Greenwich Public Schools to host Greenwich Reads Together programs

As part of the community-wide reading program Greenwich Reads Together, the Greenwich Public Schools will host several programs and discussion groups to support the community’s reading of Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. During the last two weeks of October, the school community will have multiple opportunities to engage in activities centered on this bestselling book and the companion books selected for younger readers: Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate and My Name is Sangoel by Karen Williams and Khadra Mohammed, illustrated by Catherine Stock.

According to Superintendent of Schools Bill McKersie, “Greenwich Reads provides a wonderful way for Greenwich residents of all ages to connect intellectually and socially. I am pleased with the selection of the remarkable Americanah as the core text, which our high school students will read, and the identification of supplemental books and programs appropriate for our middle school and elementary students. Once again, Greenwich Reads has selected a book and set of related works that speak to interests and issues that will resonate across our diverse community. We will be stronger as a community for Greenwich Reads’ efforts.”

Greenwich Public School Events

Greenwich High School:

GHS will hold its annual Greenwich Reads Together Discussion Day on Monday, October 26 and offer a series of related programs for faculty and students. In connection with Americanah, there will be programs featuring Nigeria Revisited author Catherine Onyemelukwe and Nigerian storyteller Princess Omaa Adobi Ume-Ezeoke. Following school, Headmaster Chris Winters and English Department Head Brigid Barry will lead a book discussion on Americanah in the Media Center for faculty, staff, and retired faculty.

Social Studies and English teachers have encouraged their students to read Americanah and Home of the Brave independently and participate in the town-wide GRT essay contest.

Central Middle School:

All CMS students received a copy of Home of the Brave to read and will participate in specific lessons concerning it during Academic Base in October and November.

Some classes will collaborate with immigrant and refugee students from a school in Bridgeport.

CMS will hold an International Potluck supper for students and parents in early December.

Eastern Middle School:

Nigerian storyteller Princess Omaa Adobi Ume-Ezeoke will visit EMS on October 22 to conduct two student assemblies on Igbo folklore

Western Middle School:

WMS students will read Home of the Brave and discuss its themes with faculty and parents.

On October 28, sixth through eighth graders will create a “Share Your Story” banner in the WMS cafeteria. The banner will include student anecdotes on how they have dealt with dramatic changes in their own lives.

Students will tell their own stories as part of a metaphor and video study.

Cos Cob School School:

All students will read My Name is Sangoel as a read aloud and My Name is Sangoel author Karen William will visit grades 2 through 5 at Cos Cob School on October 20.

Fifth grade students are reading Home of the Brave as a read-aloud and analyzing its themes.

Glenville School:

Glenville will conduct an all school read aloud of My Name is Sangoel and author Karen William will visit Glenville on October 19.

The International School at Dundee:

ISD will conduct an all school read aloud of My Name is Sangoel.

Julian Curtiss School of World Languages:

My Name is Sangoel author Karen Williams will visit Julian Curtiss on October 20.

New Lebanon School:

New Lebanon will conduct an all school read aloud of My Name is Sangoel.

North Mianus School:

My Name is Sangoel author Karen Williams will visit North Mianus School on October 21.

Literacy Specialist Erin Lynch created an interactive read aloud guide paired with an MTV routine around the themes raised in My Name is Sangoel

North Street School:

Grade 1 through 5 students will read My Name is Sangoel to gain a deeper understanding of the life of refugees.

Grade 3 through 5 students will take virtual field trips to parts of Sudan – Sangoel’s homeland – and screen videos about volunteers at the Pittsburg Refugee Center, whose Executive Director is My Name is Sangoel co-author Khadra Mohammed.

Old Greenwich School:

My Name is Sangoel author Karen Williams will visit Old Greenwich School on October 19 and the Grades 4-5 Book Club will discuss My Name is Sangoel with Principal Raneri.

Parkway School:

All students will read My Name is Sangoel with Mrs. Attanasio in Media classes.

Riverside School:

Riverside will conduct an all school read aloud of My Name is Sangoel.

For more information about Greenwich Reads Together activities in the Greenwich Public Schools, visit greenwichschools.org/page.cfm?p=10517

About Greenwich Reads Together

Greenwich Reads Together is a community-wide reading experience which will engage all of Greenwich in exploring a single book. Several community organizations are part of the Steering Committee leading Greenwich Reads Together, including Greenwich Library, Greenwich Arts Council, Greenwich Historical Society, Greenwich Alliance for Education, Greenwich Pen Women, Greenwich Public Schools and private schools, and Friends of Greenwich Library. Nearly 20 community organizations participated in the 2014 Greenwich Reads Together, and more than 6,500 Greenwich residents participated in events. For more information, visit http://www.greenwichreadstogether.org

About Americanah and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah is a powerful, tender story of race and identity, unfolding across three continents. Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion-for each other and for their homeland.

The New York Times writes, “Americanah examines blackness in America, Nigeria and Britain, but it’s also a steady-handed dissection of the universal human experience…. Americanah is … a novel that holds the discomfiting realities of our times fearlessly before us. It never feels false.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in Nigeria. She is the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Prize and was a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, a New York Times Notable Book, and a People and Black Issues Book Review Best Book of the Year; and the story collection The Thing Around Your Neck. Americanah has received numerous accolades, including winning the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and The Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction; and being named one of The New York Times Ten Best Books of the Year.

About the Greenwich Public Schools

The Greenwich Public Schools serve 8,800 students from Kindergarten through Grade 12. There are eleven elementary neighborhood schools, three middle schools, and one high school. The Mission of the Greenwich Public School is:

•To educate all students to the highest levels of academic achievement;

•To enable them to reach and expand their potential; and

•To prepare them to become productive, responsible, ethical, creative and compassionate members of society.

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