The public is invited to come to Scotch Plains Public Library on Monday, January 21, from 1 to 3 PM, to have fun reading or being read to, as we launch our community Big Read-a-thon to benefit Literacy Volunteers of Union County, Inc, and Mariposa Foundation, DR. Literacy Volunteers of Union County, Inc. is a non-profit organization that improves the lives of adults in Union County by teaching them to read, write, and speak English so they can participate more fully in family, workplace, and community life. The Mariposa Dr Foundation, a U.S. 501©3 not-for-profit, is a community-run organization that educates and empowers girls in the Dominican Republic to create sustainable solutions to end generational poverty. The organization was named after the codename of the real-life heroines of our Big Read novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, “Las Mariposas,“ the Mirabal sisters, who gave their lives for freedom.
On January 21, participants can take part in a group reading of In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez, or enjoy reading anything they choose on their own. There will be areas for quiet reading, a special area for teens and space in the story pit for families to curl up with a good book. Children under age 11 must be accompanied by an adult.
As part of the community Big Read, the read-a-thon continues until March 4, and participants can pick up pledge sheets at the library, and get started. They will pledge to read a set number of hours during this 7-week period, and then ask family, friends and neighbors to support this reading goal. Participants can read or listen to books or magazines -- even young children can participate by listening! There are so many options available with your library card -- in addition to traditional books, children can enjoy one of the great new interactive books available on the Children's page of the Library website (www.scotlib.org). Readers of all ages can borrow an audio book from the library shelves or an e-book or audio book through ElibraryNJ (www.scotlib.org). Adults can sign themselves or their children up for "Paws for Reading" at the Scotch Plains Public Library on Monday, January 28, February 11, or February 25 at 7 pm, and read to a dog! The library has recently updated its Nooks and more titles will be available to cardholders.
On January 21 the library will also sign up potential volunteers, ages 16 and older, for many of the Big Read events. Opportunities include participating in or leading a book discussion or reading, helping with art projects, including bean mosaics, distributing posters and fliers, and facilitating programs, including the May 11 Festival of Hispanic Cultures.
The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The Big Read is managed by Arts Midwest. Scotch Plains is one of 78 communities nationwide participating in the current Big Read. From January through mid-June, any interested participants from our local communities, will celebrate In the Time of the Butterflies, by reading this book and participating in a full calendar of events.
The Big Read partners in addition to Scotch Plains Public Library and Friends of the Scotch Plains Public Library are Scotch Plains-Fanwood Schools, Literacy Volunteers of Union County, Inc., and New Jersey City University. All participants are welcome to enjoy the many events planned from January to June. More information may be found on the web sites of Scotch Plains Public Library (http://www.scotlib.org and http://bigreadSPPL.tumblr.com) and The Big Read (http://neabigread.org).