Community Read Reaches Beyond Books

Community Read 2019 is over – but the conversations and relationships it sparked continue. And that was the point.

Throughout March, our community came together around books. This year’s featured titles, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Wishtree by Katherine Applegate, and Love by Matt de la Peña provided readers of all ages opportunities to discuss important themes of compassion, perspective and understanding.

With the support of presenting sponsor Bank of America and additional funding from Foundation For The Carolinas and your Library Foundation, over 2,500 copies of The Hate U Give were distributed throughout the community. More than 200 programs and events were offered at Library and partner locations - including book talks, film viewings and talkback panels, tree plantings, art projects, discussions with police, city and county officials, teenagers, educators, and much more. 

Partners were key to the success of this year’s Community Read. Program director Meryle Leonard explains, “We knew we’d need to work with partners with different perspectives, experiences and expertise. This was a natural opportunity to position the Library system as a facilitator and resource for community programs and dialogue - to become a resource for organizations and individuals who want to have these important and sometimes uncomfortable conversations. We especially wanted to engage the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Their support and participation was essential to the programs reach and success.”

There were many highlights to this year’s Community Read, including inspirational visits from authors Angie Thomas and Matt de la Peña. Both discussed writing as a form of activism – an opportunity to encourage empathy and start discussion. 

Did you participate in Community Read 2019?

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THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS:

THANKS TO OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS:

Carolina Youth Coalition • Central Piedmont Community College •  Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools • Community Building Initiative • Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Inc. • Fort Mill School District • Girl Talk Foundation • Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture • International House • James B. Duke Memorial Library at Johnson C. Smith University • Levine Museum of the New South • Mayor’s Mentoring Alliance • Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office-Library Services • ourBRIDGE • Pass the Peace Feasts • PBS Charlotte • The Possibility Project-Charlotte • Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice • Swanky Pen • Teen Health Connection • Time Out Youth • Trinity Episcopal School • Union County Public Schools • UNC Charlotte Department of Theatre • WBAV-FM • YMCA of Greater Charlotte