Read, Share, Grow

Published 1:12 pm Wednesday, January 19, 2005

By By ERIN VER BERKMOES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - The Niles community is being asked to read a book - together.
The first annual Read, Share, Grow: Bringing Communities Together program has kicked off here in Southwest Michigan.
The program, which is a community wide reading program or "one book - one community" concept and was introduced by the Washingon Center in 1998, and is made up of 14 libraries in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties, and runs through April 16.
The book that was chosen to get this program under way after much deliberation is Rocket Boys by Homer Hickman Jr. because of its emphasis on community, and the universal themes of family, community and destiny.
The hope is that after the book is read, it will bring a greater sense of community to the people who live in the participating communities and that it will bring the communities in the program as a whole together.
"It's a three county conversation starter," said Conrad Rader of the Niles District Library.
For those readers who would like to discuss the book, there are discussion groups that you can join through the Read, Share, Grow website which is
Also for those readers who aren't quite sure that this book is their cup of tea, they can check out the initial chapters of the book at the above mentioned website. Those are available in both text and voice formats.
Hard copies of the book are also available, and can be found at any of the 14 community particiating libraries which include, the Berrien Springs Community Library, Bridgman Public Library, Buchanan District Library, Cass District Library, Dowagiac District Library, Eau Claire District Library, Galien Township Public Library, Hartford Public Library, New Buffalo Public Library, Paw Paw District Library, St. Joseph / Maud Preston Palenske Memorial Library, Three Oaks Township Library, Watervliet District Library and the Niles District Library.
Homer Hickman Jr. the author of the selected book will be a guest on WNIL's (1290 AM) show Gloria's Place on February 17. The book was also turned in to a movie titled October Sky and there will be two screenings of that film at the Niles Distric Library on February 9 and March 23.
Both Rader and Studebaker encourace people to see what this program is all about, to read the book share it with friends and co-workers and just promote it all around their community and to grow as they share and learn.