RCC, schools team up on reading

First Posted: 8/29/2014

LUMBERTON — Robeson Community College and the Public Schools of Robeson County will pilot a Common Read program this fall designed to enhance critical reading skills of students in both systems.

As part of the program, high school students will 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 at 10 a.m. with a program in the A.D. Lewis Auditorium at Robeson Community College. Speakers will provide a historical framework and introduce resources where students 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 until Sept. 30 to view the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s 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 led readings include food and wine author Ginger King, children’s author Endora Dial Lowery, and mystery writer Patricia Terrell.

Questions regarding the fall Common Read and upcoming events may be directed to Crystal Edmonds, Robeson Community College English Department chairma and QEP Coordinator, by email at [email protected] or by phone at 910-272-3362; or Kewanda Merritt, K-12 ELA curriculum supervisor and World Languages curriculum supervisor with the Public Schools of Robeson County, by email him at [email protected] or by phone at 910-735-2350.