Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

07/08/2011 -- CCAC wins Big Read grant to continue One College…One Community initiative

For more information, contact CCAC Public Relations.

PITTSBURGH—The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) is one of 76 organizations nationwide to receive a grant as part of The Big Read project of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The grant will support CCAC’s second community partnership focusing on the discussion of a novel and its themes.

The Big Read provides communities nationwide with the opportunity to read, discuss and celebrate one of 31 selections from U.S. and world literature. The CCAC-led project, One College…One Community, will focus on Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God in March 2012. CCAC, one of only two recipients in Pennsylvania, received the maximum $17,000 grant for the project.

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.

For more information about The Big Read, please visit


About the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)
CCAC annually educates 33,000 credit students through 170 degree, certificate and transfer programs and offers non-credit and workforce development courses to 30,000 students. The learning-centered institution’s mission is to provide affordable access to quality education and offer a dynamic, diverse and supportive learning environment that prepares the region’s residents for academic, professional and personal success in our changing global society. CCAC’s quality programs enable students to transfer credits to 520 colleges and universities and support regional workforce needs with accessible instruction available day, evening, weekend and online in Allegheny County and beyond. Visit to learn more.