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City And County Proclaim February Big Read Month

By Staff | Jan 14, 2009

Wetzel County Commissioners Scott Lemley, left, and Don Mason, right, proclaim February Big Read Month. They give a signed proclamation to Tina Neil of ArtsLink. (Photos by Amy Witschey)

Local governments are getting behind The Big Read, a program sponsored locally by ArtsLink to get local residents to read Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild” during the month of February.

Recently Tina Neil, a member of the committee, attended New Martinsville City Council and Wetzel County Commission meetings where the governing bodies proclaimed February as Big Read Month in their jurisdictions.

The proclamation read as follows:

Whereas, the National Endowment of the Arts designed the Big Read initiative in 2006 to restore reading to the center of American culture and to bring together partners across the nation to encourage reading for both pleasure and enlightenment; and

Whereas, the NEA was launched in 2007 in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with the Arts Midwest and projects approximately 400 communities participating in 2009; and

New Martinsville Mayor Lucille Blum hands a signed copy of the Big Read Month Proclamation to Tina Neil.

Whereas, the NEA has awarded ArtsLink, Inc. a $2,500 matching grant to bring the Big Read program to Wetzel and Tyler counties in the state of West Virginia and to Monroe County in the neighboring state of Ohio; and

Whereas, ArtsLink has designated the month of February 2009 as its Big Read month and has chosen Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild” as its reading selection to encourage all citizens to read this great literary work; and

Whereas, the city of New Martinsville will be the venue for the Big Read Kickoff at West Virginia Northern Community College on Jan. 25, a Silent Read at the Lincoln Theater on Feb. 7, as well as numerous book discussions throughout the month; and

Whereas, ArtsLink’s goal is not only to “return the community to the joy of reading, but also to invigorate the very idea of community”;

Now, therefore, I, Lucille Blum, Lord Mayor of the City of New Martinsville, West Virginia, do herby proclaim the month of February 2009 as the Big Read month, thereby joining communities nationwide participating in this program in order to make the transformative power of reading a regular part of our daily lives.