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UW-Eau Claire Center for Service-Learning
and Community Agencies Recruit for The Big Read

RELEASED: Nov. 30, 2006

Big Read logoEAU CLAIRE — The Eau Claire Big Read, in preparation for the March 2007 debut of its community-wide reading initiative, is hosting "The Big Read Spark," an organizing social to kick off citizen involvement and celebrate the National Endowment for the Arts grant that made it possible, from 4 to 6 p.m. (program at 5 p.m.) Tuesday, Dec. 12, in the Eau Claire Room of the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library. The media and the public are invited to attend this free event, with refreshments provided.

Community members involved in the early stages of the Eau Claire Big Read chose Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451 as the book to be promoted and read by as many segments of the Eau Claire community as possible. The Eau Claire Big Read has been endorsed by the Eau Claire Area School District, the City of Eau Claire and the public library, and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

"The Big Read Spark" is an invitation for literature enthusiasts and community leaders to become involved with various organizing committees, including event planning, promotions, book discussion training, fundraising, distribution, working with schools, and general outreach. Refreshments will be provided beginning at the 4 p.m. social hour, with the program at 5 p.m. featuring previews of the audio guide for the book, kick-off speeches by major partners, and a general overview of the Big Read committees and events being planned.

"The concept of the Eau Claire Big Read has already gotten a tremendous response from community members interested in literature," said Donald Mowry, director of the UW-Eau Claire Center for Service-Learning, which received the grant to carry out the Eau Claire Big Read. "We are excited to see more community groups and individuals step forward to get involved to help us reach our goal of reaching new and diverse audiences in Eau Claire."

For more information about the Eau Claire Big Read, see the news release. Eau Claire is the only community in Wisconsin chosen by the National Endowment for the Arts to participate in the National Big Read Program. For a complete list of communities participating or for more information, visit The Big Read Web site.

In keeping with The Big Read's goals to reach a community-wide audience, Eau Claire Big Read welcomes individuals or organizations to participate in program planning and implementation. For more information about becoming a sponsor, a partner, or a host site for Eau Claire Big Read activities, contact Jasmine Krotzman, associate lecturer of English at 715-577-8974 or email her at krotzmjl@uwec.edu.

The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts — both new and established — bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, visit their Web site.

The UW-Eau Claire Center for Service-Learning is committed to educating students for full participation in society. UW-Eau Claire's Service-Learning requirement is an important part of an undergraduate liberal arts experience that prepares students for a life of informed, ethical, responsible, and active citizenship.

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JG/NW

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