WPI Receives a $15,000 Grant from NEA to Host Reading Program

July 12, 2012

In college, Kristin Boudreau was a big fan of Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, a dramatic and uplifting novel depicting  a young black woman’s struggles through life.

So when Boudreau, head of the Humanities and Arts department at WPI, learned recently that WPI had received a $15,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts focused on a reading program based on that book, she was thrilled.

“This funny, tender, dramatic, tragic, and finally, uplifting novel tells the story of a young black woman’s movement from one abusive relationship to another until she learns to trust herself and to stand up for herself,” said Boudreau.

Boudreau said WPI is proud to be partnering with the YWCA of Central Massachusetts and the Worcester Public Library to host a series of “Big Read” events connected with the book next spring. “We’re pleased to oversee this Big Read event, aimed at encouraging lapsed and reluctant readers,” she said.

Added Boudreau, “It’s the perfect book for our partnership. The YWCA’s mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and combat domestic violence, and the Worcester Public Library has been encouraging reading and lifelong learning since 1859.”

Boudreau also noted that WPI has been a leader in cultural programming in Worcester, and for many years has put its energies and engineering expertise to work solving both global and local problems.

WPI’s keynote event –tentatively scheduled for the third week of March 2013 — will be an evening of jazz, storytelling, and more at Mechanics Hall.

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