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March 4, 2009 > Read-A-Thon in Hayward

Read-A-Thon in Hayward

Submitted By Sean Reinhart

A citywide reading program called The Big Read kicks off in Hayward Thursday, March 5, with "The Big Read-A-Thon." Hayward Public Library received a $15,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to fund the program.

It begins the same week as Read Across America 2009, sponsored by the National Education Association and the California Teachers Association. Activities included reading events in schools and communities across the state on Monday, March 2, in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday.

The Big Read provides libraries with resources and funding to conduct citywide reading programs with the goal of restoring reading and literacy to the center of American culture. It came about after a 2004 study reported significant declines in reading among adults over the past 20 years.

"The Big Read-A-Thon" is a cover-to-cover public reading of the featured Big Read book, A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines. More than 50 readers will take turns reciting a few pages each - including the mayor and City Council, along with dozens of other local students, authors, teachers, and Hayward residents.

Other Big Read activities during the month include distributing over 800 free copies of A Lesson Before Dying to Hayward area high schools for classroom use during The Big Read.

Over 15 Big Read events are scheduled this month, including three author talks:
* Lalita Tademy, author of Cane River, an Oprah Book Club selection, at the downtown Hayward Library March 11;
* Ernest Gaines, author of A Lesson Before Dying live via the web at California State University East Bay March 19; and
* Brian Copeland, creator of the hit one man show, "Not A Genuine Black Man," at Chabot College March 24.

The Big Read-A-Thon
Thursday, Mar 5
noon to 9 p.m.
Eon Coffee
24970 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward
(510) 881-7980

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