The Big Read continues at Scotch Plains Public Library with opportunities for the community to participate in a video chat with Julia Alvarez, author of our Big Read selection In the Time of the Butterflies. Ms. Alvarez spent much of her early childhood in the Dominican Republic, until her family fled back to the United States due to her father’s involvement in the resistance against the dictator Trujillo. She now lives in Vermont and is a writer-in-residence at Middlebury College. She and her husband have founded Alta Gracia, a farm and literacy center located in the Dominican Republic.

On Monday, March 20, students are Park and Terrill Middle Schools will have their own video chat with Ms. Alvarez during the school day.  That evening, at 7:00pm, the entire community is invited to meet in the Terrill Middle School auditorium for a separate video chat. During this session, Ms. Alvarez will be able to answer a few questions from the audience. Anyone wishing to submit a question can visit the library’s website ( for the submission link.

In addition to this event, The Big Read has included music, art projects, lectures, and book discussions, as well as interdisciplinary studies for students in grades K-12 in our district’s schools.

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The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The Big Read is managed by Arts Midwest. Scotch Plains is one of 78 communities nationwide participating in the current Big Read.

The Big Read partners welcome all participants to the many free events planned through mid-June. More information about these events and the Bit Read may be found on the website of Scotch Plains Public Library ( and on the library’s Big Read blog (