Giant Reading Program to bring NYT best-selling author to Marion

Marion Community Schools is partnering with Marion Public Library, Indiana Wesleyan University and several other community partners to bring New York Times best-selling author Kimberly Brubaker Bradley to Marion in March as part of the Giant Reading Program.

The Giant Reading Program, begun by Kari Persinger at Justice Intermediate School this year, centered on a single book selection that participants read: Bradley’s The War That Saved My Life. Fifth- and sixth-graders at Justice all read the book, a historical children’s novel about a girl who was born with a clubfoot, and her struggles during the World War II era. Also reading along were various education classes at IWU, book study groups at MPL, and a few community leaders as well.

During a special week in March, Bradley, who is originally from the Fort Wayne area, will be speaking to Justice Intermediate students during a couple of school days, and will also be attending a special event at MPL that is open to the community. There will also be several other events related to the story told in the book. Here’s a look at the events:

· Tea at the Hostess House
723 W. Fourth St., 2 p.m. March 14.

This will be an elegant tea including scones, finger sandwiches, fruit, desserts, and more. There will be a brief presentation on proper etiquette. Cost is $5 per person; seating is limited, and students get first priority. Reservations with payment are due by March 6 and should be sent to Kari Persinger at Justice Intermediate School. (Email kpersinger@marion.k12.in.us with questions.)

· World War II Photography Exhibit & author talk with Kayleen Reusser
Marion Public Library, 600 S. Washington St.
5:30 to 7 p.m. March 16

Reusser is from the Bluffton area and she has captured the stories of more than 200 WWII veterans over the last few years. She will give a talk about this experience and the books in which she has shared these stories. There will also be photos from the era on display. Refreshments will be served. This event is open to the public, and no RSVP is needed.

· Victory Garden Experience
Boys and Girls Club, 3402 S. Meridian St.
5:30 to 7 p.m. March 17

Enjoy a hands-on activity with the Purdue Master Gardeners, and much more. Refreshments will be served. This event is open to the public, and no RSVP is needed.

· Escape Room and more
Goodman Hall, Indiana Wesleyan University, 4201 S. Washington St.
5:30 to 7 p.m. March 18

With the assistance of IWU faculty and students, events will include an escape room where students need to solve clues to escape, plus various learning stations related to the story and historical era in which Bradley set her novel. Refreshments will be served. This event is open to the public, and no RSVP is needed.

· Meet the author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Marion Public Library, 600 S. Washington St.
5:30 to 7 p.m. March 19

In addition to hearing from Bradley, you will be able to purchase books and get the author’s autograph. Refreshments will be served. This event is open to the public, and no RSVP is needed.

This special week of events is made possible through the partnership with MPL and IWU, along with sponsorship from Round Robin Bingo, Central Indiana Ethanol, Marion High School Alumni Association, Atlas Foundry, Comfort Suites, and the United Way of Grant County.

According to an MCS news release, if you are interested in getting involved as a sponsor or in any other way, contact Kari Persinger at Justice Intermediate or ask for information at Marion Public Library.