One Book, One Community
When we read together, we grow together.
Monday Night Live 02-26-07: Reading Together
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
On Febuary 26, 2007 Pamela Robinson (then Pamela Haymon), Emerging HOPE Family Strengthening Program Director, MSW candidate and autism advocate, was one of the featured guest for the Monday Night Live Show, hosted by the renown Keith Roe.
Paste the link below into your web browser to view the interview:
The purpose of Reading Together is to build a stronger community with deeper connections through the common experience of reading the same book and exploring its themes together. When we do that, we engage and learn, not only about ourselves but more importantly about each other and the world around us.
By experiencing the same book, hearing the author of that work speak right here in Kalamazoo, and delving deeper into the books’ themes, we are able to embrace our similarities and differences from a common point of reference.
Kalamazoo Public Library leads Reading Together with the collaboration of libraries, educational institutions, health and social service agencies, cultural, civic and religious organizations, businesses, the media, and local governments throughout Kalamazoo County.
In January 2007 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and its companion book The Case of the Prank That Stank was the feature books for the Reading Together event.
According to Joan McNeil, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time isn’t just a mystery story nor is it just about disability; it’s about books and what can be done with words. The featured boy in the story, Christopher John Francis Boone, knows all the countries of the world, their capitals, and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighbor's dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely praised novels in recent years.
Pamela facilitated three separate book discussions at various locations in Kalamazoo. The first discussion was hosted at her two youngest children school (Carmela and Jermaine); Paramount Charter Academy on Tuesday, February 27, 2007, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Discussion Title “How can we better understand and embrace students with autism? How can we welcome people with disabilities into the life of the school and community?”
The next discussion was hosted at Mt. Zion Church on Tuesday, March 13, 200, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM. Discussion Title, “How can we better understand and embrace congregants with autism? How can we welcome people with disabilities into the life of the church and the community?”
And the final discussion was hosted at her oldest daughter Andrea’s school, Parchment High School on Tuesday, March 27, 2007, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM, Discussion Title, “How can we better understand and embrace students with autism? How can we welcome people with disabilities into the life of the school and community?"
According to Pamela, this was an unforgettable experience for her to be able to facilitate three Reading Together book discussions. To the extent that she will always be grateful that the book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was selected as the Reading Together book for 2007.
Pamela bemoaned, the book is very practical and does a good job at bringing people together with and without disabilities. Moreover, the discussion brought together people of different ages and walks of life who were passionate about books, reading, and advocating for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Community member’s perceptions were challenged pertaining to disability and differences, of relationships and reality, and of communication and community.
The outpouring of questions and comments at every Reading Together event convinced Pamela to move ahead with a project that she has long contemplated: The Emerging HOPE Mental Health Forum.