MONROE - County residents, get your reading glasses ready.
For the third time, Monroe County has been awarded a grant to host The Big Read, a National Education Association initiative designed to restore reading to the center of American culture.
The Foundation at Monroe County Community College and 18 other community institutions have been awarded a $17,000 grant to purchase 1,000 copies of the 2009 selection, The Great Gatsby, for distribution throughout the community. The event will take place in March and April of 2009.
Books will be available at schools, libraries, senior and youth centers, and other community organizations throughout the county.
Grant funding will also provide for supplemental materials, book club discussions, a film festival, and contests and activities for children and teens, including a panel discussion.
Last year, more than 2,500 county residents took part in the event, Suzanne Wetzel, executive director of The Foundation at MCCC, said.
Communities in 46 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands are taking part in the 2009 Big Read.