The Monroe County Big Read Kicks-Off

This year’s Big Read has officially begun.

The month-long event started officially with the Kick-Off Celebration Friday night, featuring a Monroe Community Players performance of Our Town, a play written by Thorton Wilder that complements the Big Read book, The Bridge of San Luis Rey.

Copies of Our Town and The Bridge of San Luis Rey, along with their respective reader’s guides, were handed out for free at the Kick-Off.

MCCC, along with the Monroe County Library System and other community partners, are sponsoring this year’s Big Read events.

“The intent of the National Endowment for the Arts in creating The Big Read program was to restore reading to the center of American Culture,” Beth Kohler, coordinator of grants and major gifts at MCCC, said.

“I am particularly proud of The Big Read Committee’s slate of events this year and hope everyone can participate in at least one.”

Book discussions, a panel discussion, showings of related movies, a walking tour of Monroe, and two more performances of Our Town are just a few of the upcoming events.

“One of the events I’m most excited about is The Big Read Panel Discussion being held on Thursday Apr. 22 at 7:00 p.m., facilitated by The Agora staff, on ‘Why bad things happen to good people,'” Kohler said. The discussion will feature representatives from different religions to speak on the subject. It will be the last major event of the Big Read 2010.

Kohler urges students to take the time to read, and she hopes that the Big Read will help them to.

“When I was in college, I always made time to read for pleasure. To me it’s as necessary as breathing.”