BU Students Kick Off Discussion, Book Drive For 'One Book, One Waco'

Jan. 28, 2003

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Baylor University student government and community leaders will be among the early participants discussing Ernest Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying, the inaugural selection in the "One Book, One Waco" city-wide reading program, at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Barnes and Noble in Waco. Free refreshments will be available for discussion participants.

In cooperation with the Community Race Relations Coalition, students also will kick off a book drive to collect copies of A Lesson Before Dying, as well as monetary donations to purchase additional books. Books will be collected at the office of Campus Living and Learning in Penland Hall on Fifth Street on the Baylor campus. Checks can be made payable to Community Race Relations Coalition (CRRC) and mailed to P.O. Box 824, Waco, Texas 76703. Organizers are working with several community groups to make the books available to all citizens of Waco.

Beginning in April, city-wide discussion groups will be held at 7 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at Barnes and Noble. The Waco-McLennan County Public Library also will host a weekly gathering on Friday afternoons at the central library location on Austin Avenue. Other events are in the planning stages, including an essay contest for students in Waco schools.

Modeled after a program in Seattle, "One Book, One Waco" is a city-wide initiative to promote reading and thoughtful discussion, with activities and events focused on encouraging community participation. Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying was announced as the inaugural book for the program in October. The award-winning book tells the wrenching story of an unjustly condemned man's attempt to define himself during his last days, and the teacher who befriends and helps him in the struggle.

For more information, contact John Hill, Baylor student government external vice president, at 710-4704 or John_L_Hill@baylor.edu. More information also is available on the "One Book, One Waco" web site at www.waco-texas.com/onebook.htm.

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