Welcome to the Southeast Texas BIG READ!
The Big Read is a program created by The National Endowment of the Arts designed to encourage individuals to read for both pleasure and education while presenting literature as an indispensable part of American culture. In the past years, reading and literacy has been in decline, especially among the youth of America.
The NEA created the Big Read to address the decline in literacy directly. The Big Read helps communities come together and support community-wide reading by allowing individuals from diverse backgrounds to come together and enjoy reading. Each year selected nonprofit organizations across the country receive grants from NEA in order to host Big Read events within their communities. More than 1,000 grants have been awarded to organizations who have hosted The Big Read.
This Year Lamar State College Orange’s Ron E. Lewis Library received an NEA grant to host the Southeast Texas Big Read. The Big Read events last approximately one month beginning with a book launch event. Activities and events planned include discussions, community readings and youth outreach. The book chosen for this year’s Southeast Texas Big Read is Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya, a coming-of-age story about a young Hispanic boy set in 1940’s New Mexico.
While the Hispanic population continues to grow in the Southeast Texas area, they bring to each community many exciting and diverse cultural traditions. With this influx of cultural traditions, it provides opportunity for the community to make use of multicultural learning. Multicultural learning allows individuals from the Hispanic community, as well as people of other backgrounds, the chance to learn from each other and better understand each other as a people and as a culture. Reading Bless Me, Ultima will allow us to highlight the value of the Hispanic culture and language while presenting it to the children and adults of Orange and Jefferson counties.