Kickoff of The Big Read at SPF High School

  Ella Rue and Dr. Feldman of NJCU, and Pam Brooks, SPPL

SCOTCH PLAINS FANWOOD - The first Big Read event launched with a gala evening of music, singing, and dancing. The Scotch Plains Fanwood High School auditorium was alive with sound and rhythm. The award winning SPFH Moonglowers jazz ensemble played some favorite songs, the last tune had a strong Latin rhythm.

Tropyband Orquesta, a 14-piece band played salsa, meringue, and other popular music of Latin America and the Caribbean. Many members of the audience danced in front of the stage, everyone enjoyed the percussions and horns.

Dr. Margaret Hayes, Superintendent of Scotch Plains Fanwood Board of Education, spoke about the Big Read. “A project of this magnitude requires much support and so I am very grateful to the Friends of the Scotch Plains Public Library, The Literacy Volunteers of Union County, and New Jersey City University…”

Sign Up for E-News

Ms. Meg Kolaya, the Director of the Scotch Plains Public Library, addressed the audience and explained further about the program and its partners. Ms. Kolaya introduced Joshua Feist, Program Associate, Arts Midwest. 

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment of the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Partners include the Scotch Plains Public Library, Friends of SPPL, Scotch Plains-Fanwood Schools, Literacy Volunteers of Union County, Inc., and the New Jersey City University.

In the audience was Dr. Barbara Feldman, Dean, William J. Maxwell College of Arts and Sciences, New Jersey City University, and Ella Rue, Assistant to Dr. Feldman. New Jersey City University has partnered with SPPL on several initiatives for the Big Read. They connected the library with Tropyband Orquesta for the kickoff concert, in which several students play.

Three of the presenters for upcoming Big Read lectures are professors at NJCU. The Guitars Galore Ensemble will perform in April as part of the Sunday Sounds feature. This past summer, students at NJCU exhibited their award-winning posters of their visions of the American Dream and held art workshops for teens at the library. The Big Read logo was created by NJCU student Ana Paula Rodrigues.

Future Big Read events include lectures, a festival, more music, a poster and essay contest, butterfly talk and release, and a video chat with Julia Alvarez, the author of In the Time of the Butterflies.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

New Ice Rink Gets Green Light from Westfield Town Council

May 23, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — A standing room-only crowd cheered and booed Tuesday night after the town council, with a 6-3 vote, passed a resolution granting Mayor Shelley Brindle the authority to negotiate a lease agreement with Arena Realty Partners for a temporary ice rink at Gumbert Park this winter.

Brindle made her case for testing out the public-private partnership.

“I don’t ...

Capitalist or Communist?

Karl Marx may have been the pioneer, but many other Jews were also involved in the struggle for communism, particularly in the early days of the Russian revolution. Personally, I don’t think that we have any apologies to make for this phenomenon. Having suffered unbearably under successive oppressive regimes, many of those political activists genuinely thought communism would be better ...

The Facts About Vaping

May 13, 2018

Dear Editor:

The recent public discussion about vaping and “Juuling” that occurred at our high school really opened the eyes of a lot of parents who may have been clueless about what their kids are doing to themselves. There is a lot of conflicting and confusing information available online, on YouTube and social media about the so-called benefits of vaping vs. smoking ...

Scotch Plains-Fanwood Students and Teachers Study Empathy Through Puppetry

May 24, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- A unique form of professional development -- a full day workshop presented for 25 teachers and administrators from McGinn, Coles and School One -- was held at Park Middle School last Thursday,. 

Educators worked side by side with 12 fourth graders learning in a student lab/professional development setting. The theme of the day was “Promoting ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, May 24, 7:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

The Great American Read Kickoff Celebration

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, June 1, 8:00 AM

Royce Brook Golf Club, Hillsborough Township

Liam's Room 5th Annual Charity Golf Outing

Giving Back Sports