Here is a report on the progress of our One Book read of “The Other Wes Moore”:
Tues. 9/20 – Kick-off Day was busy! That morning the Read was officially proclaimed by the Kern County Board of Supervisors, with brief comments by Emerson Case, CSUB, 1st Year Experience Coordinator, and Andrae Gonzales, Read community partner for Children First.
Tues. 9/20 – The Kick-off at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center gymnasium was attended by about 80 people, including students at the community center after school. David Gordon did a great job as master of ceremonies. Thomas Robinson of Russo’s not only sold books, he also opened the kick-off with a dramatic reading from the book, and wowed the audience with a moving rendition of “I think I can Fly.” All three major TV stations covered the opening event. The student performers were very entertaining. Next year we’ll have to insert all that inspiration and entertainment in a more time-efficient package! Thanks to all who participated and/or attended.
Thurs. 9/22- East Bakersfield High School’s Associated Student Body sponsored the film screening of “The Pursuit of Happyness.” I had forgotten how powerful that film is, and applicable to the themes of “The Other Wes Moore.” Around 100 students and families from the neighborhood attended. East High’s Workforce students (an evening high school diploma program for kids who have previously dropped out up to age 19) were there with their history teacher and participated in the discussion. When discussion leader Andrae Gonzales pointed out how the Will Smith character needed to concentrate on numerous daily survival tasks, while still planning for job success in the future, a young woman raised her hand and said, “That’s why I am still in high school!” That’s the kind of insights a community read is all about.
Fri. 9/23 – A One Book first – a One Book event cancelled by a lightning storm. Yep – after waiting through three 30-minute delays at the Bakersfield High School/Foothill High School football game, with the planned half-time tribute to our own (Colonel) Wes Moore being presented to the Colonel’s widow, Mary Moore and family, the game was cancelled. Now you all have a chance to attend the rescheduled presentation at the Nov. 4 BHS football game!
Sat. 9/24 – Senator Michael Rubio’s office presented personal copies of “The Other Wes Moore” to all Sgt. John Money’s Lamont Sheriff’s Activities League participants today after a discussion of personal choices led by Rubio field rep. Leticia Perez. Attending CSUB students/recent graduates told the SAL kids their own stories overcoming obstacles, and the young SAL students shared their academic/career dreams. All the kids were excited about hearing Wes Moore on Nov. 8 and transport for the group is being planned.
What terrific One Book program will you be attending, telling your circles of influence about, and bringing friends to in the next few weeks?
– Kristie Coons, Coordinator of One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern