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Western joins Danbury library and city schools to promote book reading

Last August, in collaboration with the Danbury Public Library and Danbury public schools, WCSU announced the launch of the second annual “One Book, One Community” (OBOC) project, an effort to encourage everyone in Danbury to read the same book. Although many communities across the country sponsor similar reading programs, this project is one of the few where a city, public school system and a university have formed a partnership to coordinate a community-wide reading initiative.

The co-chairs of the OBOC committee are Library Director Mark Hasskarl and WCSU Provost and Academic Vice President Dr. Linda Rinker.

Last fall’s book selection was the best-selling memoir “Hurry Down Sunshine” by Michael Greenberg, which details the true story of Sally, his 15-year-old daughter, who suddenly descends into madness. From her first episode on the streets of Greenwich Village to her time in a psychiatric ward, Greenberg painstakingly chronicles the effects of mental illness on his family. WCSU assigned the book to all incoming freshmen as part of the university’s First-Year Experience.

In addition to being encouraged to read the same book, Danbury residents and students were invited to participate in a variety of complementary programs. Events included book discussions and a lecture by Greenberg in October.

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Clockwise from top:
A student holds a copy of the One Book, One Community common read: "Hurry Down Sunshine"; author Michael Greenberg discusses his book; students and community members interact with Greenberg on the topic of mental illness.