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Indiana Daily Student
Ivy Tech hosts poverty focused reading event
Amanda Bridgman | IDS | Date: 9/25/2008

Students and other community members were able to experience firsthand some perils of poverty and participate in activities to aid those who are currently going hungry.

All day Wednesday, Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington hosted a reading event for students that focused on poverty in Bloomington and featured a book by Barbara Ehrenreich entitled “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America.”
Guest speakers read excerpts from the book and answered questions about the importance of education.

Marcus Debro, assistant principal of Bloomington High School North, told students he wouldn’t be where he is today if he didn’t want to achieve more.

“Education is the key to success,” Debro said. “All you need is a vision, some goals and someone to help you get there, and you have a room full of people that can do that,” he said.

The event had many booths available for students that provided resources around the community to help them save money, and opportunities to help those in need.
Ivy Tech students and faculty are also competing in a rice end hunger project. The Web site tests vocabulary and education tasks.

“For every word you get right you get 20 grains of rice donated to the United Nations,” said Brian Swazuk, Ivy Tech sophomore and coordinator for the computer lab set up for students during the event.

“It’s an addicting, fun little game, and you’re helping to end hunger so it couldn’t get any better,” he said.

Ivy Tech also provided lunch, which consisted of Doritos, cheese-and-cracker packs and warm pop to symbolize the type of lunch Ehrenreich ate in the book.
“You’re getting a 15-minute break and the same type of food they had time for,” said Keith Klein, moderator of the event.

The lunch menu was not the only thing to put the book into perspective for students. Doris Sims, assistant director of Housing and Neighborhood Development, spoke to students and compared living prices in Bloomington to those in the book.

“It can get very expensive,” Sims said. “Poverty does exist in our community. You can see it in the increase in amount of people going to food kitchens and shelters.”
Ivy Tech also provided students with free CDs and packets with money-saving tips.
Ivy Tech freshman Eric Gust said he appreciates Ivy Tech hosting an event like this for students.

“I’m worried about the economy,” he said. “I feel in poverty myself, so it’s nice to have things like this where I can get all the information as I can.”

Bedford Times-Mail
Everybody's Talkin': Hoosiers launch reading projects

By Carly Nation

September 25, 2008

Dennis Martin is hoping Tuesday kicks-off another round of good dialogue and learning between students and staff. After school that day, Bedford North Lawrence High School’s One Book, One School initiative will start in on its second book.

During the second semester last year, an average of 25 people came together once a week to discuss the book “How to Kill a Mockingbird.” This semester, Martin and a couple of other teachers chose “A Separate Peace.”

“The books that we’re choosing are on the Indiana standards list, that all high school students should read,” explained Martin, a BNL social studies teacher. “We wanted to hit some of the books that colleges expect high school students to have read.”

The initiative is completely optional, and is a way to provide students and staff with a common interest. Martin said he got the idea to start One Book, One School from similar initiatives in his church, and in communities. And after last year’s success, he wanted to continue the effort.

“It was wonderful,” he said of last year’s discussions. “It was a really good exchange.”

He said the group last year met about 10 times, and would have reading goals for each meeting, but those goals weren’t mandatory. Also, students were allowed to attend as their schedules allowed.

“We want this to be very enjoyable for them,” Martin said of the students. “We want to make it accessible to them. If you come, great. If you don’t, that’s fine too. We don’t want it to be something that they feel they absolutely have to be there.”

The meetings occur after school, and Martin said the discussions usually last for an hour to an hour and a half.

Ivy Tech reads
While BNL will start on its reading initiative next week, Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington started its common reading project Wednesday.

The purpose of the project is to create a shared intellectual experience, uniting members of the academic community, students, faculty and staff, with the additional goal of involving students in academic life beyond the classroom. It is also designed to raise awareness of diversity issues, create a platform for examining values and ethics, and encourage critical thinking.

A kick-off event Wednesday introduced the book selection, “Nickel and Dimed: (On Not Getting by in America)” by Barbara Ehrenreich. Passages from the book were read by local “celebrities” and student volunteers, including Bedford Mayor Shawna Girgis.

Everyone reads
If you still need another opportunity to read, Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Suellen Reed has an idea.

Reed is encouraging Hoosiers to help set a new world record on Oct. 2 for the largest shared reading ever held. The mass reading event will be part of the Jumpstart “Read for the Record” campaign, a national effort to raise money for early education in low-income communities.

Through the campaign, children and adults across the U.S. will read the children’s classic, “Corduroy” to break the current record set last year by the campaign.

To make your participation count, go to and register to read.

For more informtaion: Ivy Tech Campus Common Reading Website