NCC Announces Common Read 2017

New students entering Norwalk Community College this fall will get to know classmates and learn about the college through the shared experience of reading the same book.

Each year, NCC chooses one book for its Common Read Program. This year’s selection is Lottery, a novel by Patricia Wood featuring a main character with special needs.

All first-year students enrolled in the college’s Freshman Seminar classes (FS 101) will receive a free copy of Lottery and be invited to participate in a variety of interdisciplinary events throughout the semester, including a visit from the author. Funding for the books is provided by the Norwalk Community College Foundation.

Lottery tells the story of Perry L. Crandall, a student with a low IQ who “knows what it’s like to be an outsider.”  After Perry wins a multimillion-dollar jackpot, his family tries to move in on his fortune and he learns lessons about trust and true friends.

Author Patricia Wood will visit NCC and discuss her book with students during NCC’s Common Read Week in late October.

According to The New York Times  (7/1/17), about 40 percent of college orientations include a discussion of a common reading assignment. NCC’s Common Read has included both fiction and non-fiction selections. These books often feature current events or themes that students in transition can relate to: acceptance, collaboration, multi-culturalism, and triumph over personal obstacles.

Last year’s Common Read selection was When the Emperor was Divine, by American author Julie Otsuka. Loosely based on the experiences of Otsuka’s own parents, the book follows a Japanese-American family sent to an internment camp in the Utah desert during World War II. During Common Read Week 2016, students met Otsuka and participated in events related to Japanese history and culture. They wrote Haiku poetry, observed a demonstration of ancient Japanese martial arts, held a panel discussion on World War II Internment Camps, and gave a live monologue performance based on the book’s last chapter.

Students who are new to NCC are encouraged to register for the three-credit Freshman Seminar (FS 101) course; seats are still available. Students enrolled in Freshman Seminar have the opportunity to be part of Common Read and enjoy other benefits. Freshman Seminar is a student success course that focuses on matters related to the transition to college and beyond, and attitudes that lead to success.  Students explore their values, intelligences, and learning preferences while they develop goal-setting, time management, and critical thinking skills. They are introduced to college resources and engage in career exploration.

For more information, contact Professor Maria Buchta, Chair of the Common Read Program and Coordinator of First-Year Experience, at mbuchta@norwalk.edu or (203)857-7376.