Albany State receives 'Big Read' grant - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany State receives 'Big Read' grant

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News release from Albany State     

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recently announced that Albany State University is one of 269 community organizations and institutions of higher education nationwide to receive grants to host Big Read celebrations between September, 2009 and June, 2010. 

The 2009-2010 Big Read grant recipients represent 44 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and these municipalities collectively will receive grants totaling $3,742,765. 

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.

As a part of the Big Read, each grant recipient will host a month long program during the year that commemorates one of the classic novels or American poets NEA has selected for the Big Read.  In February, 2010, Albany-Dougherty County residents and visitors will have an opportunity to read, explore and discuss Ernest Gaines' classic American novel A Lesson Before Dying. 

"Albany State University is fortunate to receive its first National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grant of $20,000," especially with 268 other nationally competing organizations, said Dr. James L. Hill, Director of the Albany-Dougherty Big Read and Chair of the Department of English, Modern Languages and Mass Communication at Albany State University.  "In addition to carrying out the literacy mandates of the NEA Big Read, this program provides an excellent opportunity for our University to engage in community outreach and to partner with Dougherty County organizations while promoting literacy and reading a great book."

The Big Read is an NEA initiative designed to restore reading to the center of American culture and bring together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.  The 2009-2010 grantees all represent nonprofits, including libraries, municipalities, arts, culture, higher education and science organizations. 

The organizations selected to participate in this cycle have received grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 to promote and carry out community based programs such as read-a-thons, book discussions, film screenings and library and museum exhibit aimed at avid, lapsed and reluctant readers. 

 Participating cities and towns also receive reader's and teacher's guides for each novel or writer; audio guides that can be used for programming; publicity materials; an online organizer's guide for conducting a successful Big Read program; and access to the Big Read website.

The Albany-Dougherty Big Read will begin the first week of February, 2010 and will be conducted by Albany State University in partnership with the Dougherty County Library.   Highlights will include a Big Read Kick-Off on February 1, film screenings, talks about Ernest Gaines, reading-discussion groups, a readers' theatre presentation and other programs.

 "We are delighted to be partnering with the Dougherty County Library, Dr. Hill said, "to engage as many people as possible in reading this classic book buy noted author Ernest Gaines.