01/28/2014 -- CCAC kicks off “The Big Read in Pittsburgh” with March 3 event

Article by: CCAC Public Relations

PITTSBURGH-The Community College of Allegheny County will kick off a month-long series of outreach events designed to promote literacy, reading and community engagement with a free public event, The Big Read in Pittsburgh, held Monday, March 3 at 6:00 p.m. at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum. The event will follow recognition of the initiative from Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.

Mr. Peduto has proclaimed March 3, 2014, "Big Read Day" in the city of Pittsburgh. In the proclamation, CCAC, along with more than 20 partners, are being recognized for their participation in the national Big Read program through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

The Big Read in Pittsburgh is a project of the CCAC One College…One Community initiative, an innovative partnership among CCAC and local school districts, libraries, correctional facilities and other organizations focusing on the discussion of a novel and its themes. The initiative focuses on Tim O'Brien's semi-autobiographical work, The Things They Carried, the book selected for this year's The Big Read program. Highly acclaimed as an accurate portrayal of the Vietnam War experience, The Things They Carried is a collection of related short stories about a platoon of American soldiers as they live, laugh, love and die in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

Jan Scruggs, founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund based in Washington DC, will be the keynote speaker at the kickoff for The Big Read in Pittsburgh, which also features a dance and drama presentation by CCAC students, selections from the Pittsburgh Gospel Choir and representatives from Vietnam Veterans Inc. The event is free and open to the public.

The Big Read, a program of the NEA in partnership with Arts Midwest, provides communities nationwide with the opportunity to read, discuss and celebrate one of a number of selections from U.S. and world literature. CCAC is one of 77 organizations nationwide-and one of only three in Pennsylvania-to receive the grant this year.

Throughout March, students in several Allegheny County high schools and English and history students at CCAC will be studying the book. The students will also participate in essay, poetry, art and project contests. Libraries will host book discussions and film screenings. CCAC faculty and administrators will also facilitate book discussions among inmates at the State Correctional Institution of Pittsburgh and residents at Shuman Juvenile Detention Center and Renewal, Inc.

Besides CCAC and the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, the One College…One Community partnership includes the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, along with branch libraries located in Beechview, Carrick, Downtown, the Hill District, Lawrenceville, Mt. Washington and Woods Run; Imani Christian Academy; Monroeville Public Library; Pittsburgh Job Corps; Pleasant Hills Public Library; Penn Hills High School; Propel Andrew Street High School; Renewal Treatment, Inc.; Saturday Light Brigade Radio; Shuman Detention Center; State Correctional Institution of Pittsburgh; University of Pittsburgh; Urban Pathways Charter High School; Veteran's Breakfast Club; Vietnam Veteran's Inc.; Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf; Winchester Thurston School; and Woodland Hills High School.

For further information on any of the One College…One Community events, please call 412.469.6301, email OneCollege@ccac.edu or visit www.ccac.edu, search keywords "Big Read 2014."


About the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)
CCAC annually educates 33,000 credit students through 155 degree, certificate and transfer programs and offers noncredit and workforce development courses to nearly 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.


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