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Faculty teaching community-based Books@Work Program
Monday, February 16, 2015

Faculty teaching community-based Books@Work Program

Six Fredonia faculty members are participating in the nationwide, community-based “Books@Work” program, whose mission is to promote complex literacy while serving companies and employees.

Drs. Iclal Vanwesenbeeck, Emily VanDette, David Kaplin, and Saundra Liggins (all English); Jennifer Hildebrand (History); and Juan De Urda (Modern Languages) are teaching books to groups of Chautauqua Institution staff members. In January, Dr. VanDette taught the first four-week session of the program which will continue through May.

Books@Work allows participants to read a book or a series of short readings chosen by the faculty each month. An hour-long meeting with the faculty members is held once per week. The six-month program strives to teach valuable lessons and new learning opportunities to both the participants and the faculty members.

“It was invigorating to hear readers with a wide range of backgrounds, perspectives and life experiences connect over literature,” VanDette stated. “It was a pleasure to teach [Indian American author] Jhumpa Lahiri’s beautiful short story collection, ‘Unaccustomed Earth.’ I enjoyed hearing how readers outside of a traditional college classroom respond to fiction.”

“It seemed to me a different and likely fascinating teaching experience that I could not miss,” Dr. De Urda added.

Books@Work is a voluntary seminar made possible by experienced faculty from across the world within various areas of education. The organization brings professor-led literature seminars to workplaces and community settings to build confidence, critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. As a non-profit entity, it strives to develop a broad network of life-long learners and advanced readers whose passion spreads through companies, families and communities.

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