Common Read Initiative
Lumberton, NC—Robeson Community College and the Public Schools of Robeson County will pilot a Common Read program fall 2014. PSRC high school students, select RCC curriculum courses, and RCC basic skills students will read The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick. The novella focuses on one woman’s grief, guilt, hope, and dreams in the aftermath of the Holocaust.
The project will kick off Sept. 10. A special program will be held at 10 a.m. in the A.D. Lewis Auditorium at Robeson Community College. Speakers will provide a historical framework and introduce resources where they may learn more about the author, the Holocaust, and current events such as genocide. Students will then be released to discuss the book at their respective campuses.
Community members and students are also invited to the Robeson County History Museum Sept. 15-30 to view the NC Department of Public Instruction exhibit, “Fences, Walls, and Butterflies. Children Confront the Holocaust through Art.” On Nov. 19, a Holocaust survivor will speak about his/her experience and answer questions from the audience. Fall activities conclude with an exhibit by students.
The Common Read project is a product of the community college’s five-year project, RCC 4 R.E.A.L. (Reading Engages Active Learning). Started in 2010, RCC implemented activities to foster students’ critical reading. Two main activities include book readings and a guest speaker series. Some books read in the past four years are Burning Bright, The Devil in Pew Number Seven, A Stolen Life, Nickel and Dimed, and The Other Wes Moore. Authors who have lead readings include food and wine author Ginger King, children’s author Endora Dial Lowery, and mystery writer P.M. Terrell.
Questions regarding the fall Common Read and upcoming events may be directed to Crystal Edmonds, English Department Chair and QEP Coordinator at Robeson Community College or Kewanda Merritt, K-12 ELA Curriculum Supervisor and World Languages Curriculum Supervisor with the Public Schools of Robeson County.