good thing – the report also showed that literary readers are far more engaged and active in their communities. For example, literary readers are nearly three times more likely than non-readers to attend a performing arts event, one-and-a-half times more likely to attend a sporting event, and over two-and-a-half times more likely to do volunteer or charity work.

What is The Big Read? It’s about one community reading and talking about one great work of literature together. Our featured Big Read book is the Rudolfo Anaya classic “Bless Me, Ultima.” We’re proud to report that hundreds of local students are studying the book in their classrooms for The Big Read. The NEA provided funding for us to buy copies of the book to give to these students, thus removing economic barriers and providing more stimulus for them to participate.

Is that all? That’s just the beginning. We’re proud to present over 15 events this month, at locations all over the East Bay, including the two-day “Read-a-Thon 2010” event on March 31st and April 1st, in which over 100 community members will take turns on the microphone to do a cover-to-cover public reading of the book.

How can I be a part of The Big Read? It’s easy – Read the book. The library has dozens of copies available for check out. Get your copy today!

Don’t miss the keynote event, a Conversation with Rudolfo Anaya, live via web at Cal State East Bay on April 27th. See the Big Read website for complete event information – and be sure to pick up your Big Read event brochure today (available at the library and many other locations around town).

The Big Read Hayward partnership includes Hayward Public Library, Chabot College, Cal State East Bay, Friends of the Hayward Public Library, Hayward Literacy Council,and Barnes & Noble Booksellers.

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.


Entry filed under: Events.

Flashback: The Big Read 2009 The Big Read – Update 2010

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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.

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