CCAC Gets Grant for "The Big Read"
Program provides communities with the opportunity to read, discuss and celebrate literary pieces.
The Community College of Allegheny County received a grant through The Big Read project of the National Endowment for the Arts.
The $17,000 grant will support CCAC’s second community partnership focusing on the discussion of a novel and its themes. The college is one of 76 institutions across the country to receive the grant. Only two recipients are from Pennsylvania.
The Big Read provides communities with the opportunity to read, discuss and celebrate one of 31 literary selections. The CCAC project, One College…One Community, will focus on Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God next March.
The Big Read is an initiative of the NEA designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The NEA presents The Big Read in cooperation with Arts Midwest. Each community’s Big Read includes a kick-off event to launch the program; activities devoted specifically to its Big Read book or poet (e.g., panel discussions, lectures, public readings); events using the selection as a point of departure (e.g., film screenings, theatrical readings, exhibits); and book discussions in diverse locations aimed at a wide range of audiences.
CCAC and other grant recipients will receive high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title, such as Reader’s Guides that include author biographies, historical context for the book, and discussion questions.
Teacher’s Guides are developed with the National Council of Teachers of English and State Language Arts standards in mind and include lesson plans, essay topics and classroom handouts. The Big Read Audio Guides feature readings from the novel along with commentary from renowned artists, educators, and public figures such as Junot Díaz and Aimee Mann, and Big Read authors such as Ursula K. Le Guin and Tim O’Brien.
In October 2010, CCAC led a partnership of schools, libraries, correctional institutions and community organizations in its inaugural One College…One Community initiative. The program, which featured discussion of Ernest Gaines’ A Lesson Before Dying, was inspired by The Big Read but did not receive a grant.