Former First Lady Laura Bush To Chair The Big Read Dallas

Former First Lady Laura Bush

The Friends of the Dallas Public Library (FoDPL) and D Magazine’s new leadership group, D Academy, announced on Monday Former First Lady Laura Bush has agreed to serve as Honorary Chair of The Big Read Dallas.

“The Big Read Dallas combines three of my passions: literacy, libraries, and Dallas,” says Former First Lady Laura Bush. “My hope is that everyone in Dallas will pick up a good book and read, and I’m thrilled that The Big Read Dallas will begin with Ray Bradbury’s classic Fahrenheit 451.”

This summer, the FoDPL and D Academy received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to host The Big Read Dallas during the month of April 2013. The Big Read is an initiative of the NEA to restore reading to the center of American culture.

“The Big Read has been an enormous success in other markets, such as Chicago and San Francisco, which have made citywide reading experiences annual events,” says Christine Allison, president, D Magazine Partners, and underwriter of D Academy. “What if Dallas started to see itself as a city of readers? A tremendous cross-section of Dallas leaders, corporations, and volunteers are rallying around that grand possibility.”

Fahrenheit 451, written by the late Ray Bradbury in 1953, was selected for The Big Read Dallas because its themes of courage, censorship, free access to information, and the value of literature are relevant today.

One of the goals of The Big Read Dallas is to bring the city together for one big book club through lectures, book discussions, street festivals, movie screenings, and performing arts events. Another goal is to get ninth and tenth grade students in Dallas Independent School District (DISD) to appreciate the value of reading. The Big Read Dallas aims to place a book in the hands of the 18,500 ninth and tenth grade DISD students.

For more information on how this will be achieved, go to bigreaddallas.org.

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