Sept. 5, 2006
Reading initiative program praised by Mayor Franklin
Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin visited Emory last week for a luncheon of appreciation with Emory Provost Earl Lewis and the steering committee of Atlanta Reads: One Book, One Community. The program, launched earlier this year by the mayor and supported by a variety of corporate and nonprofit sponsors, including Emory, is an annual citywide reading initiative providing Atlantans with a perspective on their place in history and in regional, national and world affairs.
“Atlanta Reads stands apart from other citywide reading projects in that residents got to vote for the book they would read and discuss,” said Rudolph Byrd, Emory professor of American studies and co-chair of Atlanta Reads with Susan Booth, artistic director of the Alliance Theater. Winner of the ballot was Ferrol Sams’ “Run With the Horsemen,” and discussions were held across the city this summer at various Borders bookstores.
The program’s other unusual twist? Fostering intergenerational dialogue. Nearly 3,000 Atlanta high school seniors and 500 senior citizens in the Mayor’s Golden Age Club received free copies of the book, and cross-generational groups met during the summer for discussions at senior centers, Atlanta-Fulton libraries and churches.
Culmination of the program is Atlanta Reads Week, Sept. 3–10, featuring Sams at a series of public author dialogues, readings and signings at Woodruff Park (Sept. 6, noon), Glenn Auditorium at Emory
(Sept. 8, 7 p.m.), Spelman College (Sept. 9, 7 p.m.) and Woodruff Arts Center (Sept. 10, 4 p.m.)
For more information contact Byrd at 404-727-1110, firstname.lastname@example.org,
or go to www.bcaatlanta.com.