INA, Ill. - Feb. 2, 2009 - Rend Lake College will kick off its Big Read celebration of Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" in conjunction with the college's Homecoming ceremonies on Wednesday, Feb. 4, at James "Hummer" Waugh gymnasium on the RLC Main Campus in Ina.
The Big Read in RLC District #521 is presented in partnership with Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Benton Public Library, C.E. Brehm Memorial Public Library, The Buzz in Benton and Green Tree Assisted Living Facility. Also joining in the program this year are local high schools in Mt. Vernon, Bluford, Benton and Thompsonville, and grade schools in Ina and Ewing.
The kickoff event will take place at approximately 7 p.m., as a pregame feature of the Warriors basketball game against Olney Central College. It will feature RLC Interim President Charley D. Holstein telling the crowd about the Big Read, a performance of the Big Read song by members of the RLC Community Chorus and an announcement of the Big Read at RLC tee-shirt design contest winner.
"We are so thrilled to have the Big Read back at Rend Lake for the second year in a row," said Sandy West, coordinator for the Big Read at RLC. "I hope the things we have planned for this kickoff event, as well as the many activities to come, will energize the audience to get involved and inspire them to pick up a copy of Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and read it. It is truly a gem in the history of American literature and the Big Read program is a groundbreaking vehicle for bringing Twain's remarkable storytelling skills to residents in the communities the college serves."
The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. Support for The Big Read is provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Transportation for The Big Read is provided by Ford.
Rend Lake College is one of 189* communities nationwide participating in The Big Read from September 2008-June 2009. To date, the NEA has funded more than 500 Big Read programs in the nation's towns and cities. From February to June, our community will celebrate "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" with a full calendar of events including public readings, a "guest appearance" by Mark Twain, book discussions and more.
For more information on this event, please contact West. You also can view a full calendar of events for The Big Read in RLC District #521 at www.nea.bigread.org and search for Illinois - Rend Lake College in the Community Calendar of Events.
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*Please check www.neabigread.org after June 10 for the final number of grantees for the 2008-09 phase of The Big Read.