Albion's 2016 Big Read Photo Gallery

Albion's Big Read has events scheduled throughout the entire month of October.  Whether you miss an event or just want to get fired up, check out our photo galleries below. Galleries are separated by event and are categorized by date, starting with the most recent.  The earlier events, like the Big Read Summer Leadership Program, are toward the bottom of the page. Click a photo to make it larger and use the arrows on your keyboard to scroll through them. 

Albion's 2016 Big Read Celebration Video

Albion's Big Read Keynote Address and CELEBRATION!
November 1, 2016

On November 1, 2016, we gathered at the Bohm Theater to CELEBRATE the success of Albion's 2016 Big Read! We celebrated with award-winning author, Rita Williams-Garcia, and the 2016 Big Read Leaders. Leaders sat together up on the stage as each individual was called up to be valued and receive an official Big Read plaque commemorating his or her dediction and courage. It was a delightful night of celebration and gratitude. Thank you, Albion, for such a great year! Keynote address and Celebration photos were taken by: Angela Adams and Valentine Gureni. 

Marshall Middle School Visit with Rita Williams-Garcia
November 1, 2016

Coretta Scott-King Award-winning author, Rita Williams-Garcia, met with 600 Marshall Middle School students during her visit to Albion. Long before her ideas become a polished book, she writes many drafts by hand and digitally. Williams-Garcia showed students photos of her notes and drafts from both her childhood and adulthood, showing they they , too, can be writers syarting right now. Ms. Williams-Garcia also met with the students in the Marshall Middle School Book Club. The group read her novel, "One Crazy Summer." Before leaving the school, Ms. Williams-Garcia and Big Read Director, Jess Roberts, stopped by the cafeteria to check out Marshall Middle's "451 Acts of Kindness" wall. Students and teachers observed acts of kindness throughout October, wrote them down, and posted them for all to see. 

Student-Led Discussion with A'Veion, Autumn, Carl, Danielle, Denisha, Emmylou, Fred, Jason, Sylvia, Ta'Jyanna, and Terek
October 30, 2016

Eleven of our Leaders came together to lead a discussion about fear and Fahrenheit 451. Participants were split into small groups based on the character that they would dress up as for Halloween. Groups were asked a series of questions that challenged them to think about what characters looked like and who characters feared. We would like to thank Sigma Tau Delta, academic English fraternity, for hosting this discussion. 

Student-Led Discussion with Carl, Cassie, Danielle, and Larenz
October 23, 2016

Carl, Cassie, Danielle, and Larenz got participants thinking about emotions as a way of accessing events, characters, and the novel as a whole. They divided the room into three groups: anger, happiness, and confusion. The Leaders floated from group to group as participants shared times when they had experienced that emotion. Then the groups were tasked with discussing times in the book when characters also felt that particular emotion and why. As a way of ending the discussion, the Leaders left the large group with a thought-provoking question: "How would you feel if you lived in the world of Fahrenheit 451?" We would like to thank the Association of American University Women and AmeriCorps VISTA for hosting this discussion.

Student-Led Book Discussion with Denisha and Ta'JYannA
October 22, 2016

Big Read Leader Denisha and Ta'Jyanna led a discussion that asked participants to think about success. Divided up into small groups, participants defined success and discussed which character they thought was most successful in the world of Fahrenheit 451 and why. The small groups were then asked to assign "emojis" to the character(s) as a response to this question: "How would your character feel about living in our world?" After several minutes, we joined back together and discussed the similarities and differences between the group's decisions and interpretations. We would like to thank the Psi Kappa Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc. and ASCEND for hosting this discussion. 

Books in/and Prison: A Panel Discussion
October 20, 2016

Writers, artists, ministers, and teachers gathered to discuss the place of books in our prison system. The panel focused on the role of books, primarily imaginative literature, in our prisons today. Moderated by Scott Melzer, Professor of Sociology at Albion College, the panel included Karen Smyte, fiction writer and board president of Children's Literacy Network; Roger Bonair-Agard, poet and teacher of writing at Cook County Juvenile Detention Center; Stephanie Davis, Library Director at Jackson College and teacher of writing in Jackson College's Prison Initiative; and David Habicht, prison minister. 

Acclaimed Poet Roger Bonair-Agard
October 18 & 19, 2016

Albion's Big Read and Frank Center's Children's Theater proudly presented acclaimed poet, Cave Canem Fellow, and National Poetry Slam Champion, Roger Bonair-Agard. During this visit, Roger spent the majority of his time at Marshall Middle School where he worked alongside 7th and 8th grade students in their English classes, as each student prepared an essay on his or her own personal heroes for a statewide competition. He also visited Albion College where he presented a reading of several of his poems from his newest collection, Where Brooklyn At?

OCTOBER 18, 2016

Editor of the 60th Anniversary edition of Fahrenheit 451, author of Becoming Ray Bradbury, Director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies, and curator of the Ray Bradbury papers, Jonathan Eller lectured on Bradbury's composition of his most enduring work of fiction: Fahrenheit 451.  

Walk the Beat
October 15, 2016

Walk the Beat is a non-profit organization. Their goal is to give support to those interested in enriching their lives and the lives of others in the Albion community through music and reading. They donate musical instruments, arrange for music lessons, and support the Big Read. Walk the Beat supports requests from individuals and groups on a first-come first-served basis. They raise money and bring people together by organizing musical events and gathering donations. Check out for more information.

Student-led Book Discussion with Fred, Jason, and Terek
October 13, 2016

Fred, Jason, and Terek led a discussion that challenged the audience to think about characters in a new way. Participants were assigned a character from Fahrenheit 451 and asked a series of questions. Participants then used "emojis" to respond from the perspective of that character. Both the small and large group discussions revealed different interpretations of the characters and events. We would like to thank the Black Student Alliance for hosting this student-led discussion. 

Student-led Book Discussion with Autumn, Deonta, and Emmylou
October 10, 2016

Autumn, Deonta, and Emmylou led their discussion about point of view. They asked participants to think and write about events in Fahrenheit 451 from the perspectives of different characters. As the conversation progressed, the Leaders asked participants to think about how their character would respond to the same event if he or she were a different gender. It was a dynamic discussion, and we would like to thank the Albion District Library and Books and More Book Club for hosting it. 

Student-led Book Discussion with A'Veion, Ian, and SylviA
October 9, 2016

A'Veion, Ian, and Sylvia led a discussion about censorship. The Leaders divided the group into two, asking one to write and discuss examples of censorship in our world and the other to write and discuss examples from the world of Fahrenheit 451. After coming back together as one large group, we discovered complicated similarities and differences between both worlds. We would like to thank Schuler Arts for hosting this student-led discussion. 

Dom Flemons Duo Concert and Coy James Endowed Lecture
October 6, 2016

In the world of Fahrenheit 451, much has been lost: books, music, art, history--and with them our capacity to be human. But the loss of these things happens in our own world as well. In the Washington Gardner Auditorium, the amazing old-time string musicians in the Dom Flemons Duo gave us access to a history they have long been recovering: the rich history of African-American old-time music. To see the Grammy-winning Dom Flemons and fiddler Brian Farrow, check out

Student-Led Book Discussion: Cedriana, Kei'Asianique, and Da'Sani - October 5, 2016

Cedriana, Kei'Asianique, and Da'Sani led a rich discussion about loyalty in our world and the world of Fahrenheit 451. They began by asking participants to write a memory about someone that was loyal to them or a time they were loyal to someone else. After sharing those memories, the group discussed examples of loyalty and disloyalty among characters in the novel. We would like to thank Sisters Influencing Society for hosting this student-led discussion. 

Kick-Off Parade and Celebration
October 1, 2016

This free, outdoor event officially marked the beginning of October 2016, Albion's Big Read month! It began with a parade that proceeded from City Hall to Holland Park. Thank you to the various organizations who participated. The celebration featured circus performers, face painters, live music, food vendors, a photo booth, and countless community organizations. It was a beautiful day!

#Albion451 Photo Project

During the Big Read Summer Leadership program, our Student Leaders explored our community. They found places that were important to them and others and took photos of our 2016 Big Read logo there. Can you identify the location of each photo? Take a photo with our logo or your book in Albion and post it on social media with #Albion451. 

Big Read Summer LEadership Workshop
August 8-12, 2016

During the week-long August workshop, we worked and played. We played games, ate donuts off of strings, and built "initiating exercises" that call out shared experiences in a group. We read, discussed, got confused, asked questions, stepped out of our comfort zone, and became friends. It is true that we gained tools that would help Leaders facilitate book discussions in October, but we also built a community that many of our Leaders would call their "Big Read Family." The photos below document the hard work and real joy of community building that the Big Read aims to create. 

Big Read Summer LEaderShip Program
June-July 2016

Albion's Big Read begins long before October. During the summer, we gathered our student Leaders and college volunteers once a week for six weeks to discuss Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. Leaders played games as a way of getting to know one another and participated in exercises that increased their understanding of the novel.