To kick off the NEA Big Read: Portland, ME, a city-wide discussion of immigration using the adult novel INFINITE COUNTRY that is taking place this fall, the Portland nonprofit I’m Your Neighbor Books and USM’s Department of Literacy, Language, and Culture delivered 1,200 children’s books to the Portland Public Schools – texts that will extend the conversation from kindergarten to grade 12. I'm Your Neighbor uses children’s books and stories to welcome immigrants, sharing books that help all students to better understand the perspectives of others and learn to value diversity.
The simultaneous delivery to 18 schools took place during Welcoming Week, Sept. 9-18, a national event where “communities bring together neighbors of all backgrounds to build strong connections and affirm the importance of welcoming and inclusive places in achieving collective prosperity.”
The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read is designed to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.
On Thursday, Sept. 15, Talbot Community School, one of the district’s most diverse schools, received 90 books. People involved in the distribution of the books are shown in the photo. Depicted from left to right are Kathleen McGovern (Department of Literacy, Language, and Culture, USM); Pious Ali (City Councilor and Board President of IYNB); Kirsten Cappy (Executive Director of IYNB); Meg Rooks (Teacher Librarian at Talbot); and Jen Boggs (Board member of IYNB).