In line with the Board of Education's global initiative, the BOE and the Scotch Plains Library are working together on "The Big Read," a program dedicated to involving the entire community on a combined concept by reading.
The book involved in the the Big Read is "In the Time of Butterflies" a historical fiction by Julia Alvarez, which will be required reading for all high school students and any adult in the community is encouraged to read it as well.
Alvarez's novel focuses on the story of the four Mirabal sisters who were revolutionaries during the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic.
Three of the sisters are eventually killed and the second sister, Dedé, lives to tell their story.
For students in grades 6 through 8 they will be required to read, "Before We Were Free" , by the same author. This book follows the same story of the sisters, but geared more towards young adults.
All students K-5 will be reading a variety of other literature in line with the same themes.
The Library has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to make the Big Read possible.
The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment of the Arts in order to bring the power of literature to communities.
The Scotch Plains Public Library is one of 78 organizations in the United States to receive this grant.
The Library, friends of the library, Scotch Plains-Fanwood schools, Literacy Volunteers of Union County, Inc. and New Jersey City University are all working together to hold a number of events for the rest of 2012 and throughout 2013.
Nov. 1 will be the Kickoff Concert at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School with a performance by the Tropyband Orquesta.
A Festival of Hispanic Cultures will be held on May 11, marked with a Butterfly Talk and Release. The event will run from 11a.m.-4p.m. at the Scotch Plains Public Library.
On May 20, 2013, the entire community can meet Julia Alvarez via video chat at the high school.
In a video presentation provided by administrators on the new initiative, Geraldine Mac Donnell, a world languages teacher at Park Middle School, said that global learning is "not a luxury, but a necessesity."
Administrators are hoping the Big Read will give students, as well as the community, a better understanding of another culture.
The community will be invited to participate in a number of book discussions, many of which led by SPFHS students.
Check www.scotlib.org for more events and news on the Big Read.
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