PIVOT Job Corps Participates in Library Reading Initiative

PIVOT Job Corps Participates in Library Reading Initiative

PIVOT Job Corps Participates in Library Reading Initiative
Portland, OR

Every year the Multnomah County Library in beautiful Northwest Oregon conducts a campaign known as Everybody Reads. The library system chooses one book that they give away free (no return necessary) in the hopes that everyone in the area will read it. They conduct book clubs and other events around the city, including a visit from the author. This year the library has chosen The Other Wes Moore, a story of a successful man, Wes Moore, who discovers a man bearing the same name that grew up in a similar environment in a rough part of Baltimore. However the other Wes Moore’s life took a very different turn – straight to prison serving a life sentence. The author could not stop wondering how two people from such similar backgrounds could turn out so differently. He strikes up a correspondence with the man in prison. How their lives diverge and come together is the story of this book.

Our center is conducting a book club where students read portions of the book and participate in weekly discussions. As an extra incentive, we hope to offer tickets to see Mr. Moore speak in March. So far we have 15 students and 4 staff members participating (Since we are a very small center, this is about 25% of our students and 40% of staff). As the English instructor at PIVOT, I am very excited to participate in this club. This book will resonate with some students and be an eye opener to others. It offers many avenues of discussion that will enrich the students’ worldviews and provide our staff with a great opportunity to connect with them. Furthermore, I know from past experience, students are more motivated to read when participating in our book clubs. Peer pressure can be a positive force that propels many students to read a book above their reading level. They gain confidence in their reading and feel part of a reading community. In this case, that community is the largest county in Oregon. It is my hope that our students strike up a conversation with their friends, family, or maybe even a stranger on the bus about The Other Wes Moore and realize how reading great books can bring people together and change their lives.

For more information about Everybody Reads, go to

For more information about The Other Wes Moore, go to

Mark Anderson
Academic Instructor
PIVOT Job Corps

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