Redlands Receives Big Read Grant

University of Redlands receives Big Read Grant in partnership with A.K. Smiley Public Library and Crafton Hills College

Redlands and Yucaipa to read and celebrate Anaya’s “Bless me, Ultima” during Big Read

REDLANDS, July 1, 2013– The University of Redlands, in partnership with A.K. Smiley Public Library and Crafton Hills College, has received a grant of $12,000 to host The Big Read in the cities of Redlands and Yucaipa. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and managed by Arts Midwest, designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. The University of Redlands is one of 77 nonprofit organizations to receive a grant to host a Big Read project. The Big Read in Redlands and Yucaipa will focus on Rudolfo Anaya’s “Bless Me, Ultima” and activities for this initiative will take place mid-February to mid-March 2014.

“The University’s curricular as well as co-curricular activities are all based on the idea of offering transformative education, encouraging our students to make linkages between their learning and what is happening in their world, both locally and globally. The Big Read, therefore, is not the only program that will push our campus community to think about our world; it is one of many programs that together inspire action. The chosen book will be a particularly poignant read for the increasing number of first generation Latino (a) students on our campus,” said Advisor to the President and Associate Dean forĀ Campus Diversity and Inclusion Leela MadhavaRau.

“It's wonderful to see that these 77 communities are making reading and the celebration of books a priority. I look forward to seeing the innovative ways they find to engage their communities in these great works of classic and contemporary literature,” said NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa.

The Big Read provides communities nationwide with the opportunity to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 31 selections from U.S. and world literature. The 77 selected organizations will receive Big Read grants to promote and carry out community-based reading programs featuring activities such as read-a-thons, book discussions, lectures, movie screenings, and performing arts events. Participating communities also receive high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title, including Reader’s, Teacher’s and Audio Guides, which also are available for download on

Media Contact
Patty Zurita

The University has a long tradition of encouraging and supporting study abroad.

More than 47 percent of Redlands undergraduates participate in study abroad programs.

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