Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt (R,C,I-Greenwood Lake) today announced that the Orange Library Association (OLA) received a $17,050 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to offer The Big Read at all 17 public libraries in Orange County in October. This year’s choice of read is the tales and poetry of Edgar Allan Poe.
“This is a great program to promote community reading and discussion on important literary works that have impacted all of us,” said Assemblywoman Rabbitt. “Literature is critical in educating those of all ages, and that is why this program is so beneficial.”
The Big Read provides citizens with the opportunity to read and discuss a single book within their communities. The program brings together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment and a variety of organizations participate, including libraries, municipalities, colleges, and arts, culture, and science organizations. To date, the NEA has funded more than 500 The Big Read programs in the nation’s towns and cities.
“Edgar Allan Poe is one of the classic authors of American Literature,” said Assemblywoman Rabbitt. “He is well known throughout the world for his invention and creativity with the different genres of literature, and, given his roots here in Orange County, is a great choice for this year’s program.”
The grant is one of 75 given to communities throughout the country to promote literacy. According to the NEA, Poe was picked because of his connection with Orange County, dating back to July of 1830, when he was a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Poe was later dismissed from the school in February of 1831 because he failed to attend class and skipped mandatory chapel services.
The Big Read in Orange County will include a variety of free activities, including book discussions, a theatrical production, radio programs, an art show, murder mystery dessert theater, a masquerade ball, outreach to schools, “The Big Bleed for The Big Read: Give a Pint for Poe” blood drive and more.
Activities are scheduled to run from October 1-31, with kickoff events planned the weekend of October 1-3 at the Lycian Centre in Sugar Loaf. More details are available at OLA’s The Big Read Web site at www.orangereads.org.