Be a part of the Big Read in JamestownBecause the Big Read isn’t slated to begin until April 12, residents have ample opportunity to get involved. The month-long event is meant to include the community in as many ways as possible.
By: Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Because the Big Read isn’t slated to begin until April 12, residents have ample opportunity to get involved. The month-long event is meant to include the community in as many ways as possible.
The purpose behind the Big Read, which is a National Endowment of the Arts program, is the revitalization of interest in reading American literature. It was instituted because literary reading has declined dramatically. The Big Read was developed to help reverse this trend by giving communities an opportunity to read and discuss great books.
“A Farewell to Arms,” by Ernest Hemingway, has been chosen in Jamestown for reading and discussion. With National Guard troops in Iraq, it’s an appropriate and relevant choice.
All kinds of events and experiences surrounding the novel and the author are planned. Senior citizens who don’t want to read the book themselves can have it read to them by high school students at the Senior and Community Center. Book groups can get together and talk about the novel and its correlations to events today.
The organizers are hoping individuals, groups, organizations and companies throughout the Jamestown area will join in the Big Read by founding their own book clubs or creating a related event. Anyone who has an idea for a Big Read event or who wants to join in can call either the Arts Center or Alfred Dickey Public Library. The library is also hosting a book discussion club for anyone who hasn’t found a group.
Although the month long event has a grant of $5,000 to help fund it, it is a matching grant. That means donations, monetary or in-kind, are an important piece of the Big Read.
While Hemingway’s novel is focused on a serious subject, the Big Read events surrounding it include fun, camaraderie and community. It’s a way to connect — not only with American literature, but with each other.
Reading and discussing a great book as a community. What a concept!
(Editorials are the opinion of Jamestown Sun management and the newspaper’s editorial board)