by Annie Davis
The culminating event of Milton Reads! 2012, the Milton Public Library’s town-wide read of To Kill a Mockingbird, will be an evening of reflection, song, and celebration. This event promises to be inspiring and uplifting. It takes place Thursday, November 15th, at First Parish Church, 535 Canton Ave., Milton, at 7 P.M. The event is free.
Suitable for families, the event will feature Milton High School students reading passages from the text, a presentation by Milton resident Carmen Ortiz, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, and a performance by Joyful Voices of Inspiration gospel choir. A reception will follow the program, and everybody is invited to submit their suggestions for next year’s book.
“Many community organizations have jumped into this program, and that was a goal,” explains Frank Schroth, a library trustee who initiated the program. “We hoped to foster community through a shared cultural experience, reading the same book.And we are thrilled with the response!”
The Friends of the Library has sold 140 copies of the book; the book and related works and films have been fully checked out of the library. The entire 9th grade of Milton High School read the book, and about 100 students have participated in the various programs, book groups, and film showings. Additional participating groups have provided programming and support. Among these are First Parish Church, Artspace Milton, Milton Historical Society, Citizens for a Diverse Milton, Milton Kiwanis, Milton Players, Milton High School Dramatics Society, Fuller Village, Milton Council on Aging, and Friends of the Milton Public Library.
The Milton Library Foundation awarded a generous grant to the program via a proposal submitted by library staffer and committee member Shirley Pyne.
“The Milton Library staff has been helpful in all dimensions,” says Schroth. “This timeless classic with its themes of race, justice, gender, and coming of age in a small town remain as relevant today as when it was written. We are grateful to all the organizations that have given us their support and look forward to seeing everyone on the 15th.