2016 marks the 14th year of Reading Across Rhode Island, part of the Rhode Island Center for the Book at the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities’ participation in the One Book, One State community reading program. This year, people across Rhode Island were invited to read The Wright Brothers by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough, a book that tells the incredible story of the inventors of the airplane and “describes the process of innovation and invention that created an entire industry and made the world more accessible for all people” according to Governor Gina Raimondo. The program is about readers across the state participating in reading and discussing together, and no two groups exemplify this more than School One and Hamilton House.
School One is a progressive school for high school students that serves as a safe environment for original thinkers, aspiring artists and those looking to explore their education in an environment that facilitates their growth. Hamilton House is an adult learning center that brings friends together for stimulating creativity and developing talents. The two groups have been meeting together each month to discuss elements of the book and address interesting and creative questions. One particular session had School One students and Hamilton House members split into groups to discuss whom they would cast in a film adaptation of the novel, an exercise that highlighted the differences between generations and what each group could bring to the discussion. Hamilton House members are able to share their unique and personal perspective on history while the School One students come with their more contemporary viewpoints.
The coming together of these two groups allows the difference in generations to facilitate an incredible learning environment where each group has a unique perspective on a story of innovation, invention, love and learning.
As a culminations of their monthly meetings, the students of School One and members of Hamilton House will have the chance to meet The Wright Brothers author David McCullough on May 21. The event, titled “An Afternoon with David McCullough” will bring the book club members to Toll Gate High School in Warwick to attend a lecture by McCullough.
This article, by Cameron Bryce, originally appeared in Providence Monthly; April 22, 2016.