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School News

Can a book help bring Yorkville community together?

Initiative hopes to get students, residents, city officials and others to read, discuss book

Yorkville School District 115 is hoping a book will bring a community together this fall as it kicks off its One Community Reads initiative.

The program’s goal is to have students, employees, residents, city officials and local employees read the same book over the same period, and then come together to discuss the book’s themes. Activities incorporating these themes will be scheduled in October.

The chosen book for 2017 is “Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy’s Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard” by Mawi Asgedom. The book is a memoir about the author’s immigration experience, and incorporates the themes of perseverance, discipline, sacrifice, helping others, bullying, racial prejudice, poverty and family.

“The purpose of the initiative is to promote intergenerational literacy in the community and a love of reading through a shared reading experience that will enrich the lives of District 115 residents,” a Board of Education memo read.

As the book is more suited for a grade-six through adult readership, elementary students will read a combination of books that explore similar themes to those in Of Beetles and Angels. These books are “All the Way to America” by Dan Yaccarino, “Lost and Found Cat” by Amy Shrodes and “Doug Kantz, The Journey by Francesca Sanna, and The Water Princess” by Susan Verde.

The books were chosen by the One Community: Yorkville Reads Committee, and were picked with one question in mind: What shared reading experience has the most potential to bring the community together?

The committee currently is comprised of District 115 staff, but an effort will be made to include other community stakeholders in the future.

The committee will work to notify the Yorkville City Council, the Yorkville Area Chamber of Commerce Board, and the Yorkville Public Library Board of the initiative at their respective meetings.

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